Sevilla is the capital of Andalusia and with 1.5 million citizens in the metropolitan area, Sevilla ranks as Spain's 4th largest city. Despite being located at the Gualquivir River, 80 km upstream from the Atlantic Ocean, the city sports a sizeable harbor.
has it that Sevilla was founded by Hercules himself after he sailed through the Strait of Gibraltar.
The Tartessians called the place Isbal, but under Roman rule the settlement became known as Hispalis.
Emperors Trajan and Hadrian (from the wall) both hailed from the city's roman suburb Italica.
In 711 a Muslim army invaded Spain, defeated the ruling Visigoths and soon took Hispalis
by force. The city became part of the Umayyad Caliphate and was renamed Ishbiliya which slowly changed to Sevilla.
A Viking raid in 844 left the city in ruins but it was rebuilt and soon Sevilla flourished again. The Alcazar is a well preserved example of these golden years.
After Columbus discovered the New World in 1492, Sevilla became the exclusive port of entry and exit for all trade with the new territories. The city got very, very rich, but from the 17th century onwards fell into a deep recession and it was only in the late 19th century that recovery took place.
With three UNESCO World Heritage sites in its old town, Sevilla yearly draws more than 2 million visitors.