The Royal Tobacco Factory (Real Fábrica de Tabacos) offers a glimpse into Seville’s once booming tobacco industry—although what was once the largest industrial building in Europe is now a university building. Many visit in homage to Bizet’s opera Carmen
; it’s in this former factory that the namesake heroine rolls cigars on her thighs.
Though most visitors are interested in the building’s history as the Royal Tobacco Factory, there are only a few remnants left from those days, including paintings that commemorate the women cigar makers. Now, the building is home to the University of Seville. To understand the factory building’s full history and its connection to Bizet’s Carmen
, book a guided city tour that includes this stop along with other Seville highlights.Things to Know Before You Go
How to Get There
- Entry is free.
- The university offers occasional planned tours and free audio guides, but most of the information is about the university.
- Plan on a quick stop of less than an hour.
The Royal Tobacco Factory is located south of the gardens of the Alcázar on Calle San Fernando in Seville, bordered by Calle Doña Maria de Padilla to the west and Avenida el Cid to the east. The nearest subway station is Prado de San Sebastián, about a 5-minute walk away.When to Get There
The Royal Tobacco Factory is generally open every day except Sunday. As the building houses university offices, it follows general business hours.The Scandal of Carmen
n is one of history’s best-known operas, beloved for songs such as Habanera. It’s a quintessentially Sevillano story, taking inspiration from real-life places in this Spanish city. When it came out in 1875, it caused a small uproar among theater critics due to its bloody storyline, which ends in a Seville bullring.