I found out about the Metropol Parasol when I did a google image search to decide between visiting Tangiers and Seville. Seville won, and this beauty had a lot to do with it. When I saw it, I had no idea what it was, what it does or where exactly it was. All I knew was that I had to see it.
Seville itself is a beautiful city. Full of parks and intricate architecture, a good marriage of modern and old. After a good walk down a beautiful Sevillian road we finally arrived at Plaza de la Encarnacion. And there it was, like a giant cross between a mushroom and a waffle, extending above our heads and twisting away. The light coloured timber merged perfectly with its surroundings.
You can imagine we went berserk with our cameras. The crazy organic form perfectly frames views of the surrounding city. Somehow the stark contrast between the parasol and the old, romantic urban fabric really makes you appreciate both the structure and the old city. Also, the light and shadow effects created by the parasol was amazing and added to this rather surreal picture.
The structure, apart from being a Plaza, acts as a viewing platform. Unlike other sky decks, towers, etc. that I have been to, the Metropol Parasol doesn't rise too high above the city. Instead once you climb up to the amazing timber roof you feel as if you are walking among the roof tops of Seville. It was definitely one of the best views I have seen in my life!
We had some slight trouble figuring out how to actually get onto the roof. We saw the escalators up to the elevated plaza and automatically assumed that's where you head. But it is in fact just below ground level. I don't remember the exact prize of the ticket but I do remember it being quite cheap.
To make things more interesting the pathway through the roof is similar to the rest of the form. It changes in level and direction and you feel as you are floating around on a giant timber waffle enjoying the most glorious view. There are also shops, restaurants and bars as well as an archaeological museum and a farmer's market (probably there on specific days and times only) within the precinct.
So if in Seville I definitely recommend visiting this masterpiece by Jürgen Mayer H. It is something unexpected and will take you by surprise. And it's a great place to get an overall view of beautiful Seville and enjoy some quality architecture. And just another fact ,this is also, at the moment, the world's largest wooden structure!
There is a nice roof top bar / pub just in front of the cathedral. Much recommended during summer nights. Ask for a mojito or "vino fino" like "manzanilla de la hita" and enjoy.
(Experienced Spanish talking here...)