Seville is the capital of the Andalusia region and the fourth largest city in Spain with about 703,000 residents as of 2011, and a wider metropolitan population of about 1.2 million. Its old town is one of the three largest in Europe, along with Venice and Genoa, and includes three UNESCO World Heritage sites. The harbour, located about 80km from the Atlantic Ocean, is the only river port in Spain.
Seville is about 2,200 years old, and the passage of the various civilisations has left the city with a distinct personality, along with its large and well-preserved historical centre. Although it has a Medieval, Renaissance and Baroque heritage, the city was greatly influenced by Arabic culture. Its economy is dominated by the service sector, representing 83.5% of employment and centred on tourism, trade and financial services. Industry also still plays an important role—contributing up to 28% of the city’s economic output. The port has undergone reorganisation and has seen its annual tonnage of goods rise, reaching 5.3 million tons in 2006.
Seville, and its surrounding province, also benefit from a number of large industrial parks and technology centres: the Parque Científico y Tecnológico Sevilla Tecnopolis clusters together various companies, research centres and university departments focused on the development of new technologies; the Parque Tecnológico y Aeronáutico Aerópolis is meanwhile dedicated to the aircraft industry. Such centres are complemented by tertiary education at the University of Seville and the University Pablo de Olavide.
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