We start here a series of articles that will talk about the close links that Seville has had with the American continent during the last 5 centuries. We will talk now about the most important monument that remains of that relationship today: the “Archivo de Indias”.
The Archivo de Indias was built between 1584 and 1598. It was the place where the commercial exchanges of the main products that came from America were carried out. You can imagine then that it was a place with a lot of life. This activity ended in 1717, due to the fact that the trade monopoly was transferred to Cádiz, as the ships could not go up the Guadalquivir, as the size of them had increased. At that time it was in disuse, becoming in later years a tenement house.
Subsequently, it was decided to gather here all the documentation related to America and the Philippines, which was located in different archives throughout Spain: routes, drawings, navigation diaries, commercial treaties, and so on. This Archive gives prestige to the University of Seville, since any Americanist researcher can come and access the actual documents. It is said that to be able to read all the information found in the Archive, one would have to live a hundred lives, although unfortunately, you cannot see more than one part, since most of it is not available for the public. Among other documents, we can find the Treaty of Tordesillas, documents with the signature of Colón, Hernán Cortés or Pizarro, the agreement between the Catholic Monarchs and Colón for the commission to search the Indies in the west or the will of Juan Sebastián Elcano, among others.
We will talk more about the impressive history of this place in our Free Walking Tours in Seville