Seville Snapshots: The Ceramic Benches of the Plaza de España

I adore Plaza de España.

It was here in 2005 that I sat on one of the ceramic benches and journaled about studying abroad. Eight years later, I’ve made countless visits to the half-moon square with visitors (inlcuding Alex, my blog media naranja from Ifs, Ands & Butts), to photograph Andrea and Carlos’s wedding, and to the dreaded Extranjería for residency issues.

Originally built in 1929 for the Ibero-American Fair, the majestic building and its ceramic tile work crown the María Luisa Park. Roma gypsies peddle fans and tourists rent boats to float around the moat. The colonnades hide several government offices, but the main attraction are the hand-painted tiles that represent each province of Spain and its place in history.

In 2005, I sat at the Valladolid bench, fresh out of my study abroad experience. Moving back to Spain had barely crossed my mind at that point, and much less so, to Seville.

Have you even been to the Plaza de España? What’s your favorite monument in Seville?

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About Cat Gaa

As a beef-loving Chicago girl living amongst pigs, bullfighters, and a whole lotta canis, Cat Gaa writes about expat life in Seville, Spain. When not cavorting with adorable Spanish grandpas or struggling with Spanish prepositions, she works in higher education at an American university in Madrid and freelances with other publications, like Rough Guides and The Spain Scoop.


  1. Plaza de España is one of my Sevilla favorites too! It was the first “wow” thing I found in Sevilla during my first couple days there. That was even without the little river and boats, which were all under construction during my study abroad.
    Jessica of HolaYessica recently posted..Parc de la Ciutadella – MyBarcelona Episode #3My Profile

  2. My favorite monument in Seville?
    Er Real Betis of course!!! y que conste que te acompaño en el sentimiento…

  3. Sounds like a beautiful place. I hope to make it over to Sevilla in the spring!
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  4. This was definitely my favorite spot in Seville! Well, besides the tapas bar :)

  5. Plaza de España is undeniably touristy, but I still love it so. As a geography nerd (and general Spain-o-phile), I really enjoyed strolling past all of the little shrines/pavilions to each province in Spain, getting to see what people in the 1920s thought was most representative of each major town/provincial capital, and how that has changed over the past century. I definitely felt a lot of bittersweet nostalgia as I lingered at the Jaén pavilion in October.
    Trevor Huxham recently posted..Photo Post: Visiting Alicante, Spain, for the Friends, Not the MuseumsMy Profile

  6. Yes! It’s gorgeous, despite the tourists. Not my favorite spot in the city, which revolves entirely around who I’m with or what I’m eating, but nice nonetheless!
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  7. Cat, we may have crossed paths journaling there in 2005 long before we ever actually met. This was also my favorite place to sit and reflect when I lived in Sevilla. [Sigh.]

    • It is highly possible! It’s funny for me to think back to my first visit in Seville, and how I had no idea I’d be living there two years later!

  8. Yes, I too love Plaza de España. I really loved looking at all the provinces too.
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  9. I have! But it was under construction back in 2008 when I went. I think I went a second time back in 2010 after the renovation but it was late at night and I didn’t have much time to spare. Some day I will go back and get to properly take my time and walk around.
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  10. I used to bring a journal here when I was an exchange student in Seville. It was the perfect place for reflection during that time in my life! I still go back when we’re in Seville every Christmas, and I have to bring the kids because they can run around too. I can’t NOT take pictures either, even though the same photos are being taken!
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  1. […] On a hot day, Sevillianos seem to just leisurely spend their time here, sitting among the ceramic-tiled alcoves, or walking through the colonnaded […]

  2. […] which was built by famous sevillano architect Aníbal González (you’d recognize him from the Plaza de España) in the early 20th […]

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