Plaza de España in Seville, a Treasure of European Film Culture

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Plaza de España in Seville, a Treasure of European Film Culture

La Plaza de España de la capital hispalense se convirtió en el palacio presidencial en la película “El dictador”. Foto: EFE/Juan Ferreras (EFE)In the film ‘The Dictator’, Plaza de España was home to the presidential palace. Photo: EFE/Juan Ferreras. (EFE)
In the film ‘The Dictator’, Plaza de España was home to the presidential palace. Photo: EFE/Juan Ferreras. (EFE)

What do Odessa’s Potemkin Stairs, Vienna’s Giant Ferris Wheel and Seville’s Plaza de España have in common? All three are featured in dozens of films. This is why the European Film Academy (EFA) has included them on the list of Treasures of European Film Culture.

Seville’s wonderful square was the ninth ‘treasure’ added to the EFA list, which has given recognition since 2015 to places of a symbolic nature for European cinema – places of historical value that need to be maintained and protected not just now but also for generations to come.

Other ‘treasures’ on the list are the Bergmancenter in Fårö, a museum and meeting place focusing on the life and work of Ingmar Bergman; the Eisenstein Memorial Centre in Moscow, keeping and popularising the legacy of Sergei Eisenstein; and the Institut Lumière in Lyon, dedicated to the promotion and preservation of filmmaking, and honouring the contributions of Auguste and Louis Lumière.

The Treasures of European Film Culture emblem in Plaza de España was unveiled on 5 November, in the context of the Seville European Film Festival, in a ceremony that stressed the city’s architectural quality and universality.

A Seville icon

Plaza de España is one of Seville’s icons and most popular tourist attractions. It was designed by architect Aníbal González for the 1929 Ibero-American Exposition, in a mix of Art Deco, Neo-Renaissance and Neo-Mudéjar styles.

Many scenes from Spanish and international films have been shot at Plaza de España. Among them we can mention Lawrence of Arabia (1962), The Wind and the Lion (1975), Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones (2002), Kingdom of Heaven (2005), Knight and Day (2010) or The Dictator (2012).

According to the City of Seville, from January to June 2017, there were as many as 89 film, video and photo productions in town, direct investment amounting to 10.44 million euro.