Plaza, KC v. Seville, Spain

By: Rebecca Stone

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This coming fall, we are opening our 2022-2023 season with one of the most well-known operas of all time – Carmen. This story takes place in Seville, Spain, where the audience is taken on a rollercoaster of emotions as Carmen fights for love…and survival.

What you may not know about this classic tale is that we have a connection to Seville right here in Kansas City! The Country Club Plaza, or simply the Plaza as locals often call it, is a shopping district in Kansas City designed in 1922, making it the United States’ first suburban shopping center. The Plaza sticks out in the Midwest because it is designed to mimic romantic Spanish architecture. It fluidly incorporates European art, murals, statues, and fountains into the streets, making it an “open-air” art gallery and museum. The Plaza is truly a perfect blend of the old world and the new. It even includes several pieces tied to Seville, Spain!

The Seville Light (above) is located at the intersection of Emanuel Cleaver II Blvd and JC Nichols Pkwy, and it is an exact replica of a lamp in Seville! Look closely to see the detailed stone and ironwork, with fountains spouting out the sides.

Giralda Tower (above) is a half-sized replica of the original tower, found in Seville. It is the tallest tower in the Plaza, which is best seen from Emanuel Cleaver II Boulevard. It is extremely ornate and is topped with a statue, Faith, that was originally used as a weathervane and signal. Do you notice the Islamic architecture elements in this tower? That’s because the original tower is one of the most ancient buildings in Seville, and it stood as a mosque during a period of Muslim expansion in Spain. You will see both Spanish and Islamic influences in a lot of historical Spanish architecture. The Giralda tower remains one of the most iconic buildings of Seville, and its counterpart on the Plaza in Kansas City is just as iconic.

The Spanish Bullfight Mural (above), located on Central Street between 47th Street and Nichols Road, was hand-crafted in Seville, specifically for the Country Club Plaza. It’s made using painted ceramic tiles, which is a traditional architectural accent in Spain. The tiles depict bull fighting scenes – just like the bull fight scene in Carmen!

To learn more about the Country Club Plaza, visit their website at You can even download an art guide to experience this walking museum yourself. You won’t want to miss Carmen this September, especially after learning all about Kansas City’s ties to Seville, Spain! To learn more, visit our website.


The Taubman Realty Group LLC. (n.d.). Country club plaza: Kansas City’s Favorite Shopping & Dining District Art Guide. Country Club Plaza | Kansas City’s Favorite Shopping & Dining District. Retrieved June 7, 2022, from

Vallure, S. (2021, December 21). The Giralda Tower is the Symbol of Seville. Seville Traveller. Retrieved June 7, 2022, from

Photography by Rebecca Stone, taken for Lyric Opera of Kansas City