2 March 2014 – traditional and modern food markets in Seville, Spain

I recently visited two of Seville, Spain’s municipal markets – the Mercado de Triana and Mercado de la Encarnación. As you can see, they show two very different examples of ‘traditional’ and ‘modern’ food markets.

Mercado de Triana

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The Mercado de Triana retains its ‘traditional’ appearance and is like many of Europe’s indoor market halls (despite the fact it has been renovated) – wonderful displays of fresh food housed in a building that feels like it has been there for centuries (which it has). The Mercado de la Encarnación is completely different. This is Seville’s central market, rehoused in April 2011 in the ‘mushrooms’ structure (designed by German architect Jurgen Mayer-Hermann) after 40 years in temporary accommodation.

Mercado de la Encarnación

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So apart from the ‘traditional’ and ‘modern’ structures – what else is different? The traditional market maintains the feeling that this is a market for everyday shopping and is literally overflowing with fresh produce, whereas the Mercado de le Encarnación is clinically clean, air conditioned and positioned differently as a sort of up-market market and, when I visited, seemed rather soul-less. Yes, this is also a tourist attraction because of the striking architecture but it reinforces the idea that traditional food markets are also all about the knowledge that market traders bring to the sale of fresh food. You get the feeling that Mercado de Triana is where people shop.

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