The Seville that tells us about history

As ancient as it is majestic, Seville has become one of the most visited cities by screen tourists. Seville combines two of the key factors for this type of tourism: on the one hand, the large number of film shoots it hosts and, on the other hand, the impressive historical heritage it treasures. That’s why today we want to explore the best way to get to know the city through your favourite series and films.

The origins of the city go back to the dawn of history, when Iberians and Romans forged the most remote past. The Andalusians and Christian kings transformed it into a magnificent city, which reached its splendour during the era of trade with America. A vibrant city, also in contemporary history, Seville has managed to maintain its creative energy. This is why the Seville Film Office promotes a series of screen routes that allow you to tour the city, from filming to filming.

Sevilla de cine” tours

A fun and fresh way to explore the Andalusian capital is by following the routes proposed by Sevilla Film Office. The expert localisers Nieves González and Lucía Escassi have designed these routes through monumental Seville and its architectural and scenic beauty, including some surprises in the most unexpected places, both for residents and visitors.

Today we focus on the route especially dedicated to history lovers. There are many fans of the screen who find the streets of Seville the ideal place to relive the famous deeds of the past. The route “The Seville that speaks to us of other times” has been created especially for them, taking them to discover the most surprising locations of modern Seville through various film productions.

The journey begins in the 17th century with one of the films that best portrays life in Modern Spain, “Alatriste” (2006) starring Viggo Mortensen. The scene in the corral de comedias, the emblematic theatrical space of the Spanish Golden Age, was filmed in the Real Casa de la Moneda in Seville. More than just a building, this historic complex is now a small neighbourhood that is preserved in various states of preservation. Its original gateway, located on Calle Adolfo Rodríguez Jurado, is the work of the architect and engineer Sebastián Van der Borcht.

The Royal Mint, the setting for fictions set in the 17th century/ Nieves González

Undoubtedly, one of the most memorable historical passages of the city was the Seville of the early 19th century, where “Carmen” (2003), directed by Vicente Aranda and inspired by Bizet’s opera, is set. On this route, you will find three historical locations that you should not miss. In the church of San Luis de los Franceses, you will discover the finest example of Sevillian Baroque. At the Royal Tobacco Factory of Seville, the first of its kind in Europe, you will marvel at the most important Spanish industrial building of the 18th century. 

The impressive façade of San Luis de los Franceses, a landmark of the route not to be missed/Sevilla Film Office

Finally, experience the true essence of the story of Carmen as you stroll through the narrow streets of the Santa Cruz neighbourhood, where this immortal opera was once inspired. Santa Cruz is one of Seville’s must-see neighbourhoods, known for its typical narrow streets, stately houses and unmistakable Andalusian courtyards, with their characteristic fountains and always full of flowers. Let yourself be captivated by the scent of orange blossom, the charm of the place and the legends that these walls hold. Did you know that Carmen is not the only opera set in Seville? Rossini’s “Barber of Seville” or Mozart’s “The Marriage of Figaro” are just a few examples of operas inspired by the city.

The Real Fábrica de Tabacos, the setting of “Carmen” par excellence/ Seville Film Office

Eighties Seville: “Grupo 7”, “La isla mínima” and “Modelo 77”

The renewal of the city with Expo ’92 marked a change towards modernity, but many still remember with nostalgia the life of the 70s and 80s. It is precisely the films inspired by that era that lead you to discover the most surprising corners of the Andalusian capital.

The tour around the locations of “Grupo 7” (2012), the film by Alberto Rodríguez starring Mario Casas and Antonio de la Torre, offers a unique experience to get to know the real Seville. This route, which shows how the magic of cinema has transformed every corner of the city, takes you to visit some of its most important historic buildings and discover the city’s best-kept secrets.

Filming of “Grupo 7” in the old Jewish quarter of Seville / Atípica Films and Sevilla Film Office

The route guides you to the neighbourhood of Los Humeros, a former merchant and industrial district that arose alongside the river port in the 17th century. Continue your visit through the Jewish quarter, the home of the medieval Jewish community, between Calle Verde and Calle San Vicente. This route not only takes you through historic Seville, but also allows you to discover some more recent surprises, such as the low houses that appeared in “Grupo 7”, filmed in Guadaira, near Los Bermejales, or the Garlochí bar, one of the city’s most unique establishments that the fiction of “Grupo 7” transformed into the Cofrade bar.

Green Street, part of the old Jewish quarter /Sevilla Film Office

The route “Seville that tells us about history” will also take you to visit the Seville locations of the films “La isla mínima” (2014) and “Modelo 77” (2022). Although these films are also set in other parts of Spain, you can’t miss how amazing locations were created for them in the old Altadis tobacco factory on Calle Juan Sebastián Elcano, or in the warehouses of the old Santa Bárbara factory on Calle Eduardo Dato.

If you are thinking of visiting Seville, remember that it is one of the cities in Spain with the most filming behind it. Prepare your visit with the routes and recommendations of Seville&Me and Andalusia, a film destination. History, gastronomy and the best atmosphere await you in the pearl of the Guadalquivir. Don’t think twice, live what you see!

Por Víctor Cervelló

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