Industrial tourism may seem like a new trend, a recently coined term to describe a visit to a factory. Well, in fact, it is not.
If you have ever been to a wine cellar, a cheese factory, visited the remains of a mine or an old tobacco factory you have, actually, done industrial tourism. It is an activity that includes visits to industrial sites, both industrial heritage places that no longer operate and modern factories.
The industrial tourism promotes the history, heritage, culture and know-how of a town, city or country, helping us to better understand its development and the reasons behind its particularities.
Andalusia is lucky to have a wide variety of industrial tourism sites. From modern aeronautical factories to 19th-century sugar mills, you can find anything you like. Mines, lead foundries, shipbuilding industry, olive oil mills, fish farms, shipyards, exotic fruits plantations, the largest port in the Mediterranean sea… Le’ts see where to find these great examples of industrial tourism in Andalusia. Today, we will start with Seville.
Industrial tourism in Seville
Seville is the capital of Andalusia, one of the most elegant and beautiful cities in Europe, and home to some UNESCO World Heritage Sites, such as Seville Cathedral – world’s largest Gothic Cathedral, the Alcazar and the Archive of the Indies. Seville is also known for hosting two World Expos, in 1929 and 1992; for being the port to the New World in 1492, and for its Easter festivities. But Seville is so much more than this. Old and new do mix in this fantastic place.
In Seville, we can visit one of the finest ceramic factories there is. La Cartuja de Sevilla has produced high-end crockery since 1841, acquiring international relevance at the 1862 Great London Expo and Spanish Royal Warrant in 1871.
Another interesting visit is the Real Casa de la Moneda de Sevilla, or the Royal Mint of Seville. Built in 1532, it was where the gold and silver coming from the New World was transformed into doubloons or legal tender. It was made up of several buildings and integrated into the city walls. A very informative visit, just a few steps away from Torre del Oro (Tower of Gold) and it’s younger sibling Torre de la Plata (Tower of Silver).
Estepa, located 100 km east of Seville, is the capital of mantecados. These Christmas sweets are produced in the 22 factories that exist in town, with an impact of 70M € per year, with a production of 22,000 tonnes of mantecados. It is possible to visit most of these factories, who are a source of wealth for the local area and very busy all year round. Mantecados de Estepa are widely consumed throughout Spain, notably around Christmas time.
As we said before, industrial tourism in Seville shifts between old and new, between tradition and cutting edge.
Living proof of this are the PS10 and PS20 Solar Power Plants in Seville. They are the world’s first commercial concentrating solar power tower, producing energy with 1,879 heliostats combined. Thanks to the number of sunshine hours per year, both solar plants produce energy for 180,000 homes.
And last but not least, Airbus has two factories located in Seville. Seville is the third most important aeronautical area in Europe, and Airbus employs 3,000 employees. In the two factories, we find both military and commercial aircraft. They assemble components for Boing, Eurofighter, Falcon and many of the Airbus aircraft.
All of the above-mentioned factories, places and mints are just some examples of industrial tourism in Seville. There is a wide range of factories, industrial heritage sites and handicrafts studios and shops to suit everyone’s needs. Past all the beauty and heritage located at Seville’s city centre, we find a region full of rich industrial past and a promising future.
If you are interested in industrial tourism in Seville, or elsewhere in Andalusia and Southern Spain, do not hesitate to contact us today and we will happily assist by creating a tailor-made industrial tour that will meet all your needs.
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The team at Meridional Events