The strange mushroom

The strange mushroom

[Nov. 2021] On the day we spent whole day in Seville, the capital of the Andalusian region of Spain, we walked all the way to Plaza de la Encarnacion.

the mushroom in Seville and the view
a part of the ‘mushroom’ and surroundings

There is a strange building here.

It’s called Las Setas (mushroom), and it is said that it’s the largest wooden structure in the world.

According to the guidebook, there are markets, restaurants and even Roman ruins inside.

It’s hard to explain, but there is a wooden waffle-like ceiling on concrete pillars, and there is a passage for people to walk on.

It’s about 30 metres high, and if you’re tall, you can look out over the town (admission is 5 euros).

the passage on the mushroom in Seville
the passage for people to walk on the ‘mushroom’

I’m petite, so the railing in the aisle got in the way and the view wasn’t so good unfortunately.

According to the information board on the passage, after regaining the land from Islamic forces in 1248, a monastery was built in 1591 in this corner of a high-class residential area lined with aristocratic palaces.

However, in 1810, Napoleon’s army destroyed the monastery.

In 1842, they built the first food market in the town on the site.

In 1973, a structural problem occurred in the market building and it was demolished, and the market moved to the neighbourhood.

view from the 'mushroom' in Seville
the view seen from the ‘mushroom’

After that, for 37 years, this area was surrounded by fences and remained unused.

Finally in 2003, the city held an international competition, and this work by German architect Jurgen Mayer was selected.

It was opened to the public in 2011.

The official name was “Metropole Parasol”, but apparently that did not last even two days and people started calling it “Mushroom”, and that stayed.

It is really a strange building.

If I look at it on its own, I can see how interesting it is as a modern architecture, but it’s so abrupt and it doesn’t blend with the surroundings at all.

inside the structure of 'mushroom' in Seville
walking inside ‘mushroom’ was a fun

I think that this is also destined to be demolished following the example of the monastery and the food market, after it becomes old, but on the other hand,  it is said that the Eiffel Tower, which is a symbol of Paris, was also criticized in the early days.

So, a couple of decades later, it may be called a symbol of Seville.

When we went up, we used a lift, but when descending, we walked down the stairs through the inside of this structure.

Seeing the inside was quite interesting.

By the way, on the way to here, there was an old-fashioned confectionary shop.

a historic confectionary shop in Seville
the quaint confectionary shop, La Campana

It is named La Campana and seems to have a history from 1885.

We wanted to enter here and have a rest, but basically, this was a retail shop, and the space where we could sit was limited and it was full, so we had to give up.

I definitely want to visit next time.