Footsteps of modernization in the city of Andalusia

There are some cities, whose beauty is hidden in details; and there are some cities, which can catch up with the times in spite of its historical bounds in its streets, music and culture. Those which reflect stunning modern understandings, while presenting world-wide known buildings… There are some cities, which gave birth to immortal works such as Don Quixote, and sent off ships from its port to discover new continents…

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Spain; the country of the Andalusia region which is the closest European land to the Muslim Africa, which was governed by emeers, caliphs, sultans in the past… And Andalusia; one of the 17 autonomous regions of Spain with Seville being its capital. The region which was cultural and economic center of the Iberian Peninsula for three thousand years was also the cradle of 800-year Arab rule in Spain

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Andalusia has 8 cities; Seville is one of the most impressive ones… Seville keeps its beauty in details, inspired Cervantes for Don Quixote and Beethoven for Fidelio, sent off three ships from its port in America expeditions… And today, Seville draws attention with many stunning examples of modern architecture, such as Metropol Parasol by J. Mayer; Alamillo Bridge, Seville University Faculty of Education, Campus Palmas Atlas by worldly renowned architect Calatrava and much-debated Seville University Library building by Zaha Hadid.

Seville situated by Guadalquivir River has the striking traces of gifts given to the city by Umayyads. One of them is the mosque built in 12th century and used as a cathedral today. The building was demolished in an earthquake and replaced with a new one in 1506. Its tower reconstructed out of the minaret is a remembrance of the mosque. This 98-meter high tower of the cathedral, also called as La Giralda, has a quite remarkable weather vane on the top which resembles the faith. Here is also the monumental tomb of Christopher Columbus. Take a phaeton before the Cathedral to do sightseeing. By the Guadalquivir River, you can go on a walk on the coast named after the King Juan Carlos and see the Golden Tower on the river.

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La Giralda Tower

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Golden Tower-Torre Del Oro by the Guadalquivir River

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Golden Tower-Torre Del Oro by the Guadalquivir River

Metropol Parasol is the largest iconic structure in the world with wooden construction. The construction was opened in May this year; its parasol-shaped roof also assumes the title of the world’s largest wooden cover. The project was designed and built by J. Mayer Architects.The roof consists of panels similar to a bee hive and covers walks, recreational areas, farmers market, cafe and restaurants underneath. The project was financed by the city of Seville and the Europe’s largest timber company FinnForest-Merk in half. Archaeological findings unearthed in excavations during the construction turned the spot into an open-air museum and community center. The elevated rooftop promenades located on top of the parasols, offer visitors amazing views of the city. You can watch the introduction video of the project below:

Alamillo Bridge built on the Guadalquivir River by Santiago Calatrava has been the symbol of the capital of Andalusia since 1992. The bridge is 250-meter long and has a 142-meter high pylon. The pylon is there to strengthen the base of the bridge with 26 steel cables.


Santiago Calatrava Alamillo Bridge

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Santiago Calatrava, Puente del Alamillo, Seville

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Puente de la Barqueta Bridge

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Puente de la Barqueta Brigde

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Another new construction is the Seville University Faculty of Education by two Spanish architects, Cruz and Ortiz. In the middle of the faculty building which was opened on January 2011 is an indoor courtyard.

Campus Palmas Atlas (CPA), another building opened by the King I. Juan Carlos, is a project of Abengoa Group which is active in areas such as infrastructure, sustainable energy and environment. The building was designed by Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners and opened in 2009. The budget of the project, however, is 132 million Euro. The building that can be defined as a new generation business center was designed by considering very hot summers of southern Spain.

Seville also has a project by Zaha Hadid. Having won the competition in 2006, Zaha Hadid was to built the new library of University of Seville. However, even in 2009, there was still some debate about the building. Today, the library’s fate is not certain. The project located near the”El Prado de San Sebastian” park has 8700 square meters of indoor area. Zaha Hadid’s proposal was a long and narrow, multi-surface building rising from the park. The lounge separates for 3-story reading room of the library, auditorium capable of seating 600 people and various seminar and research rooms.

Seville… The European city faced towards the East with colorful houses, flamenco, tapas bars, the Oriental melancholy and enthusiasm coming from the past and its numerous beauties hidden in details is going through a sweet rush of modernization…

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Avrupalı, bir yandan da yüzü Doğu’ya dönük Seville, rengarenk evleri, flamenkosu, tapas barları, geçmişten taşıdığı Doğulu hüznü ve coşkusu ile güzelliğini birçok ayrıntıda gizlerken bir yandan da tatlı bir moderleşme telaşı yaşıyor…

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