Gateway to the Indies

We shall make a stop on out route in 1503, the year when the Casa de la Contratación was established in Seville, starting an intense period of splendour for the city. It was no accident that the organization was set up here, because during the 13th century, the port of Seville had become the centre and base of the newly founded navy of Castile.

Seville’s connection to the oceans  of the world reached its highest point at the end of the 15th century and the 16th, when the Discovery of the New World and the first  voyage around the globe expanded the geographical horizons of the modern age. It was in this period that the city was at the heart of the world, the Gateway to the Indies and the trading centre of the western world. The traffic from the colonies arrived at the peninsula at the inland maritime port of Seville, and the city grew rich thanks to the economic activity generated in the Arenal.

Years later, however, from the mid-17th century onwards, Seville entered a phase of gradual decline that would extend to all the activities generated in the port. This  decadence coincided with the movement of the Casa de Contratación to Cadiz, which ended Seville’s monopoly on trade with the Americas.

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