The building which is nowadays the site of the University of Seville was formerly the Cigar Factory.
Sevilla, as it had the monopoly of the trade with America, was the first place in Europe to know tobacco and the Cigar Factory of Seville was the first built in Europe.
In the 18th century, in order to meet its development, a big building of dun stone was erected in the current Prado de San Sebastian of Seville. It had two stories, surrounded by a ditch and it looked more like a palace than like a factory. There is an anecdote which tells that at the cigar factory worked the cigar makers, typical women surrounded by legend (the mythic Carmen was a cigar maker), who were portrayed by artists like Gonzalo de Bilbao.
The factory lines are sober, except for the pyramidal crowns of the corners and the colorful main façade adorned with medallions representing America’s discovery -conquerors, galleons, natives smoking- and crowned by a dynamic statue of the Fame, winged and playing a trumpet. Besides the interest of its façade, it is especially interesting, in the interior, the Patio del Reloj (The Clock Patio).
Half way through the 20th century, the University of Sevilla started to be moved into the building, thus the Cigar Factory moved out to another building by the banks of the Guadalquivir River. Today the building is occupied by the rector’s offices and the central services of the University of Sevilla as well as some faculties.