Seville is Andalusia's capital. With more than 700,000 inhabitants, and 1.6 million in the metropolitan area, it is Spain's fourth-largest city, dominating southern Spain. With heritage from the Arabs and from the Age of Discovery, as well as the flamenco scene, Seville is a diverse destination.
The smooth, slow Guadalquivir River flows through Seville, known as Betis by the Romans and as Betik Wahd-Al-Khabir by the Arabs. Since it is hard to navigate upstream from Seville, the cereal-producing region starts here, and Seville has been a busy port from Roman times, under Muslim rule, and exploding during the Age of Discovery. As the monopoly was broken and Cádiz largely took Seville's place, the city entered a period of relative decline.
In the 19th century Seville gained a reputation for its architecture and culture and was a stop along the Romantic "Grand Tour" of Europe. Seville has built on its tourism industry since, playing host to the International Exposition in 1992, which spurred the construction of a new airport, a new train station, a bullet train link to Madrid, new bridges and improvements to the main boulevards. Tourist facilities are top-notch and the city is buzzing with festivals, color and a thriving nightlife scene.