Seville City - Fascinating Facts Part II

© MVC Italica was the first Roman city in Spain
Italica was the first Roman city in Spain

Here are some facts that you may or may not know about the city, whether you´re visiting Seville for the first time, you´re a seasoned expert, or you live here. Films, fruit, sport, history, religion and politics - tasty titbits for everyone to savour


This dark period in Catholicism´s history is still endlessly, if morbidly, fascinating, and it is rumoured that a museum on the Spanish church´s merciless 300-year purge of ´heretics´ is being planned in Seville. The Spanish Inquisition was founded in Sevilla in 1481, and was based at Castillo de San Jorge, just over the Triana bridge by the market - look out for Callejon de la Inquisition when you´re visiting. Trials were held in Plaza San Francisco behind the modern ayuntamiento building (town hall) - the first ever auto da fe (act of faith) took place in Seville. Then, the poor souls were taken to the Prado de San Sebastian and burned alive on a quemadero (burning platform, ironically designed by a Jewish architect, later a victim himself), or shown the small mercy of being garrotted first if they repented. Above all, the Jewish population, which lived in Barrio Santa Cruz, was targeted, and their synagogues destroyed.


No fewer than three Roman emperors were born just outside Seville. The Romans first arrived in Spain in 206BC, during a war against the Carthaginians, and stayed for 700 years battling the fierce Iberian tribes. Baetica, the name for roughly the same area as Andalucia, became one of Rome´s wealthiest provinces. Founded by General Scipio Africanus to house wounded soldiers after a battle nearby, Italica, in the modern-day town of Santiponce (8km from Seville), was the first Roman city in Spain and grew to be the third-largest in the Empire, with a population of almost half a million.

It was here that three Roman rulers were born: in the second century, Trajan, and his adopted son and successor Hadrian (who built the famous wall in northern England), while a less well-known son is Theodosius, who ruled in the fourth century, in the dying days of the Roman Empire.

Part III - Fascinating Fact 5 and 6