It has been a long time we did not write and it’s because we are working hard in making this conference breathtaking but here we are again to show you 10 facts that make Seville, as the first SEIMUN host city, amazing.
1. Seville, a monumental film city: Parque Maria Luisa´s Ibero-American Expo 1929 buildings are popular spots: Plaza de España, with its bizarre architectural hotchpotch of sweeping circular façade, neo-Moorish arches and Venetian bridges, was planet Naboo´s Theed Palace in Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones. In the classic Lawrence of Arabia, its Palacio Español doubled as the Cairo Officers´ Club, while the park´s Plaza de las Americas was Jerusalem, and the nearby Casino was Damascus Town Hall. Casa de Pilatos was used in the crusades movie Kingdom of Heaven, starring Orlando Bloom, as well as in 1492: Conquest of Paradise, about Christopher Columbus (see the Cathedral-Columbus Controversy, below). Some Lawrence scenes were also filmed here, while the Alcazar appeared as the court of the King of Jerusalem in Kingdom. Recently its Alcazar was also the palace and kingdom of Dorne in Game of Thrones.
2. Educational diversity: Seville is home to three public universities: the University of Seville, founded in 1505, originally was a tobacco factory and the one in which Carmen worked in the opera Carmen, the Pablo de Olavide University, founded in 1997 and the International University of Andalusia, founded in 1994. Additionally, there is the School of Hispanic American Studies, founded in 1942, the Menéndez Pelayo International University, based in Santander, which operates branch campuses in Seville as well as private ones as CEU San Pablo, Loyola Andalucía, CEADE, EOI, etc.
3. Tapas way of life: When you visit Seville, you will undoubtedly go out for tapas. These small, tasty dishes, now found all over the world, originated in Sevilla. As with most traditional and much-loved activities, theories abound on the word´s origin- some say it started off as a slice of ham or bread, used to cover a wine glass as a lid (tapa), to stop dust or flies getting in; others, that since people often drink standing up, they had to put their plates on top of their glasses Whatever the truth, tapas are a way of life here – you arrive at a tapas bar, order some dishes to share, eat, drink, talk, and then go on to the next place. The activity even has its own vocabulary: tapear is to go out for tapas, tapeo is the activity itself, while a tapeador is someone who eats tapas. Typical local tapas in Seville include spinach and chickpeas, baby squid and Iberian ham.
4. Innovation in the heart of old quarter of Seville: Metropol Parasolis a wooden structure located at La Encarnación square, in the old quarter of Seville. It was designed by the German architect Jürgen Mayer-Hermann and completed in April 2011. It has dimensions of 150 by 70 metres (490 by 230 ft) and an approximate height of 26 metres (85 ft) and claims to be the largest wooden structure in the world. The building is popularly known as Las Setas de la Encarnación (Incarnación’s mushrooms). The underground level (Level 0) houses the Antiquarium, where Roman and Moorish remains discovered on site are displayed in a museum. Level 1 (street level) is the Central Market. The roof of Level 1 is the surface of the open-air public plaza, shaded by the wooden parasols above and designed for public events. Levels 2 and 3 are the two stages of the panoramic terraces (including a restaurant), offering one of the best views of the city centre.
5. Holy Week in Sevilleis known as Semana Santa de Sevilla. It is one of the city’s two biggest annual festivals, the other being the Feria de Abril (April Fair), which follows two weeks later. It is celebrated in the week leading up to Easter (Holy Week among Christians), and features the procession of pasos, floats of lifelike wooden sculptures of individual scenes of the events of the Passion, or images of the grieving Virgin Mary. Some of the sculptures are of great antiquity and are considered artistic masterpieces, as well as being culturally and spiritually importan to the local Catholic population.
6.Seville is much more than parties or monuments: The 1992 Expo put Seville on the map. Andalucia had become poor and backward during the Franco era, and an injection of cash for new roads, a high-speed rail (AVE) linking Seville to Madrid and a new airport transformed the city. Chief among the new plans were road, rail and foot bridges over the river Guadalquivir, linking the main part of Sevilla to the largely undeveloped island of La Cartuja, where the six-month Expo was to be based. No less than five bridges were built in Seville, the most famous of which are the vast Quinto Centenario, an infamous accident hotspot, and the beautiful, soaring Barqueta and Alamillo bridges. Designed by world-famous architect Santiago Calatrava, the spectacular 250-metre high Alamillo has a single arm to bear its entire weight. Nowadays Cartuja 93 is a research and development park which employs more than 15,000 persons. Its Parque Tecnológico y Aeronáutico Aerópolis (Technological and Aeronautical Park) is focused on the aircraft industry as is base of one of Airbus Europe headquarters. Outside of Seville are nine PS20 solar power towers which use the city’s sunny weather to provide most of it with clean and renewable energy. The internationally recognised company Neocodex has its headquarters in Seville; it maintains the first and largest DNA bank in Spain and has made significant contributions to scientific research in genetics. Seville is also considered an important technological and research centre for renewable energy, the aeronautics industry and the biotechnology (with applications in local agricultural practices)
7. Columbus Tomb: Cristobal Colón (Christopher Columbus) is buried here, in Sevilla´s mighty Gothic cathedral, variously described as either the third, second or biggest cathedral in the world (the other contenders being St Peter´s in Rome, and St Paul´s in London), depending on who you talk to. The story goes that after Columbus died in 1506, his remains were buried first in Valladolid, then taken to Monasterio La Cartuja in Sevilla; thence to the Dominican Republic, and finally Havana, from where they were returned to Seville after Cuban independence in 1898.
8.An strange symbol for a city?: Visitors to Seville will notice a symbol on many signs around the city, from taxis and buses to sewer covers, consisting of the letters ´NO8DO´. This is the city´s logo, and legend says that it originates from the 13th-century coat of arms awarded to Sevilla by King Alfonso X the Wise. He bestowed it in gratitude for Seville´s support in his battles against his son, Sancho IV of Castile, who wanted to usurp his father´s throne during the Reconquest. Between the ´NO and ´DO´ is an 8-shaped bundle of wool (madeja in Spanish). Add the three together, speaking in Seville´s fast, elliptical accent and you have ´no-madeja-do´, more correctly, ´no me ha dejado´ which means ´it (the city) has not abandoned me´. The motto was his reward to the people of Seville for their loyalty.
9.Hotels in Seville come in all shapes and sizes: There are plenty of rooms all over the centre. High season is March and April. During Semana Santa and the April Feria you should book even for inexpensive hostels, preferably a year in advance. Last minute hotel deals are available all year around, our amazing Oasis Backpackers Palace Hostel is a well example of inexpensive hostel with good quality. Even in July and August, you’ll be able to find a place on the quiet side streets off Mateos Gago, such as the Pension Fabiola, Hostal Cordoba and Hostal El Buen Dormir. There are many more and it’s best to explore on foot and see for yourself. The largest selection of all, however, is along Calle San Eloy.
10. Seville, the perfect place to go out: it is great for going out due to the huge variety of venues in a small area. You can easily visit four or five completely different bars without walking more than ten minutes between any of them. The main areas are: Alfalfa; Alameda, which has a more alternative scene, with lots of gay bars and clubs; and calle Betis by the river in Triana, which is wall-to-wall with venues, from quiet bars to all-night clubs.
Are you ready to discover Seville in #SEIMUN2016?
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