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Spain’s Plaza de España May Soon Require Entry Fee

by Staff

Visitors to the Spanish city of Seville may soon encounter a tourism tax when visiting the iconic Plaza de España. The city’s Mayor has announced preliminary plans to implement a fee for accessing this ornate square, a major draw for tourists and locals alike. With thousands of daily visitors and a venue for various events like concerts, fashion shows, and theatre productions, Plaza de España is a bustling hub of activity.

Understanding the significance of landmark entry fee in Seville, Spain

Mayor Jose Luis Sanz took to X (formerly known as Twitter) to announce, “We are considering closing Plaza de España and introducing a fee for tourists to fund its preservation and enhance safety.” His post included videos showcasing damaged facades, missing tiles, and stained walls, as well as the encroachment by illegal vendors in stairwells and alcoves. The proposed Seville tourism tax aims to support the maintenance and protection of this historic square, including implementing 24-hour surveillance.

This initiative is part of Seville’s broader strategy to manage the influx of tourists in its open public spaces, especially considering its ranking as the third most visited city in Spain. As outlined, locals and residents would be exempt from the Seville tourism tax when visiting or exploring the structure. This decision aligns with the trend seen in many European cities grappling with the challenge of balancing tourism growth with the preservation of cultural heritage. For instance, Venice plans to impose tourism taxes on day trippers entering the city starting April 2024, while Rome has already initiated charges for tourists visiting the Pantheon, which was previously a free attraction.

Plaza de España square, a Neo-Moorish architectural marvel featuring four bridges, a moat, and towering edifices, was constructed as part of the 1929 Ibero-American Exhibition. It gained further fame as a filming location for the 1999 Star Wars movie, The Phantom Menace. Extensive restoration efforts from 2007 to 2010 incurred a cost exceeding 11 million dollars for the city.

(Image credit: Leoks/Shutterstock)

Related: From Crowds To Conservation: Here’s How Spain’s San Sebastian Plans To Fight Overtourism

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