Pop culture travels in Spain: Seville’s Plaza de España

On the edge of Barrio Santa Cruz in Seville lies Parque de María Luisa, a large green space originally built for Ibero-American Exposition of 1929. Within the park, Plaza de España was built to showcase technological innovation. Since the fair, it has been used for government offices, and as the set for the odd film or two.

The Plaza was first used in Lawrence of Arabia, which I’ve forgotten more about than I’ve remembered. Movie fan friends will give me grief for this admission. Especially since the film shot at places I’ve visited in both Spain and Morocco.


Moving on. In recent years, the Plaza was used as Naboo in Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones. Admittedly, this is another film I’ve forgotten more about than I remember, but I did know about the location before visiting, and it was particularly exciting for me to walk the same path where R2-D2 was added with CGI.*


Having seen it in real life, the Plaza was CGIed to the point it was almost unrecognizable.

This is a shame, because the Plaza is equally strange and beautiful, and definitely otherworldly without Hollywood effects. It was meant to reflect Art Deco and Neo-Mudéjar, an early 20th century interpretation of more traditional Moorish-style architecture. The Plaza is embellished with tiles from Triana, across the Guadalquivir River known for its pottery, ceramics and flamenco.

Plaza de España Seville Sevilla Spain

Plaza de España Seville Sevilla Spain

The building is a semi-circle, framed with these ceramic-covered alcoves, one for each province in Spain. It was a hot, hot day when I visited, but I spent about 90 minutes going from alcove to alcove, taking in the amazing detail in each site.

Plaza de España Seville Sevilla Spain

While there isn’t a lot to do other than look at the building and explore the alcoves, the building and grounds are simply stunning. And if you’re a Star Wars fan, you too can walk in R2-D2’s footsteps, or wheelie paths.

*Bonus: This video is too wonderful leave it unshared. It’s a side-by-side remake of the same scene from Star Wars, but shows the Plaza in its natural state… in a manner of speaking.



  1. Seeing Attack of the Clones gave me such a strong longing to return to Sevilla! Even though it’s CGIed to death, I recognized it in a heart-beat of pure nostalgia.

    • I went back and watched that part and it’s totally surreal. The video I attached at the end of the post is hysterical to me, I’ve been watching it over and over for days.

  2. I will not give you grief for any lack of attention to Lawrence of Arabia – film buff that I am I’ve never seen it start to finish ! Love the Star Wars references and the video is hysterical. I especially appreciate dude in the R2D2 box. Awesome!

  3. Oh cool! I knew both of these, but I hadn’t seen the photo from Lawrence of Arabia or the video from Star Wars. Well, I guess I saw the movie, but I hadn’t been to Sevilla at that point!

    By the way, that ‘R2D2’ stand-in in the second Star Wars video is hilarious.

    • Right? That’s precisely the reason I included it. I’ve been rewatching the video for days and it hasn’t stopped being funny. I’m not even sure which language they’re speaking in it.


Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s