The Park and his Surrondings
This journey begins at the Puerta de Jerez (Jerez gate), an area which was developed in the mid-19th century after the wall's door was demolished and the Tagarete rivulet dried up. A garden was planted and the spot was transformed into a square in 1929. The only part of the old structure which remains today is the Chapel of Maese Rodrigo which was formerly the university. Close by is the Alfonso XIll hotel, the most prestigious of Seville. On the other side of the hotel stands the Palace of San Telmo a splendid 17th century building, the site of the Universidad de Mareantes (Navigators' University) and the residence of the Dukes of Montpensier during the mid-19th century. Currently it is the seat of the Presidency of the Andalusian government. We recommend visiting the Tabacco Factory, which today houses the University of Seville, a building designed by Sebastian Van der Borcht in the 18th century. Its enormous foundation made it the largest public building in Spain after El Escorial. From the outside, the most interesting aspect of the structure is the facade of Fernando Street, through which the visitor enters the vestibule with its double stairway and Watch Patio. The building's chapel, today no longer in use, contains the Crucificado de la Buena Muerte, painting by Juan de Mesa.
Between the Tabacco Factory and the park, the city built (for the Latin American exhibition of 1929) the Casino de la Exposición and the Lope de Vega Theatre. Next to these, the Park of María Luisa, was donated in 1893 by the princess, Luisa Fernanda de Orleáns, and was renovated in 1913 and again in 1929. The park contains the Plaza de España, historic in style, built by Anibal González out of brick and ceramics. It consists of a semicircular structure with a tower at each end and a channel with bridges surrounding its inner circle. At the southern end of the park stands the Plaza de América (American Square), consisting of three buildings also designed by Anibal GonzáIez for the 1929 Exhibition: the Royal Pavilion, of Neo-Gothic style; the Mudéjar Pavilion (which contains the Museum of Art and Popular Traditions) and finally, the Plateresque Pavilion. This last structure today houses the Archaeological Museum, considered one of the best of Spain.
We recommend continuing along the Avenida de la Palmera which preserves, next to a series of stately homes, a number of pavilions of the Latin American Exhibition of 1929.
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