Tours to see Cartuja Island

isla de la cartuja

Guided excursions and routes to see the Island of La Cartuja

 

Surrounded by two branches of the Guadalquivir River and connected to the rest of the city by various bridges and gateways, some as imposing as the Alamillo Bridge or the Barqueta Bridge, this island is a new district that has arisen almost in the heart of Seville thanks to the celebration of the 1992 Universal Exposition.

In the year 1929, the city underwent an important change with the Latin-American Exposition, which gave rise to places that are as emblematic today as the Plaza de España (Spanish Square) and the nearby Pavilions.

And in the year 1992, something similar occurred on Isla de la Cartuja (Island of the Charterhouse), which gets its name from the Monastery of the Charterhouse of Seville, located to the extreme south of the island. It is the main and singular historic monument of this area of Seville, since the rest is full of contemporary architecture from the end of the 20th century and the beginning of the 21st.

Possibly the most interesting thing about visiting Isla de la Cartuja is seeing all of the pavilions that were constructed for the ’92 Expo and that now, in most cases, have been transformed into institutional, recreational or office buildings.

Overall it’s worth highlighting the Navigation Pavilion, which, along with the Gate of the Indias and the Schindler Lookout Tower, is an attractive museum-like space, both for children and for adults, to discover the history of boats and mariners.

The walk through what was the fairgrounds of the Expo is very interesting, seeing all of the different pavilions that have been conserved and buildings like the modern skyscrapers of Pelli Tower or the more contemporary design of the Triana Tower, not to mention the appealing nature of the banks of the Guadalquivir, which in many places are beautiful gardens.

However, one of its great draws continues to be the Monastery of the Charterhouse itself, a building originating from the 14th century whose walls are full of history and art, both ancient and modern. Currently, this building is the Andalusian Centre of Contemporary Art.

Thus in the same building you can see exhibitions of contemporary artists from the Andalusian landscape, while—without leaving the monastery—observing chapels in the Baroque style, Moorish art forms in the charterhouse church, tessellations from the 18th century, traditional tiling and renaissance sepulchres, among which is the tomb of Christopher Columbus.

And finally, it must also be mentioned that the north zone of the island, which is accessed by the aforementioned and spectacular Alamillo and Barqueta bridges, is a great theme park called Magic Island. It is an installation that pays homage to the age of Discovery in a fun way, the historical moment that also served as the inspiration for the 1992 Universal Exposition of Seville.