Metropol Parasol – The World's Largest Wooden Structure

Seville architecture

Popularly known as Incarnation's mushrooms, Metropol Parasol is a 21st-century, impressive timber structure in the middle of Seville, the capital of the Spanish autonomous community of Andalusia. It opened in 2011 and quickly became one of the city's most popular tourist attractions, with one million visitors in its first year.


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When I came across Metropol Parasol while walking around Seville's historical center, I was surprised and unsure whether I liked it. I still don't have a clear answer for myself. Nevertheless, this distinctive and unusual building has a great feature: the public balcony on the upper level provides a breathtaking view of Seville. And it's fantastic!


Metropol Parasol is a collection of six massive mushroom-shaped parasols inspired by the vaults of Seville Cathedral and the ficus trees in the nearby Plaza de Cristo de Burgos. It is the world's largest wooden structure, measuring 150 by 70 meters (490 by 230 feet) and rising 26 meters (85 feet). The Antiquarium, located on the underground level of Metropol Parasol, is a museum that displays Roman and Moorish ruins discovered in the area.


Metropol Parasol in Photos

Seville Architecture
The waffle-like wooden parasols

Seville Travel
The first floor, with eateries

Father and child
Under the parasols, a father and his child

Seville Panorama
A walkway on the structure's roof

Seville Cathedral
View of Seville Cathedral from the upper level

Seville Sunset
Visitors to the upper floor's panorama terrace

The Structure's Brief History


A separate market building in this square housed a market since the 19th century. In 1948, according to the plan for the city's reconstruction, the building was partially demolished. The market was in operation until the complete demolition of the building in 1973.


For nearly two decades, the place sat idle and unused. In 1990, city officials decided to build an underground parking garage with above-ground market space. Because the excavations uncovered ancient ruins, the project remained incomplete.


In 2004, the city attempted to rebuild the site again and announced an international competition to complete the construction. Jürgen Mayer, a German architect from Berlin, won the competition. Construction began in the summer of 2005 and finished in the spring of 2011. The structure cost almost 100 million euros in total. Its exterior, location, and cost still cause public controversy.


Architecture


The waffle-like crown structure has four levels. A walkway and a panoramic terrace occupy most of the upper level. Inside the central parasols, which stand 22 meters (72 feet) tall, you will find a tapas restaurant and event space. A spacious, airy, and shady square extends under the parasols. The first floor includes shops, eateries, and a market called Mercado de la Encarnación.

Finally, the Antiquarium, located 5 meters (16 feet) below street level, is an archaeological museum that displays the remains of a Roman settlement, including Roman mosaics and first-century houses. On top of this settlement, later generations, such as the Moors, built their homes.


How to Get There


The building stands in Seville's historical center, in the Plaza de la Encarnación square, close to the city's main tourist attractions, including the Cathedral, Alcázar, Torre del Oro, City Hall, San Telmo Palace, and the Archivo General de Indias.

Address: Pl. de la Encarnación, s/n, 41003 Seville, Spain


By Public Transportation:

Laraña (Plaza Encarnación) bus stop (lines 27, 32, A7)

Plaza Nueva tram stop (T1)


Where to Stay in Seville


Booking.com offers a wide range of lodging options, various discounts, and exceptional customer service. For a list of places to stay in Seville, click here.


Booking.com


Seville: Las Setas Guided Tour with VR & Optional City Tour


Take the Las Setas Guided Tour with VR & Optional City Tour if you want to see the world's largest wooden structure without standing in line, and enjoy a virtual tour of Seville's landmarks, comparing how they are now to how they were in the past.


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Have you ever visited the world's largest wooden structure? Do you agree the structure looks impressive? Feel free to leave a comment below.

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