Every year, to celebrate International Architecture Day - the first Monday in October - certain Spanish cities have a week-long programme of guided tours by architects around important local buildings: historic and/or religious edifices, unusual offices, important new structures. In some cases, the guide is the actual architect of the building.
You get an inside view of some of the places you may have walked, cycled or driven past countless times, but never been inside. Some are the open to the public normally anyway, for a fee, while others are private and so entrance wouldn't be allowed under normal circumstances.
This time, on 1 - 5 October, Seville has six possibilities for visiting: the Torre del Oro, one of the city's most famous landmarks (Monday); the Helvetica Seguros offices (also Monday - it's opposite the tower); La Cartuja monastery, more formally known as Monasterio de Santa Maria de la Cuevas (Tuesday 2 October); Roman Theatre in Italica (Wednesday 3 October), just outside Seville in the town of Santiponce; Cubertos del Catedral - Cathedral Roof (Thursday 4 October); Biblioteca Publica Infanta Elena - the public library opposite the Casa de las Ciencias (Pabellon de Peru), near the Parque Maria Luisa (Friday 5 October). Some tours are morning only (10am-2pm), others are afternoon too (4-8pm).
I've been on the cathedral tour, and can highly, highly recommend it - especially as you'll be getting it for free, when you normally have to pay!
To book your place on a tour, you have to call 954 460 120 (ext 1), quoting your NIE.
In Malaga, the programme is considerable more extensive, including areas beyond the city of Malaga itself, and also lasts an extra day - until Saturday 6 October. Guided visits - these are just a select few - include the new law courts in Antequera (Monday); the Echegaray Theatre in Malaga, with its own architects (Tuesday); the Museo Picasso, with its own architects (Tuesday and Saturday); the new museums of Velez Malaga (Wednesday); the CAC (Contemporary Art Museum) in Malaga (Wednesday); and the Carmen Thyssen Museum in Malaga, with its own architect (Friday and Saturday). There are also parallel activities such as conferences and seminars: for further information see www.coamalaga.es
The year, Huelva is holding its own event for the first time, with guided visits to towns in the province such as Almonte (Tuesday); Ayamonte and Aracena (Wednesday), as well as tours of Huelva city itself (Thursday and Friday). For more details, go to the Colegio de Arquitectos de Huelva.