On our third day in Seville we decided to take a “free walking tour” of the city and were told to meet our guide outside “The Mushroom”. We arrived at the due time and were quite taken aback by this very contemporary building in the centre of a very old city. It seemed a little incongruous and out of place.
Since opening in 2011, the opinion-dividing Metropol Parasol, known locally as las setas (the mushrooms), has become something of a city icon. Designed as a giant sunshade by German architect Jürgen Mayer-Hermann, it’s said to be the world’s largest wooden structure, and it’s certainly a formidable sight with its 30m-high mushroom-like pillars and undulating honeycombed roof. Lifts run up from the basement to the top where you can enjoy killer city views from a winding walkway.
The building, six years in the making, covers a former dead zone in Seville’s central district once filled with an ugly car park. Roman ruins discovered during its construction have been cleverly incorporated into its foundations and are now on show at the Museo Antiquarium in the basement below the plaza. The structure also houses the local neighbourhood market, a panoramic cafe and a concert space.
Our guide said that the natives of Seville had not reacted very positively when it was opened and quickly christened the building “las setas” which is Spanish for mushroom. Since then they seemed to have embraced this oddball building as it is so uniquely different to anything else in the city.
Later in the week we took a trip to the top of the building to get some wonderful panoramic views of the city in the late afternoon / early evening light. It is possible to walk around the building whist on top with walkways winding around the building. The building is very popular with tourists and whilst we were outside a film crew were shooting a video.
If you visit Seville (a must see city) then take time out to visit this oddball building as it costs a pittance to get in.
Photographs (C) Kindadukish 2018