Photographer's Note

I suppose that this magnificent building has never been shown on TE although it is on the way to Plaza de Espana (with many photos). It is former Royal Tobacco Factory, now the seat of the University of Sevilla.
At the start of the eighteenth century Fernando VI, king of Spain, commissioned the construction of a tobacco factory in Seville. The Spanish had introduced tobacco in Europe in the sixteenth century and the demand for the product started to grow quickly The massive factory, constructed between 1728 and 1771 was the second largest building in the country, only eclipsed in size by El Escorial in Madrid. Spain was the only country in Europe producing tobacco and 75% of all cigars that were sold on the continent were manufactured in this building.
The enormous structure was built like a fortified palace. It was surrounded by a moat and only accessible via a drawbridge. Sentries protected the entrances mainly to prevent workers from stealing tobacco.
The factory even had its own prison where smugglers were locked up.

The building, which measures 185 by 174 meters (607 x 571 ft) is still bordered on three sides by dry moats. Inside are a number of small, but often beautifully decorated patios. Four portals gave access to the building, decorated with columns, balustrades and broken pediments. The principal portal at Calle San Fernando, where the residential quarters were located, is the most ornate. The pediment is embellished with a coat of arms and topped by an angel blowing a trumpet. Below are reliefs depicting boats and the figures of Columbus and Cortés, a reference to the discovery of the tobacco plant in the New World.

Now you smokers know where it all began :). And why I went there when I have never even tried smoking but I am punished by God and have been fighting with a heavy smoker for more than forty years (with no success, as you can guess).

The reason is that Carmen, gypsy women, had worked in this factory. It is here that she felt in love with one of the soldiers guarding the building. And after hearing how she sang:

L’amour est un oiseau rebelle
Que nul ne peut apprivoiser,
Et c’est bien in vain qu’on l’appelle
S’il lui convient de refuser.
Rien n’y fait, menace ou prière.
L’un parle bien, l’autre se tait.
Et c’est l’autre que je préfère.
Il n’a rien dit mais il me plait.

L’amour! L’amour! L’amour! L’amour!

L’amour est enfant de Bohême,
Il n’a jamais jamais connu de loi.
Si tou ne m’aimes pas, je t’aime.
Si je t’aime, prends garde à toi!


He of course also felt in love with her. (Why she sang in French, it is the question , lol)

I planned to make some shots of this factory already in Warsaw to dedicate them for Deniz.

Royaldevon, cornejo, photoray, Sonata11, adramad, jjcordier has marked this note useful

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Additional Photos by Malgorzata Kopczynska (emka) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 9152 W: 140 N: 23041] (114839)
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