Seville has hosted two Exposiciones Universales where countries from around the world. They built pavilions to show the best of their industry, technology and culture. The first in 1929 – Expo 29; and the second in 1992, Expo 92. Both of Seville’s Expos were intended to promote the city and encourage tourism, while displaying the city’s industrial and (multi-)cultural heritage.
Where did it come from?
The theme of Expo 92 was “The Age of Discovery”. It celebrated the 500th anniversary of Columbus’ first voyage in 1492. As well as the beginning of Seville’s era of great wealth thanks to gold and other precious trading goods brought back by ships from the New World.
The exhibitions were thought of by the Spanish president Felipe Gonzalez. He spent a total of €7.8 billion trying to clean up the city. He did this by building an airport, railway stations, high-speed AVE trains linking to Madrid, five new bridges and some of the first motorways.
During the six months of the Expo, daily concerts were held, featuring top classical and pop names such as the 25 Legendary Guitarists. As well as, BB King, Paco de Lucia, Brian May and Bo Diddley. Other major attractions included art displays of the nations’ finest painters. As well as an Omnimax theatre showing IMAX films and the Sony Plaza with it’s gigantic screens.
What´s left of Expo 92?
Expo 92 lasted for six months: from 20 April to 21 October 1992. Today the area is called Cartuja 93 where a number of national and other pavilions remain in the northern part of La Cartuja. You can still visit the Pabellon de Navegacion, the Alamillo Bridge, the Barqueta Bridge and two public parks near to the bridges.
How can you get there to view the beautiful sights?
To get to La Cartuja, cross the river using one of the bridges such as Pasarela de la Cartuja. This will take you to the rear entrance of La Cartuja monastery, or the Barqueta Bridge. Look out especially for the beautiful Pabellon de Marruecos. This is beautifully decorated with white, blue and green tiles, and latticed entrance façade with arches and pillars. These are now houses called the Fundacion Tres Culturas; the Hungarian Pavilion. They are probably the most obscure with its seven towers, each representing one of the country’s religions; and the Finnish Pavilion. This is an intriguing pair of buildings next to each other. One made of pine and the other of steel now oxidised. For ironic historical value, the Pabellon de Europa is a stripy tower emblazoned with national colours of the European Union countries – build in just 12 days.