Setas de Sevilla (Metropol Parasol), Seville (must see)
The design of the mushrooms was inspired by the vaults of the Cathedral of Seville and the ficus trees in the Plaza de Cristo de Burgos. There are four levels. Level zero (underground) is home to the Antiquarium. The Antiquarium is a museum displaying Roman and Moorish remains and artifacts discovered while the Parasols were being built.
The next level is Level One. Level One is the street-level open air public plaza and market. Level One is shaded by the wooden parasols above. Levels Two and Three are panoramic terraces and a restaurant. The Parasol project was not created without controversy. There are cost problems, people disliked the appearance, and there are safety concerns.
Since the 19th century there was a market in the plaza, within a "dedicated" building. Following plans for urban renewal, the building was pulled down in part in 1948. The market remained until 1973 before the remainder of the building was removed. The land stayed fallow until 1990 when the city had finally decided on an underground parking lot.
Then the unexpected happened. The diggers discovered ruins and remains dating to the Roman and Moorish eras. All work was stopped and archeology took over. After an expenditure of more than 14 million Euros, the project went into deep freeze. At last, in 2004 the city tried to resume development and opened a competition for bids.
The winner of the competition was destined to change the profile of Seville forever. The winner was German architect Jurgen Mayer who designed six mushroom shapes as parasols to shelter the public area below. The mushrooms were constructed entirely of imported Finnish wood known for its straightness.
The honey-comb structure provides shade for the shops and market below. Admission is free for residents of the city. For others tickets to the top of the parasol cost a few euros. This includes a free drink. The best time to go is at sunset. The view from the top is magical.
Want to visit this sight? Check out these Self-Guided Walking Tours in Seville. Alternatively, you can download the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from iTunes App Store or Google Play. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.
Setas de Sevilla (Metropol Parasol) on Map
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