Espacio Metropol Parasol
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A Mushroom-Top View of Seville
For a different perspective on Seville, Spain's fourth-largest city, wander off the main tourist path to Plaza de la Encarnación, where you'll find one of the city's most bizarre-looking landmarks, the Metropol Parasol, opened in April 2011. More popularly known as Las Setas de la Encarnación or just Las Setas ("The Mushrooms"), it's a waffle-patterned complex of six connected wooden structures that do indeed rather resemble mushrooms. Like the parasol it is officially named for, the building provides shade in this often sweltering city - unless, of course, you're up on the roof strolling along the winding observation pathway, which offers interesting views of the city. To the south, Seville's massive Gothic cathedral dominates the horizon, while to the north Santiago Calatrava's distinctive Alamillo Bridge is visible in the distance. When construction began on the Setas project workers uncovered ruins from the Roman and Moorish eras. Much of the archaeological site has been preserved as a museum beneath the new structure.
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