Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Magic Mushrooms And An Antiquarium

I haven't been around again for a few days because my allergies are lingering and so is my whining. Maybe this will be the day I turn the corner.

One of the must-sees in Sevilla is the Metropol Parasol, now more commonly known as "Las Setas." (Click here for my blog post from 2011.) When looking to replace the aged public market on Plaza de la Encarnación, there was a plan to build underground parking and then a new public market. However, any construction requires an archaeological survey and this one turned up a national treasure.

(Click any image to discover the beauty and history.)

APPROACHING LAS SETAS.

Beneath the plaza was the history of Sevilla dating back to around 150 BC — when it was the Roman city called Hispalis and Emperor Tiberius was in power. Construction of the underground parking garage, of course, was stopped. What appeared in its place was an underground antiquities museum with a new public market above. Topping it all off is the worlds largest wooden structure.

REMAINS OF A HOUSE.
(BACKGROUDND: COMING DOWN FROM MODERN STREET LEVEL TO ENTER MUSEUM)
ROMAN FISH SALTING PLANT
RESTORED FLOOR MOSAIC IN ONE OF THE HOUSES.
A HOUSE CALLED LAS COLUMNAS.
MOSAICS IN THE LAS COLUMNAS COURTYARD.

A TOUR GUIDE.
WHAT THE TOUR GUIDE WAS TALKING ABOUT.

As I mentioned, the original name of the structure was "Metropol Parasol," but because so many people thought it looked like mushrooms, it become popularly (or unpopularly) known as "Las Setas" (The Mushrooms). The gift shop sells Las Setas–branded gifts. So, clearly, it's taking over as the official name.

CHRISTMAS MARKET ON THE UPPER PLAZA IN MIDDLE
ENTRANCE TO UNDERGROUND ANTIQUARIUM AT LEFT.

Going up to the top of the structure (by elevator) gives you the opportunity to walk the loops and get rare views of the city. The walkways meander free-form and shake a bit as you go. In 2011, San Geraldo, who is not a big fan of heights (or trembling walkways), took a few steps onto the beginning of the walkway and went right back downstairs. This time, he made it quite a bit further.

SAN GERALDO IN 2011... BEFORE HE HIT THE GROUND RUNNING.
THERE ARE NOW CAFES AND RESTAURANTS UP THERE.
2014:  JUST KIDDING.
COOL, CALM, AND COLLECTED... AND SO PROUD OF HIMSELF.
THOSE WHITE CHAIRS IN BACKGROUND
WERE AS FAR AS HE GOT 3-1/2 YEARS AGO.
THINKING: "I'VE HAD ENOUGH. TAKE THE DAMN PICTURE!"
THE CATHEDRAL TOWER (CENTER BACKGROUND).
NOTE THE WALKWAY CURVING OFF AT LEFT.
JUDY AND I CONTINUED ON WITHOUT SAN GERALDO.


Time for the music...

16 comments:

  1. What a great blend of the old and the new. If Seville wasn't already on the map, this would ensure it was. The two birds in the last mosaic photo are amazing.

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    1. Andrew:
      The preservation is brilliant and I love the blending of the old and new. I would probably not love it if I lived on that plaza, though. All the private terraces are now on display from the walkways.

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  2. Back (I think) when Mexico City was putting in its Metro system in preparation for the 1968 Olympics, they uncovered a unique Aztec pyramid with a circular platform on top. So they built the subway station around it and added informational displays. So when commuters change lines at that station, they walk right by an amazing archaeological site and sight.

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    1. Michael:
      I've never been to Mexico City. The site would be amazing to see.

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  3. It saddens me that something like this wouldn't happen in the U.S.. The artifacts would be removed and the construction would continue. We don't treasure our history in the way that Europeans do, if something's old - tear it down and replace it.

    And I love "The Mushrooms"! I could walk around and look at that structure all day long!

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    1. Robert:
      The Mushrooms lit up at night are spectacular. Spain has very strict regulations about building and pre-building digs. But, of course, some people manage to slip by the rules (like when renovating old houses and discovering Roman artifacts). Sadly, here in Fuengirola a lot of major construction went on in the 1970s with little respect for what was found or had to be moved. Things are much better now, but a lot of ancient structures were built over.

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  4. Mitchell, what an awesome structure, and so happy you shared both the structure and the underground history. We have talked about traveling to Spain. I've been in several cities, but hubby has not. It's a consideration in the near future, and now we must go to Seville.

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    1. Linda:
      Sevilla is an amazing place. When we were considering places in Spain to live, we had never been there. A good friend who knew Spain really well told me if she could live anywhere in Spain, she would choose Sevilla. That's why we checked it out... and fell in love. Our life down here is much better in many ways, but we still love Sevilla. So worth a visit.

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  5. How beautiful. So glad they value the antiquities. Here is hoping your allergies let up soon :)

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    1. Cheapchick:
      Thanks for all your good wishes. Thanks to you, and you alone I'm sure, I'm much better!

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  6. I wish this had been discovered in time for me to see when I visited Seville, one of my favorite Spanish cities. Glad that you were able to enjoy it.

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    1. Stephen:
      It's an amazing addition to the city. It was very near our apartment and I would regularly go up or check out the museum.

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  7. What a marvelous contrast of buildings.

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    1. Spo:
      I think it's a really wonderful design. For me, it imitates the shapes of the huge old ficus trees in the plaza.

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  8. Great photos as always. I love me a beautiful mosaic!

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    1. Knatolee:
      There is so much amazing tile work here. Every so often I get the bug to create something myself. Then I realized I'm going to be disappointed if I don't produce something akin to those love birds... or, at least, Medusa.

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