Seville (Spanish: Sevilla) is the capital and largest city of the autonomous community of Andalusia and the province of Seville, Spain. It is situated on the plain of the River Guadalquivir. The inhabitants of the city are known as sevillanos (feminine form: sevillanas) or hispalenses, after the Roman name of the city, Hispalis. Seville has a municipal population of about 703,000 as of 2011, and a metropolitan population of about 1.5 million, making it the fourth-largest city in Spain and the 30th most populous municipality in the European Union. Its Old Town, the third largest in Europe with an area of 2 square miles (5.18 km2), contains three World Heritage Sites: the Alcázar palace complex, the Cathedral and the General Archive of the Indies. The Seville harbor, located about 50 miles (80.47 kilometers) from the Atlantic Ocean, is the only river port in Spain. Seville is also the hottest major metropolitan area in Europe, with summer average high temperatures of above 35 °C.
Seville was founded as the Roman city of Hispalis, and was known as Ishbiliya (Arabic: إشبيلية) after the Muslim conquest in 712. During the Muslim rule in Spain, Seville came under the jurisdiction of the Caliphate of Córdoba before becoming the independent Taifa of Seville; later it was ruled by the Muslim Almoravids and the Almohads until finally being incorporated into the Christian Kingdom of Castile under Ferdinand III in 1248. After the discovery of the Americas, Seville became one of the economic centers of the Spanish Empire as its port monopolized the trans-oceanic trade and the Casa de Contratación (House of Trade) wielded its power, opening a Golden Age of arts and literature. In 1519, Ferdinand Magellan departed from Seville for the first circumnavigation of the Earth. Coinciding with the Baroque period of European history, the 17th century in Seville represented the most brilliant flowering of the city's culture; then began a gradual economic and demographic decline as silting in the Guadalquivir forced the trade monopoly to relocate to the nearby port of Cádiz.
The 20th century in Seville saw the horrors of the Spanish Civil War, decisive cultural milestones such as the Ibero-American Exposition of 1929 and Expo '92, and the city's election as the capital of the Autonomous Community of Andalusia.
Seville has an area of 54 square miles (139.86 km2), according to the National Topographic Map (Mapa Topográfico Nacional) series from the Instituto Geográfico Nacional – Centro Nacional de Información Geográfica, the country's civilian survey organization (pages 984, 985 and 1002). The city is situated in the fertile valley of the Guadalquivir River. The average height above sea level is 23 feet (7.01 meters). Most of the city is on the east side of the river, while Triana, La Cartuja and Los Remedios are on the west side. The Aljarafe region lies further west, and is considered part of the metropolitan area. The city has boundaries on the north with La Rinconada, La Algaba and Santiponce; on the east with Alcalá de Guadaira; on the south with Dos Hermanas and Gelves and on the west with San Juan de Aznalfarache, Tomares and Camas.
Seville has a subtropical Mediterranean climate (Köppen climate classification Csa). Like most Mediterranean climates, Seville has a drier summer and wet winter. The annual average temperature is 25 °C (77 °F) during the day and 13 °C (55 °F) at night. Summer is the dominant season and lasts from May to October, the latter in spite of the dwindling daylight and inland position.
After the city of Córdoba (also in Andalusia), Seville has the hottest summer in continental Europe among all cities with a population over 100,000 people, with average daily highs in July of 36.0 °C (97 °F). Average minimum temperatures in July are 20.3 °C (69 °F) and every year the temperature exceeds 40 °C (104 °F) on several occasions. The coldest temperature extreme of −5.5 °C (22 °F) was registered by the weather station at Seville Airport on February 12th, 1956. A historical record high (disputed) of 50.0 °C (122 °F) was recorded on August 4th, 1881, according to the NOAA Satellite and Information Service. There is a non-accredited record by the National Institute of Meteorology of 47.2 °C (117 °F) on August 1st during the 2003 heat wave, according to a weather station (83910 LEZL) located in the southern part of Seville Airport, near the abandoned military zone. This temperature would be one of the highest ever recorded in Spain and Europe after the European record of 48.0 °C (118 °F) recorded in Athens on July 10th, 1977 and the 47.4 °C (117.4 °F) of Amareleja, Portugal on August 1st, 2003.
- Winters are mild: January is the coolest month, with average maximum temperatures of 16.0 °C (61 °F) and minimum of 5.7 °C (42 °F).
- Precipitation varies from 400 to 800 mm (15.7 to 31.5 in) per year, concentrated in the period October to April. December is the wettest month, with an average rainfall of 99.06 millimeters (3.9 inches). On average there are 66 days of rain.