View of the exterior of the General Archive of the Indies. Seville © Turespaña
Vault inside the General Archive of the Indies. Seville © Turespaña
The General Archive of the Indies came into being in 1785 at the behest of King Charles III, for the purpose of collecting in a single place all the documents referring to the colonies in the Indies, which had until then been dispersed around the towns of Simancas, Cadiz and Seville.
It is housed in the emblematic building known as the Casa Lonja de Mercaderes in Seville, built by the architect Juan de Herrera. It contains over 43,000 documents, with some 80 million pages of original papers which occupy eight linear kilometres of shelving. These collections comprise an exceptional source which provides the opportunity to scrutinise over three centuries of the history of America (from Tierra de Fuego to the southern United States) and Asia (the Philippines).
Cards for this popular pastime, made by the factory which exclusively controlled the production destined for America.More info
The signed agreement between Columbus and the Catholic Monarchs regarding the project to find a new western route towards the East Indies.More info
Most of Coumbus' private letters conserved in the Archive are addressed to his son Diego.More info
The most delicate and luxurious fabrics in such demand by the elite society in the colonies came from European countries such as France and Holland.More info
The city of Palenque, in the eastern mountains of Chiapas, was already abandoned when Mexico was conqueredMore info
Coat of arms awarded by the Emperor Charles V to Don Cristóbal Paullo Inca, on 9 May 1545.More info
Enlargement of the coat of arms granted to Columbus by the Catholic Monarchs as a recompense for his services.More info
The collections in the archive can be accessed through the Portal of Spanish Archives (PARES), created for the purpose of disseminating over the Internet the Spanish Historical Documents conserved in its network of centres.
Sep 16 to Jun 15
Monday A Friday
8:00 AM to 3:00 PM
Jun 16 to Sep 15
Monday A Friday
8:00 AM to 2:30 PM
Issue of certificates