The plaza de la Encarnación (Square of the Incarnation), which is located in the heart of Seville, is one of the most emblematic spots in the city. A few years ago, it was decided that this urban space should be revitalized and the city held a competition for ideas to create a building or something similar to give it a stronger presence and identity.
German architect Jürgen Mayer won the prize. He designed the curious wooden structure that now resides on the Plaza de la Encarnación. It is called the Metropol Parasol, but given its special shape the citizens of Seville have renamed it the Mushrooms of the Incarnation or the Mushrooms of Seville.
The architectural complex is comprised of six umbrellas shaped like mushrooms that are linked together by a wooden structure. It is this form which earned it the popular but as of yet unofficial name. The shape of these structures is said to be based on the domes of the Cathedral of Seville and the ficus of the nearby Plaza de Burgos.
It measures 150 by 70 meters, and in the interior of the two main structures you can find a tapas restaurant offering casual dining and an event space. Both are located on the upper level, 22 meters above the square.
The most interesting thing about this architectural structure is not the original form, which admittedly did cause some controversy as it was being built, but the platform that runs along the top of the Mushrooms of Seville. From this elevated place, you can tour most of the building. And of course, the views from up there are quite spectacular.
And not only will you be able to see the city from there but an interesting view of the top of Mushrooms themselves. The platform is open Sunday through Thursday from 10 am until midnight. On Friday and Saturday it is open until one in the morning, which is the best time to see the city lights.
Below the Mushrooms is the Plaza de la Encarnación. The space is suited to accommodate all the activities taking place in it. The roof formed by the Metropol Parasol also helps against the hot temperatures that plague the city during the summer. Both locals and visitors alike go there to rest in the shade.
And last but not least, the basement houses the Antiquarum museum. Here you can see many of the numerous artifacts that were found in the area where the Seville Mushrooms now stand.
In the museum you can view the Roman and Arab remains that were discovered as they created the foundation for the Metropol Parasol. These have been preserved and lend an air of importance to this particular location in Seville.
To have the most complete experience when you visit the Plaza de la Encarnación, you should also visit the market. Located at ground level, this is where the neighbors come to shop every day.
Find your Seville apartments and come discover the hidden treasures in the capital of Andalusia.