Climbing Giant Mushrooms In Seville

The cathedral in the distance – expert travel advice Spain.

The Metrosol Parosol building is highly controversial as it sways about amidst the historic buildings of Seville.  If anything, it is worth a gander and meander for its bizarre construction and design.  Our writer in Andalucía, Robin Graham, warns of vertigo and great views with his expert advice.

By Robin Graham

Disgruntled Sevillanos, are more enamoured of the legendary city’s antique architecture – the cathedral with its Giralda minaret, the Alcazar, the Golden Tower.  The latest building is called Las Setas, or the mushrooms. In fairness, the name has stuck with those who like them too. Either way, visitors to the city are regularly surprised to find that one of its most striking architectural offerings was completed as recently as April 2011.

Canopy provides shade

The mushrooms are in fact it – a single structure that rises 26 metres over Plaza de la Encarnación, one of Seville’s traditional market squares and that resembles nothing more than a cluster of the aforementioned fungi. Designed by German architect Jürgen Mayer-Hermann, the building is properly called the Metrosol Parosol and may well be the world’s largest wooden structure.

Seville’s famous cathedral in distance

It has four distinct levels – the underground archaeological exhibit of Roman and Moorish remains, the ground level which today preserves the square’s heritage with a central market and two upper levels of undulating, at times dizzying walkways the visitor can navigate for a small fee.

Up here, the design really begins to make sense. Largely rivet-free, the curving forms of the slatted wooden pieces form an astonishing framework through, over and under which to view the old city – spires and old church towers appearing between the gaps of the mushroom canopy as you walk your way around, up and down this disorientating but seductive structure.

Those who suffer from vertigo will be challenged here but if you do find yourself feeling a little insecure on the narrow ramps, remember you’re in Spain now, Andalusia no less, so yes, there’s a bar. The fee for ascending to the upper levels is currently just €1.35 and those born or resident in Seville are exempted.

Need a place to stay in Seville?  We have The Scoop.  The Alcazar Gardens, a great place to cool off on a hot Seville day.

What is your fav thing to do in Seville besides eat?

Robin Graham writes about Andalusia, Spain and some other stuff. His stories can be found, with accompanying photography, at alotofwind He’s a private person but, strangely, doesn’t mind being followed: @robinjgraham or liked: alotofwind Photography at 500px.

5 Responses

  1. Cat says:

    As controversial as they are, the Setas have really started to grow on me. It’s not as disruptive against the skyline as one might thing, and fits in pretty well in the neighborhood it’s in, which is experiencing a revival. The views are insane, too.

  2. Fiona says:

    The Setas is, alledgedly, the largest building in the world held together by glue!! Great photos – it’s a joy to photograph – so many different shapes, angles, views. There’s a bar/restaurant on the walkway level with those amazing views, and the archaeological remains are well worth a visit, with some beautiful Roman mosaics.

  3. admin says:

    Oh man, I have got to get back down to Seville to see those SETAS!


  4. Great article, Robin. Worth checking out Past View Sevilla too. I did:

  5. admin says:

    Thanks Matthew!

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