Seville is the capital of Andalusia and also of the province of Seville. With 704.154 inhabitants it is the fourth city of Spain and functions as the economic and social centre for the entire south of Spain. Of its many monuments La Giralda and the Torre del Oro are the most famous. Various buildings have been declared World Heritage by the UNESCO.
The Tartans were the first to build a small settlement near the river Guadalquivir that they named Spal. This village was occupied later by the Fenicians and the Cartagenes until the Roman invasion reached Spain and the city was conquered by the Romans who called it Hispalis. A citywall and a forum were constructed, making the city a small replica of Rome. It also became a city of great importance in all of Hispania. In 426 a.C the Vandals showed up, followed by the Visigoths. But the biggest change occurred when the city was conquered by the Muslims in 712. During Muslim reign the city was named shbiya, which is the origin of the present-day name. Cultural wealth grew enormously thanks to the Arab culture and in this period the Giralda, the Alcázar and San Marcos were built. The Christians tried, on several occasions, to reconquer the city, but did not succeed until 1248 After the succesful reconquest of Seville many Jews settled in the city but they weren’t liked very much, even more when the Church decreed that every Jew that did not convert to Christianity had to leave. The discovery of America in 1492 converted the city into the European port for America, as well as for the trade with England, Flanders and Genova. Thanks to the incoming riches from America the city blossomed and grew, surpassing 100,000 inhabitants. Seville became a metropolis and merchants from all over Europecame to do business in the city, which slowly became a multicultural centre where arts like architecture, painting, sculpturing and literature blossomed. During this Golden Age the cathedral was finished and the University of Seville was founded. In the course of the 17th and 18th century Seville’s influence decreased more and more. In 1810 the French conquered the city, but were expelled only 2 years later. When the advances in science brought the railway the citywalls had to be removed, paving the way for expansion outside. In the 20th century Seville developed itself like a modern city and is nowadays an industrial centre of new technologies and aeronautics.
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