Universal Exposition of Seville 1992 - Expo'92

The era of discovery

April 20, 1992 - October 12, 1992


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15th century pavilion

15th century pavilion at the Exhibition Seville 1992

© Expo'92

Architect(s) : Francisco Torres Martinez

The 15th century pavilion presented a poetic and spectacular approach to the spirit of an era that decisively marked the destiny of the European continent. Through a symbolic garden, inspired by Francesco Colonna's famous novel The Dream of Polyphilus, the visitor was immersed in a magical itinerary, woven from the myths, beliefs and ardent desires that defined this crucial moment in the history of our culture.

A first scenographic set marked the encounter with the aesthetic revolution imposed by the Renaissance. In this atmosphere, the spectacular itinerary began with an approach to the context of geographical ideas, from the classical traditions to the profound transformation that took place during the 15th century. The recovery of Ptolemy's work, the new navigation techniques, and the direct experience of the Portuguese explorations give a very different image of the world, source of new routes to the legendary riches of the East.

A spectacular new element evokes another change in ideas. An astronomical clock describes the Renaissance conception of the world as a complex and harmonious system of causes and effects, where the image becomes an instrument of knowledge and a symbol that makes it possible to compose a global description of reality.

Finally, the central core of the pavilion was a sophisticated show of multiple means of communication that recomposed an allegorical journey through 15th century Europe.

The story took place from 3 August to 12 October 1492 - just at the time of Columbus' exploit - and narrated the adventures of an imaginary traveller who travelled the road to Compostela, the great communication route of medieval Europe. Throughout the story, several encounters change the course and vision of things, revealing a continent in full transformation. Through the different archetypes, the story evoked the main factors of change that came together in the birth of the Modern Era. The invention of printing, humanism, new commercial techniques, ocean navigation, the germ of a new state model or the idea of evangelisation are, along with others, the forces that combine to transform the old world into a new one.

© Official Guide Expo'92