The Mushrooms

Metropol Parasol

Metropol Parasol

What is this crazy wooden structure in the middle of Plaza de la Encarnación in Sevilla?

setas2It’s called Metropol Parasol. I don’t understand the name, but it certainly is in keeping with the mystery of the thing. It is art with a purpose beyond esthetics. Below ground level, where you catch the elevator to the top (if it’s still open), there are some Roman and Moorish ruins. On ground level is a food market. Along the top are walkways and a restaurant from which you can admire the city. Unfortunately we arrived too late to go up.

What an unusual juxtaposition of history, art, and gastronomy.

setas3Sevillanos called it “Las Setas,” or “The Mushrooms.” Supposedly it is the largest wooden structure in the world – so big that Marcus couldn’t capture the whole thing in one photo. I looked for a postcard in the gift shop that would show it in its entirety, but they couldn’t do it either. Perhaps that’s what the architect intended – by removing the possibility of the big picture, he forces the viewer to be part of the work. As someone who feels more comfortable knowing where the borders are, I kind of liked getting lost inside for a change.

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