The history of Sevilla

Phoenicians - Romans - Muslims
& the Reconquest
 die geschichte von sevilla history of sevilla historia de sevilla

 die geschichte von sevilla history of sevilla historia de sevilla
The Phoenicians

In the year 800 BC, Phoenician merchants settled in the valley of the Guadalquivir River, in a city that may have been Seville: the city's name, Tartessus, was given to the river and a kingdom. Biblical quotations and Greek historians confirm the existence of treasures such as that of El Carambolo. The Tartessians must have lived on the cornice of the Aljarafe, and their descendants established a city called Hispalis, or present-day Seville. In 206 BC the Second Punic War began, and Scipio reached these lands, defeated Asdrúbal and established the city of Itálica.

The Romans

Italica fell in favour of Hispalis (Roman Seville). The city experienced a period of expansion and growth. A walled acropolis with several access doors was built, though nowadays all that remain are the Arco de la Macarena and the Postigo del Aceite (Oil Gate). Hispalis later moved between Cesar and Pompeyo who engaged in the battle of Munda in 43 BC (between Osuna and Estepa) in which Osuna emerged victor. After this, Hispalis became a Roman colony with the right of Roman citizenship. Hispalis was the true political, economic and administrative centre of the southern Iberian Peninsula. In the 4th century Christianity was legalised, and in the 5th and 6th centuries the Suevo and Visigothic invasions occurred.


Muslim Seville

The arrival of the Muslims in 711 caused a radical transformation in the whole Peninsula, though especially in the south which they inhabited longest. Isbilia (the Arabic name for Seville) blossomed with its Arabic-Andalusian culture mix. Jews, Christians, Mozarabs (Christians living under Arab rule) and various Arab ethnic groups lived together in harmony. Isbilia was an important city, although Cordoba's status as capital of Andalusia rankled her citizens and caused several uprisings against Cordoba. Seville flourished culturally under the rule of al-Mutadid (11th century). In 1085 al-Mutadid was forced to call on the aid of the Almoravids and was subsequently exiled. Once again Seville bloomed culturally under the Almoravids and their successors the Almohads. The 12th century saw a flourishing economy, population growth, and extensive building projects. The Giralda, the minaret of the mosque, is a splendid example.


The Reconquest

In 1248, Ferdinand III reconquered Isbilia and expelled the Muslims, and the city was renamed Seville. It was repopulated by Christians, and a significant Jewish quarter emerged. The Alcázar became the residence of the Christian monarchs. Seville blossomed, especially under Alfonso X the Wise, son of Ferdinand III, and Pedro I The Cruel. You can see the Arabic influence in the religious buildings of the era, for example in churches such as Santa Marina, Iglesia de San Marcos o la torre de la iglesia de (or the tower of the church of) Iglesia de Santa Catalina.


history sevilla, Arabic-Andalusian, Hispalis, Italica, Roman emperors Hadrian and Trajan, treasures of El Carambolo, Tartessians, Guadalquivir River

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