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Seville Greathouse and heritage park

A visit to Seville Heritage Park on Jamaica's north coast will take you on a journey through centuries, to the very beginning of the island's history and culture. 

Located just outside the parish capital of St. Ann's Bay, and 11km from the tourist Mecca of Ocho Rios, Seville is known for its beauty and historical authenticity. Here you will find evidence of Jamaica's rich culture revealed in artifacts from our Taino, Spanish, British, and African ancestry.

Seville is the site of the town of Maima which was established by tainos, the first inhabitants of Jamaica. Here as well as at other settlements across the island, the Tanios fashioned their canoes, built their houses, fished in the rivers and the blue Caribbean Sea while leading their peaceful lives. An exhibition of artifacts at Seville will help you to understand how these first Jamaicans lived

THE FIRST ENCOUNTER

On the evening of May 5, 1494, Christopher Columbus, the Spanish Explorer, landed at Seville and became the first European to tread upon Jamaican soil. "The most beautiful place I have ever set eyes" is how Columbus described the island. He lived here for over a year after he was shipwrecked.

In 1509 the Spaniards under Esquivel began building Sevilla la Neuva in the middle of the village of Maima. They subsequently abandoned it in 1534.

On your of this historic site, you'll discover the ruins of the Spanish church of Peter Martyr, the ruins of the Spanish fortified castle (Governor's House ) and the base of the Spanish Sugar Mill. Most recent excavations  have revealed a Spanish artisan  workshop estimated to be one of the earliest so far discovered in the new world.

THEN CAME THE BRITISH

In 1655 the British came, capturing the island from the Spanish. Building on the remains of Sevilla, they established a sugar plantation they called—as we still do today—Seville.

SOTE OF THE ENCOUNTER

It was here at Seville that the cultures of three worlds – Amerindian, Africa and European had their first encounter and, through good times and bad, gave birth to modern Jamaica.

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