Record ID: 228

Site Name

Seville

Type

Seaport - European

Description

Spain's principal seaport in 16th century for overseas commerce. Located 50 miles up the Guadalquivir River from the Atlantic. Access problems for larger ships, including shallows and river currents, later shifted maritime commerce to more accessible Cadiz to Seville's south.

Seville was important in Phoenician times. It was favored by the Romans, who made it a judicial center of Baetica prov. and who built the nearby city of Italica (where the emperors Trajan and Hadrian were born), of which some ruins remain. It continued as the chief city of S Spain under the Vandals and the Visigoths. In the 6th cent. Seville was a center of learning. Conquered by the Moors in 712, it was (c.1023�1091) the seat of an independent emirate under the Abbadids and a flourishing commercial and cultural center under the Almoravids and the Almohads. In 1248, Ferdinand III of Castile conquered it after a long siege and made it his residence. It is said that 300,000 Moors, the majority of its pop., left Seville at that time.

With the discovery of the New World, Seville entered its greatest period of prosperity, being the chief port of trade with the new colonies until 1718, when it was superseded by C�diz. In 1810 the French sacked the city.