Centro Andaluz de Arte Contemporáneo

Museum in La Cartuja

This historic but offbeat site was once a monastery, then a ceramics factory, and is today the Centro Andaluz de Arte Contemporáneo, Seville’s shrine to modern art with temporary exhibitions set alongside some truly bizarre permanent pieces. You can’t miss Alicia, by Cristina Lucas, a massive head and arm poking through two old monastery windows that was supposedly inspired by Alice in Wonderland. You could be forgiven for walking obliviously past Pedro Mora’s Bus Stop, which looks exactly like…well, a bus stop.

The original monastery, Monasterio de la Cartuja de Santa María de Las Cuevas, was founded in 1399 and became the favourite Sevillan lodging place for Christopher Columbus, who prayed in its chapel before his trip to the Americas and whose remains lay here from his death in 1506 to 1537.

In 1839 the complex was bought by an enterprising Englishman, Charles Pickman, who turned it into a porcelain factory, building the tall bottle-shaped kilns that stand rather incongruously beside the monastery. The factory ceased production in the 1980s and in 1992 the building served as the Royal Pavilion during the Expo.