The brand new Espacio Metropol Parasol, known locally, for obvious reasons, as the “Setas” (Mushrooms), rears its head like some giant, modernistic sculpture above the Plaza de la Encarnación, in almost the exact centre of the Casco Antiguo, where its futuristic latticework construction and fluid, curved appearance are in marked contrast to its surroundings. Like a lot of people, at first I wasn’t sure if I loved it or loathed it, but now it feels like it belongs and it’s well worth a visit for a number of reasons, apart from simply gawping.
Underneath the structure is the Antiquarium, where you can view the Roman ruins uncovered when work on the site began. At ground level is the Encarnación Market, above which is a plaza in the shade of the parasols. I think the space is rather bare, and prefer the shade of the big trees on the other side of the square, but perhaps too much clutter would interfere with its intended use for concerts and other events. You can also take the lift up to the mirador/walkway at the top of the parasols, which opened last Wednesday, and enjoy the breathtaking panorama of the city below. A circular restaurant where you will be able to enjoy the view over a meal and a drink is due to open soon.
I went up to the top of the parasol on Friday and have to say I enjoyed the curviness of the structure as much as the fabulous views. I could also see my cat in the upstairs window of my rooftop terrace, which felt… odd. Can’t wait to go up at night.
Opening hours: 10am – 2pm / 5.30 – 10pm
Cost: 2 euros for non-residents