The ships of the Atarazanas were built as shipyards for the construction of galleys and were installed in the Arenal, because in this place the difference of level with the river barely reached the metro, which greatly facilitated the entry and exit of ships, indispensable in these facilities.
The Atarazanas of Seville were built in 1252 by order of Alfonso X the Wise, outside the enclosure wall, leaning on the shelter offered by the wall and the outgoing coracha, which linked the Torres del Oro and La Plata, between the Carbon Doors and of the Oil. Probably they consisted of a reconstruction or remodeling of previous ones built in the 12th century by order of the caliph Abu Ya"qub Yusuf, who in 1184 ordered the beginning of the works.
The Atarazanas constitute an exemplary case of transformation of uses, due basically to its powerful formal structure of large container that will confer this capacity to admit, throughout its history, new and controversial destinations.
In the 16th century, works were carried out to transform the activity as shipyards by moving to the first ship, the fish market, which until then had been located in the Plaza de San Francisco.
In 1580 the works begin to lodge in the Atarazanas the Customs, according to the traces of Asensio de Maeda. The construction ends seven years later, and in his process the intervention of Juan de Oviedo is recognized.
In 1641 the works of the Hospital of Santa Caridad begin, whose brotherhood met since 1578 with the purpose of collecting the corpses of drowned and executed, in the chapel located in the eighth nave, consecrated to San Jorge.
At the beginning of the s. XVIII stands the first known plane of the apple. In it, the interventions of Maeda in Customs, and of Simón de Pineda, Figueroa and Sánchez Falconete in the Hospital de la Caridad and the Church of San Jorge are already perfectly autonomous.
In the sector also artillery dependencies settled, whose first establishment goes back to the year 1587. Later the continuous growth of the Artillery Maestranza goes beyond its doors. In 1804 the front lands will be occupied until reaching the embankments of the river.
In 1846 a project to expand the city arose, it is the line alignment of the Walk of Cristóbal Colón designed by Balbino Marrón. The beginning of the 20th century coincides with the construction of the new artillery warehouses, which will now be aligned with the aforementioned Walk of Cristóbal Colón. The most important consequence is the creation of the passage Temprado, an urban space defined laterally between gates that guard the entrance gardens to the Atarazanas and on the other hand to the exterior growth of the Artillery Maestranza and the gardens of Charity.
In 1945 the last five naves were demolished on the southern flank of the Atarazanas for the construction of the building of the Treasury Delegation.
In the decade of the 1980s, the Modification of the Interior Reform Plan of the Old Town of Seville was drafted and approved, which highlights the need to prepare a Special Interior Reform Plan to be released from the Shopping Center foreseen in the previous Plan of 1968, the lands occupied by the exterior warehouses of the Maestranza, and the Garden of Charity. Document that orders the sector dedicating its construction to a cultural institution.
In the period 1993-95, the Ministry of Culture carried out consolidation works in the complex and in 1988 initiated the feasibility study on the spatial and constructive capacity of the Artillery Maestranza as a step prior to its acquisition. After the aforementioned study he acquired the property, being evicted by the military institution in April 1993.
The original construction housed a diaphanous space structured in ships by powerful Mudejar arcades. The strong directionality produced by these was enriched by the appearance of a second direction, perpendicular to the first, generated by the succession in parallel of these arcs. This double direction provided the space with visual transparency and double perspective. The formal aspect that the Atarazanas presented to the Arenal was that of an open industrial front to enable the entry and exit of the vessels.
The interior is currently organized from seventeen semi-detached buildings arranged perpendicular to the direction of the river, whose background was the city's Almohad wall. It is a construction made by the roofing of two successive brick pillars on which support lines of arches, on which are built wide channels for the collection of water, formalizing an aqueduct that characterizes the plane of the roofs.
The naves have dimensions of one hundred meters long by twelve high, those of brick pilasters are of rectangular section, with measures of two meters and forty centimetres by one meter eighty centimetres, saving a light of eight and a half meters with a height until the start of the arches of five meters, these are slightly pointed with the intrados sunk in continuation with the pilasters, and have an average light of eleven meters.
Due to the landfills suffered later, when the ships stopped being used to build ships, the base of the pilasters are at a height of -6, 15 meters, and under it is the foundation, which archaeological excavations have revealed It consists of a running shoe of 1.30 meters of edge, of quite compact mortar with a lost wooden formwork.
During its founding period, under Pedro I, there was an expansion of the Atarazanas in three ships added on its northern flank.
During the sixteenth century, the activity as shipyards was transformed by moving to the first ship the fishmonger, and carried out works for the construction of housing, compartmentalization of the different fish dispatches, and filling works in charge of raising the level of the ships in almost four meters, because they were flooded frequently to have remained his level below the one of the Arenal, that turned into port space raised it like defense system.
The first ship housed twelve large and sixteen small markets, and the others were divided into warehouses with access from the interior or from the Arenal. In the ninth nave was located the warden's house, with a corral open to the interior, and in the octave, the chapel. The main common spaces, the Placeta and the Well, were located in the eighth nave, and from them were organized covered passages that allowed the registration of the different dependencies.
There were three main doors, two to the Arenal and one to the Historic quarter, located in the small square del Carbón and known as Iron Door.
At the end of the 16th century, ships 13, 14 and 15 are transformed to house customs, becoming an autonomous entity within the homogeneous space of Atarazanas. This intervention was respectful with the spatial system, offering a clear reading within the general system, and with it the two last ships of the block, 16 and 17, used to store wool and azoque were also generated.
In the mid-seventeenth century, a new action began that would transform the ships 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12 in Hospital de la Santa Caridad. In the transformation of the ships in hospital, the suitability of these to admit new uses is confirmed, due to the character of large container of its spatial structure.
Inside the Hospital de la Caridad is where the structure of the buildings will leave its mark, since all the spaces generated are impregnated with their directionality.
It will be at the end of the 18th century, with the reforms introduced by the Artillery Maestranza, when the total consolidation of the block constituted by the old river Atarazanas takes place, by building three perpendicular bays to the seven ships of the Atarazanas, which rode transversally on the buttresses and first arches of each of them. Also a room for the deposit of arms was elevated, with a powerful cover of tiles and the set of a common body of head was added that introduced a superior order to the mere juxtaposition, when practicing the entrance in the center of the same.
Recently, the facilities have been rehabilitated and dedicated to cultural uses.
Fuente: bdi del Patrimonio Inmueble de Andalucía (Junta de Andalucía)