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Metropol Parasol, Seville

Plaza de la Encarnación
Spain 41003's insider take:

Consisting of six enormous wooden umbrellas, Metropol Parasol opened in March 2011 and is Seville's contemporary iconic architectural statement. German architect Jürgen Mayer H.'s $130-million structure provides shade in the heart of sun-drenched Seville and houses a food market and restaurants, as well as an open-air concert plaza. Up inside the parasols is Gastrosol restaurant (due to open in December 2011), and an outdoor pasarela (walkway) offering views of the city that match the Giralda's.The cherry on top is a panoramic terrace 90 feet above the ground. In the basement is the Antiquarium, an archaeological museum that tracks the city's multilayered past, on display are Roman houses, streets, and mosaics and Moorish remains. The jury is out on whether locals will take the parasols to their hearts; so far, they've nicknamed the structure "las setas," the mushrooms.—Fiona Flores Watson

Walkway and panoramic terrace open daily 10 am to 2 pm and 6 pm to midnight. Antiquarium open Tuesdays through Saturdays 10 am to 8 pm, Sundays 10 am to 2 pm.

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