It usually rains very little in Seville, and that encourages walking. And walking and walking, you will arrive at the famous and exciting Maria Luisa Park, of which we have some things to tell you. You will see…
We could begin with its name because the Maria Luisa in question was none other than the youngest daughter of Ferdinand VII and therefore, sister of Queen Isabel II. It turns out the lady married the Duke of Montpellier, a Frenchman and also the son of a king, who always thought that with a couple of strikes he might be able to get his hands on the Spanish throne.
The couple ended up settling in Seville in 1848 and buying the Saint Telmo Palace, a simple little house to use as their private residence. But to concentrate on his thoughts, intrigues and manoeuvres, the Duke needed proper gardens around him, so they also bought the surrounding lands and called a Frenchman quite good at his work to design something beautiful.
Shortly after the Duke died Maria Luisa would donate a good part of the gardens in question to the city, and that is precisely why they are named after her today.
Among many things, you will find in the park the Glorieta de Becquer, as romantic as the honouree. Poor Gustavo Adolfo Becquer spent his life falling in and out of love, between that and various illnesses he didn’t live long, but at least he achieved posthumous fame. It didn’t happen the same to his brother Valeriano, a prominent painter, nor to his father, who back in 1830 was one of the first illustrators of tourist guides in Seville.
By the way, if you are interested in the tormented and romantic Gustavo, you can also go to the Convent of Santa Inés, where he set the story of Maese Pérez, the organist. In case you don’t know, he is the one that played his most famous piece after he died.
But our fanciful Maria Luisa Park history doesn’t end in the nineteenth century and its romantic fashions. In a few steps, you can find yourself on the planet Naboo of the Star Wars Universe. That’s right! We are talking about the España Square, an architectural ensemble integrated into the gardens and designed for the Ibero-American Exposition of 1929. The idea was to collect the essence of Spain and all its diverse regions. Years later, and with some digital retouching, it also ended up serving as the seat of Queen Amidala. You know… Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia’s mother.
As you can see, many things happen in Seville…