Santiponce Itálica

Heritage

An immense legacy waiting to be discovered

Atarazanas Reales (Royal Shipyards)

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In Seville, Alfonso X decided to build the Royal Shipyards in 1252, in order to construct galleys outside the walled enclosure and very close to the River Guadalquivir, in the area between the Gold Tower, the Silver Tower, and the Coal Gate and Oil Gate.

In the El Arenal district, 17 enormous brick warehouses were built perpendicular to the Guadalquivir and in front of the town's Almohad fence, where the riverbank carpenters worked on building boats and the fishermen and storekeepers salted the fish. Later, they were used for royal warehouses and customs, serving from the 18th century as a factory and artillery depot, with the Army being the last of the great tenants in the history of the Royal Shipyards, until almost the end of the 20th century. While in prison, the Sephardic Samuel ha-Levi (Chief Accountant of Peter I, a notable Jew who ordered the building of the renowned Synagogue of El Tránsito in Toledo) also died there.

Architecturally, it is an immense Gothic and Mudejar work built entirely in brickwork, which shows the influence of Almohad art on medieval constructions in the town of Seville. The enormous dimensions of its wide, long, terraced naves covered by groin vaults, suitable for the construction of the largest ships of the time, are astonishing. These naves communicate laterally through thick, slightly pointed arches that face each other and start directly from the ground. As a whole, they show perspectives of unusual beauty.

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