Seville(Spanish:Sevilla)is the capital ofAndaluciaand the cultural and financial centre of southernSpain. A city of just over 700,000 inhabitants (1.6 million in the metropolitan area, making it Spain's 4th largest city), Seville is Andalucia's top destination, with much to offer the traveler.
The city is situated on the banks of the smooth, slow Guadalquivir River, which divides the city into two halves:SevillaandTriana. The Guadalquivir (known asBetisby the Romans and asBetik Wahd-Al-Khabirby the Arabs) has had a major impact in the history of the city. The location of Seville is roughly coincident with the point where the Guadalquivir stops being useful for navigation. It is at this point that the cereal producing region of the Guadalquivir Valley starts, and Seville has acted as a sea-port for commerce of agricultural goods produced further west. Intense trade existed in the area from Roman times, continued under Muslim rule, and exploded as Seville monopolized the new trade with the Americas. As the monopoly was broken andCádizlargely took Seville's place, the city entered a period of relative decline.