Real Fabrica de Tabacos

Historic Building in Seville

Royal Tobacco Factory, Seville 5
CC BY-SA 3.0 / Pauline Corbaux

The Royal Tobacco Factory located in Seville, southern Spain was the largest industrial building in 18th century Europe. Since the 1950s it has been the seat of the rectory of the University of Seville. The magnificent baroque entrance to this vast stone building, is more in keeping with another of Seville’s palaces or grand residences. it is an impressive piece of 18th-century industrial architecture, which takes up an entire city block. The factory was Europe’s most important tobacco factory, producing around 75% of the cigarettes consumed in Europe.

The paintings inside the Royal Tobacco Factory commemorate the women cigar makers who worked there. Highlights include a painting by Gonzalo Bilbao, known for his depictions of contemporary customs and manners in the Seville Museum of Fine Arts, where there are more portrayals of women cigar makers on display. There was formerly a ditch all around the factory with several sentry boxes, indicating that it was used for defensive purposes. It is today the head offices of Seville University.

The opera Carmen by Bizet was set here, based on a novella by French writer Prosper Merimee.

The History of the Real Fabrica de Tabacos

Tobacco was one of the first plants which Columbus discovered on his arrival in the New World, and brought back to Seville; the city enjoyed a lucrative royal monopoly on tobacco trade for centuries afterwards.

The factory began production in 1758 with its tobacco came both from Virginia and from the Spanish colonies in the Americas. A moat was dug around the factory with several sentry boxes, indicating a defensive use. The factory, which had its own prison for workers who stole cigarettes and chapel, was used until 1950s.

Since 1950s the factory has been used by the University of Seville for its main offices, including the Rector’s, and several faculties.

The Real Fabrica de Tabacos appears in our Complete Guide to Visiting Seville!

Other names of Real Fabrica de Tabacos

The Real Fabrica de Tabacos has the following names: Royal Tobacco Factory.

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Visiting Real Fabrica de Tabacos



8am-9pm Mon-Fri, to 2pm Sat, free tours 11am Mon-Thu



Address: Royal Tobacco Factory, Calle San Fernando, 4 41004 Sevilla Spain
Telephone: +34 954 55 10 00
Duration: 1 hours

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