“The reason for the unreason with which you treat my reason, so weakens my reason that with reason I complain of your beauty”

A view from one of the bridges
A view from one of the bridges

As I mentioned in my last post, Seville hosted the 1929 Ibero-American Expo for Spanish-speaking peoples around the world. Each country was invited to exhibit, and they each built a showcase pavilion for the purpose. Spain’s showcase is the Plaza de España. Our tour guide told us it was one of the most spectacular plazas in Seville and even in Spain, and I admit to being skeptical. I mean, tour guides say stuff all the time and throw around adjectives. So my expectations were low going in. But when we walked into the plaza, I was seriously speechless for several minutes, struck by the beauty and detail on display. 

The gardens in the square were quite lovely as well, like these roses.
The gardens in the square were quite lovely as well, like these roses.
Detail of the wall inside the main building
Detail of the wall inside the main building

The Plaza is both an homage to Spain’s history, geography and culture and a downright beautiful space. It’s a half-circle promenade with 48 little alcoves for each of the Spanish provinces. Each alcove includes a map of the province and one noteworthy scene hand-painted in ceramic above the map. The four bridges in the square represent the four ancient kingdoms of Spain: Castille, Aragon, Navarre and Leon. The detail of the ceramic work is magnificently colorful, and the scale of the place is impressive. The buildings house government offices now. You can even get a horse-drawn carriage ride around the square.

A handful of the 48 province alcoves
A handful of the 48 province alcoves
The Avila alcove
The Avila alcove
The Cadiz alcove
The Cadiz alcove
The square has been used for filming for several movies, including Lawrence of Arabia, the Dictator, and (though most of us have blocked it) the first two Star Wars prequels as a stand-in for Theed on Naboo.
 
Title quote: Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, Don Quixote
This hallway appeared in the second Star Wars prequel - picture R2D2, Padme and Anakin walking along here.
This hallway appeared in the second Star Wars prequel – picture R2D2, Padme and Anakin walking along here.
The square after crossing one of the four bridges
The square after crossing one of the four bridges
There is a little moat that runs through the plaza.
There is a little moat that runs through the plaza.
Everywhere you look there's wonderful ceramic detail. These rails grace one of the balconies that looks onto the plaza.
Everywhere you look there’s wonderful ceramic detail. These rails grace one of the balconies that looks onto the plaza.
I'm standing on one of the balconies overlooking the plaza
I’m standing on one of the balconies overlooking the plaza
One of the two towers at either end of the plaza
One of the two towers at either end of the plaza
A crest in the floor of the plaza
A crest in the floor of the plaza
Another view from the balcony
Another view from the balcony

One thought on ““The reason for the unreason with which you treat my reason, so weakens my reason that with reason I complain of your beauty”

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