What a gorgeous city Seville is; we fell for it straight away. Visiting Seville with kids is a perfect family city break, and I’ve compiled this post to help you plan your trip to Seville. So read on to find out about the best things to do in Seville with kids.
The largest city in Andalusia in southern Spain, Seville has an absolutely stunning old town, which is full of a maze of tall, narrow and colourful streets to keep the scorching sun at bay. It’s got cultural wonders galore; from Moorish palaces, to Gothic cathedrals, and outlandish modern architecture. You can catch a flamenco show and sample the best of Spanish cuisine in the evenings.
There’s plenty to keep the kids happy too!
This post also covers a suggested itinerary for a family, places to stay, and ideas to extend your trip in this fantastic area…
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The best things to do in Seville with kids
We thought Seville made a perfect destination to visit with our kids, who were aged 3 and 1. In total we spent 3 days in Seville.
We booked our trip to Seville at the last minute, less than 2 weeks before we left, when the husband was given 2 weeks’ leave unexpectedly. This was especially welcome after our bad luck with Rome and chicken pox, and because the husband was on secondment at the time so we were only seeing him at weekends. We were really keen to make the most of some more family time, so we booked a last minute trip to Andalusia and the cities of Seville, Cordoba and Granada.
A tip: we found that travelling last minute caused a bit of a headache with regards to booking tickets for some attractions – especially the Alcazar in Seville and the Alhambra in Granada. We’d advise you to book tickets for these places as far in advance as you can (you’ll find details on how to book your tickets below).
In May the temperature was hot, the skies were clear, jacaranda trees were in full bloom, and we were able to walk to everything we wanted to see. We went slowly and took lots of stops for ice cream and drinks, much to the children’s delight. Temperatures were as high as 35°C so you need to be prepared with plenty of suncream, sun hats and water.
In addition to the things we saw, there are numerous churches, museums and historical sights – plenty to keep you occupied!
Parque de María Luisa
We began our first day by trying to navigate the twisting streets of Seville’s old town. Just exploring the maze-like streets of the old town with its tall buildings was fun, although it did take us a while to get our bearings. After a few false turns we found ourselves in the ancient centre, by way of some pretty gardens.
Just beyond the Alcázar is Seville’s main park, María Luisa. This is a beautiful and tranquil place to cool down. Walk past orange tree groves and jacaranda, and enjoy an ice cream under the bougainvillea. There are lots of fountains to splash in – this pastime quickly became a favourite with our kids.
The park is a perfect place for children to run about as the only traffic is the horse drawn carriages. We spent a couple of hours wandering around slowly. If you’re feeling energetic you can hire a double bike with a shaded canopy for the kids to sit under.
There are some museums at the far end of the park but we didn’t go inside. Instead we took a ride on one of the horse-drawn carriages as the Cub was desperate to from the moment she first saw them. The ride cost about €40 (!) and took us at a fairly sedate pace through the park to the Plaza de España. It’s not a guided tour by any means; our driver mumbled a few words about the park but that was about it! However, the kids loved the ride – this was probably their favourite thing to do in Seville!
Plaza de España
At the edge of the park sits the Plaza de España. Consisting of a large plaza and a huge, semicircular pavilion with a tower at each end, it’s certainly an impressive sight. It was built in 1928 for the Ibero-American Exposition so it’s not very old compared to some of the other buildings in Seville. In the middle of the plaza is a large fountain and a semicircular lake with blue-tiled arched bridges crossing it.
Eagle-eyed Star Wars fans will spot that the Plaza was used as Naboo in Attack of the Clones (and was also featured in Lawrence of Arabia, but I bet your kids haven’t seen that!).
Children will love taking a boat ride on the lake and walking over the beautiful arched bridges. You can walk up to the balconies on the first floor of the main building but you won’t be able to go inside; the buildings have the rather dull function of housing government offices. Still, it’s a fun place to pretend you’re a princess, if you’re 3 years old.
All along the plaza you’ll find tiled alcoves with a painted background representing each Spanish province. The alcoves are a pretty place to stop for a rest, and you definitely get a feel of the region’s Moorish influence here. It’s traditional for Spanish people to have a picture taken in their home province’s alcove when they visit Seville so you’ll probably see lots of Spanish tourists. The kids had fun scrambling over the alcoves playing hide and seek, and running across the plaza to splash in the fountain.
Real Alcázar de Sevilla
Without a doubt this was the highlight of our Seville trip.
The Alcázar is a centuries-old palace originally built by Moorish rulers from the 9th century onwards. It was added to by Christian kings who used Moorish architects to keep the style consistent. It doesn’t look like much from the outside but the inside is full of beautiful courtyards surrounded by exquisitely carved arches. Bring your elbows; it gets busy.
The gardens are also beautiful, especially in spring, and are almost as impressive as the intricate architecture of the palace. The kids loved splashing in the fountains and running through the hedgerow-lined paths. There is a cafe in the gardens – we had some lunch here on a shaded verandah while the kids had fun spotting peacocks.
We spent all morning in the Alcazar and I don’t think we managed to see all of it. We were slowed down by our little ones but even so I’d say you need at least 3 hours here.
You should book Alcázar tickets in advance if you possibly can; when we went they were all sold out online. We had to queue outside in the morning to get our tickets. An alternative is to book a tour of the palace – click here to find out more.Tickets for adults cost €9.50 and children under 16 go free.
TIP: The Alcázar opens at 9.30am so if you don’t have pre-booked tickets, get in the queue at 9am while it’s not too big.
We walked past the Alcazar entrance several times and at most other points in the day the queue was huge.
Seville Cathedral and the Giralda Tower
There’s one word to describe this cathedral: cavernous.
It’s simply gigantic; this is the largest gothic church in the world. The cathedral dominates the centre of Seville, and the Giralda Tower rises high above the cathedral itself.
Inside the cathedral, the huge golden backdrop to the altar is spectacular, as are the intricately carved organs. What is surprising, or unusual, about Seville cathedral other than its size is all of the side rooms. This cathedral doesn’t have a typical layout. If you’re planning on exploring all of the side rooms then you can expect to spend a good couple of hours here. Some of these side rooms are full of sculptures, others full of glittering treasures.
The extra-crowded tomb that you will see in the main building is where Christopher Columbus is buried – a must-see for history buffs.
A fantastic thing to do in Seville cathedral is to climb the Giralda Tower, which wan’t originally part of the cathedral. It’s a former minaret dating from the 12th century and if you look carefully you can see that the architectural style is totally different to the gothic cathedral. The top of the tower isn’t original – this was added in the Renaissance as were most of the bells. It’s a real mixture of Andalusia’s history and heritage.
As our kids are so small we didn’t manage to climb the Giralda tower to see over the rooftops. There’s also a separate rooftop tour that you can take at an extra cost, but again the kids were too young for this. I’d love to do this on a return trip.
All in all, the cathedral is very impressive and you absolutely must see it.
Tickets are €8 per adult, kids go free. Or take a look at a guided tour here.
TIP: If the cathedral queue is too long you can buy a combo ticket from the nearby church of El Salvador. Usually the queue at El Salvador is shorter, saving you time.
The Metropol Parasol: Las Setas
For something totally different to the centuries-old wonders of Seville, you shouldn’t miss the huge wooden structure of Las Setas (the mushrooms) at Plaza de la Encarnación, easily walkable from the centre of town.
We visited in the evening when Seville really comes to life. The Plaza was busy with people of all ages; in Spain everyone comes out to enjoy the light cool evenings. It’s a good place to people-watch and our kids had fun running around with the local children (who seem to have a bit more free rein than we’re used to in the UK).
The Metropol Parasol is the largest wooden structure in the world at 150 metres long and 26 metres high. When it was built it ran hugely behind schedule (by four years) and over budget. It’s made up of six parasols linked together, but most people say it looks more like mushrooms, or even waffles due to the lattice structure.
At first we couldn’t find the entrance but it’s to the left at the foot of the main steps (which were barricaded off when we went). You have to go down a set of stairs, underground where you can buy your ticket and take a lift up to the top. Underground there’s also a museum of preserved Roman and Moorish ruins, found when Las Setas were being built.
The views from the top of Las Setas are pretty good, especially looking across the modern, undulating waves towards Seville’s preserved buildings. There’s a winding walkway that takes you around the whole structure so you see over most of Seville. It was a novelty for the Cub, and she spent quite a while happily running along the walkways.
Entry costs €3 per adult and kids under 12 go free. The ticket price also includes a free drink when you’re at the top of the building, although finding a seat can be tricky. Happy days!
Guadalquivir boat tour and Torre del Oro
Watching Seville go by from the river is a leisurely way to spend an hour, and a welcome rest for your legs if you’re tired from herding your little ones through the streets.
It’s a bit of a novelty for the kids too, and ours enjoyed it, although if truth be told there’s not a whole lot to see from the river and quite expensive for what you got. I think it was the most expensive thing we did other than the carriage ride, and the least memorable.
Catch the boat from the dock just next to the Torre del Oro. They go every half hour and tickets cost €16, children under 6 go free.
The lovely Torre del Oro is one of Seville’s most iconic buildings. It’s a remnant of the old city walls and houses a naval museum, but most people climb it for the views from the top. It’s €3 for adults, kids under 6 go free.
Plaza de Toros de la Maestranza
Controversial, this one.
I have to say I didn’t feel particularly comfortable about visiting the bullring as there’s no way that I’d ever watch a fight. But we were in Spain and bullfighting is part of the culture (although fewer people agree with it now) and so we thought we’d take a look at the bullring.
Inside the Plaza de Toros is a museum dedicated to bullfighting and despite our reservations it was actually quite interesting. Every 20 minutes a guided tour takes you through the museum and into the stands to see the ring itself.
You will learn a lot about the origin of bullfighting and the culture behind it. But it didn’t change my opinion on bullfighting and we felt quite mixed about the visit.
As bullfighting is gruesome, sensitive kids probably won’t enjoy the tour; there are stuffed heads and weapons on display. This will of course appeal to others! Ours were too small to understand what it was about.
Tickets are €8 per adult and kids go free.
More things to do in Seville with kids
Museums in Seville
Flamenco Museum – Museo del Baile Flamenco
This museum is dedicated to the most Spanish of dances – the art of Flamenco. Exhibits cover flamenco’s origins and history, the different styles of flamenco dance, famous dancers and more. Catch a performance, and you might even be able to take a flamenco class! More details can be found here.
If you’d like to find out more about Flamenco in Seville, then take a look at this post by Untold Morsels.
Museum of Arts and Customs – Museo de Artes Y Costumbres
This museum is found at the far end of Maria Luisa park. It’s found inside a beautiful pavilion (the above photo) and you’ll be able to find out about traditional Andalusian culture and customs thorough its ceramics, lace and costumes. Entry is free for EU citizens; €1.50 if you’re from elsewhere.
Archaeological Museum of Seville – Museo Arqueologico de Sevilla
Situated opposite the Museum of Arts and Customs in Maria Luisa Park, the Archaeological Museum houses artefacts from Spanish history – from Neolithic age items to the modern day. Again, entry is free for EU citizens and a small charge of €1.50 for other nationalities.
Museum of Fine Arts – Museo de Bellas Artes
The Fine Art Museum is one of the best museums in Seville. It’s in a gorgeous, centuries-old building built around three patios. Inside the museum you’ll find paintings and sculptures from medieval times to the present day. This one is a must for all art fans. Entry is free for EU citizens and costs €1.50 otherwise.
Seville’s aquarium is based around the travels of legendary Portuguese voyager Ferdinand Magellan, who almost managed to sail around the world in the 16th Century. Unfortunately he was killed in battle in the Philippines just before completing the circumnavigation.
The aquarium could be a great place to escape the Andalusian heat and give the kids something different to do. All of that culture can be tiring! Large sharks and an underwater tunnel are the highlights. The aquarium has a strong conservation message too.
Entry costs €15 for adults and €10 for kids 4 – 14. There’s a family ticket option for €43. You can buy tickets online (Spanish only; I can’t see a translate button anywhere!).
Seville Water Park
Happily for anyone visiting Seville with kids outside of the winter months, there is Seville Water Park.
Seville’s Water Park is called Aquopolis Seville and has several pools, including a toddlers’ pool, a wave pool, a jacuzzi and a lagoon, huge slides and rides. There is food on site and you can also relax on sun loungers and in shaded areas. There’s a VIP area for those who want to escape the noise!
Seville Water Park is quite expensive but tickets are much cheaper if you book them online. Kids under 0.9m tall enter free. Seville Water Park is open from June to September from midday until 7pm (8pm in July and August). You can drive or take the bus – a map and directions are on the website which is also in English.
Isla Magica and Agua Magica
Seville’s Isla Magica is an alternative to Aquopolis Sevilla and is on the site developed for the 1992 World Expo. It’s more of a theme park based around Spain’s colonial past (imagine if a British Empire theme park was built in the UK!). Isla Magica has seven themed areas built around a lake. Each area has white knuckle rides as well as more gentle rides. Most of the areas also have Spanish language shows. You will also find plenty of places to eat, but be aware that you can’t take your own food or drink inside the park.
One of the themed areas is Agua Magica water park – this has a wave pool, a slow river, water slides and a kids’ pool. You can’t buy a ticket to visit Agua Magica only – you have to visit it as part of Isla Magica and it will cost you another €9 on top of the Isla Magica entry ticket.
You can book tickets online on the Isla Magica website which is slightly cheaper than buying them on the day. At €32 per adult for a full day plus €9 for Agua Magica, it’s not a cheap day out. Kids under 1m tall go free.
Bus C3 serves the Isla Magica theme park which is on the opposite side of the river from Seville’s old town.
We didn’t visit Isla Magica, which gets mixed reviews online. However, it could be a good way to spend a fun day with the kids in Seville as long as you don’t go expecting it to be Disneyland.
Further afield – day trips from Seville
Just 10km outside of Seville lies the ancient Roman ruins of Italica. We didn’t manage to visit this incredible site but Wyld Family Travel have a great post on it – check it out here. We’d love to visit it if we return to Andalusia.
Meldrums on the Move also have posts on other destinations in Spain with kids, as well as worldwide.
If you’ve got a little more time and have hired a car then an Andalusian road trip will take you to some beautiful towns like the stunning Ronda (see above photos). Or if you might want to head to Madrid with your family.
Suggested itinerary for spending 3 days in Seville with kids
We spent 3 days in Seville – here is our recommended itinerary for 3 days in Seville with kids.
Day 1: Spend the morning walking around Maria Luisa park and visiting the Plaza de Espana. If little legs are getting tired then take a carriage ride. Grab some lunch and shade near the Torre del Oro. In the afternoon check out the Flamenco museum and catch an evening performance.
Day 2: Up and out early to get to the Alcazar for opening time. You could easily spend all morning and have lunch here in the cafe. In the afternoon rest your weary legs on the boat tour up and down the river before spending the evening walking around the old town trying out sangria and tapas.
Day 3: Be sure to look into Seville’s cathedral this morning before checking out a museum, the bullring or Las Setas in the afternoon. Or spoil the kids by taking them to the water park. Alternatively, take a day trip to Italica, Cordoba, or the beautiful town of Ronda with its spectacular bridge..
If you have fewer than 3 days in Seville then you should probably prioritise the Alcazar, Maria Luisa Park and the Plaza de España. Second tier attractions would be the Cathedral, the bullring and walking around the old town’s narrow streets.
Know before you go
Spain is a very child-friendly country; everyone here seems to love kids (or tolerate them fairly cheerfully!). We highly recommend Spain as a family friendly destination!
Our kids were welcomed wherever we went, no matter the time of day or night. It’s not unusual to see kids playing in the street at 11pm and families can dine pretty much anywhere in the evenings – a far cry from the UK’s attitude of bed by 7.30pm.
Don’t forget about siesta – for some people this is still sacred and so places may be closed between 2 and 4pm. However I’ve noticed this much more in rural areas rather than cities like Seville. So perhaps you can forget it after all!
Where to stay in Seville with kids
There is a a great choice of family friendly accommodation in Seville. You will probably want to stay in the old town if possible as this location makes sightseeing easier. However be aware that parking spaces are limited in the old town so check that parking’s available if you plan to hire a car.
Luxury hotels in Seville
Seville’s old town has a fabulous selection of beautiful hotels to stay in. If you’re looking to stay in style then take a look at Hotel Casa Imperial. Located in the old town, this hotel is in an Andalusian style building, with internal patios and gardens and Moorish architecture and furnishings. It has family rooms making it perfect for a stay with small children. Check prices and book online here.
Petit Palace Santa Cruz is a 4* hotel with a great location in the old town, just a few steps away from the main attractions. It’s inside an historic building, complete with patios and balconies. It’s a great choice for larger families as their modern rooms can sleep up to 6 adults. Check prices and availability here.
Mid-range hotels in Seville
Hotel Don Paco is central located, about 10 minutes’ walk from the cathedral. It boasts a rooftop terrace and swimming pool with views over the rooftops towards the cathedral. Nearby parking is available, and you can even hire a car from reception. This hotel also has family rooms. Click here to check prices and availability for your stay.
You won’t be able to get much closer to the cathedral than Hotel Simon, which is only a couple of minutes away on foot. Again found inside an historic house, there are Moorish tiles on the walls and traditional Andalusian furniture in some of the rooms. Check availability and get the latest prices here.
Budget hotels in Seville
Zaida is a great option if you’re on a budget. It’s a traditional Andalusian style hotel with Moorish tiles and architecture, about 10minutes’ walk from the main tourist sights of Seville. There’s a sun terrace on the roof too. Family rooms are available. Click here to see if it’s available for your stay.
El Cicerone de Sevilla is a similar choice. Again close to the centre of the old town, this hotel has family rooms, free Wifi and air conditioning. Rooms are clean and simple. Get more details and book here.
Self-catering apartments in Seville
Apartments are a great alternative to hotels. They can be a budget friendly option as they’re usually equipped with everything you’ll need for your stay and allow you to self cater.
Top rated apartments in Seville include Apartamentos Diaber Alberto Lista in the heart of Seville’s old town. These apartments sleep up to four people and come with free WIFI and a fully equipped kitchen. They book up quickly – check prices and availability here.
Or try Apartamentos Sevilla Centro, also in the centre of the old town, a 10 minute walk from the cathedral. Again, these apartments come highly rated, are suitable for families, have free WIFI and fully equipped kitchens. Check prices by clicking here.
Where we stayed in Seville
Seville can book up quickly so plan your trip in advance if you can. Booking last-minute accommodation in Seville was not as straightforward as I’d hoped. My first port of call was to look at hotels with a family room to fit 4 people, but availability was limited and the prices were way out of our range.
We took the plunge and rented an Air B&B apartment for the first time, which turned out to be a great choice. For less than £70 per night we stayed in the centre of Seville in a quiet street. Quiet, except for one evening when an amazing religious procession complete with brass band went right past the apartment. We dangled out of the windows to watch.
If you’re new to AirBnB then you can get £25 in travel credit by signing up through this link.
Where to eat in Seville
As we stayed in an Air B&B, we half-heartedly attempted to self-cater. But cooking on holiday is frankly rubbish, so we did eat out most of the time.
We are a fussy bunch really; I’m a vegetarian and so are the kids. The Cub won’t eat anything other than fruit, chips and twisty pasta (other pasta types are unacceptable). The husband invariably wants a good steak. I was a bit worried about eating out but we managed to find good restaurants in Seville without a problem. I asked for patatas bravas sin salsa which kept the kids happy and everywhere seemed to have veggie options.
The husband and I shared a good paella at EME hotel restaurant. We sat outside opposite the cathedral as the inside was far too painfully cool for our little family. I asked for a sangria and it came in an enormous goblet. I had enough to feel the effect of the alcohol and it looked barely touched so there must have been a whole bottle of wine in there. It was good though!
Uno de Delicias near the Torre del Oro was also lovely. I had a creamy pasta dish and the husband had Iberian pork with chips. This one is recommended!
You can also explore the old town and try out its various tapas bars.
When is the best time to visit Seville with kids?
Andalusia isn’t known as the frying pan of Europe for nothing.
In the summer this region can be hotter than anywhere else on the continent with temperatures in excess of 40°C. I don’t recommend visiting Seville with small kids in the summer if you can help it – if you go to Andalusia in the summer, consider picking a beach town instead as the sea breeze might help to cool you down a bit.
Spring is a fantastic time to visit. We managed to go in May and found that while the temperatures were hot at around 30 – 35°C, it was pleasant rather than overbearing. We loved seeing Seville in bloom – the gardens in the Alcazar were stunning and the jacaranda trees lined the street with a blaze of purple. So springtime is my pick!
However, you should be aware that Seville gets seriously busy at Easter for Semana Santa, or Holy Week. You might find that tourist hotspots such as the cathedral and the Alcazar are closed or difficult to visit throughout the Easter week, so bear this in mind when making travel plans. But if you’re more interested in local festivals and people-watching then this could be the perfect time for you.
Two weeks after Easter, Seville holds a spring fair (Feria de Abril) which is a week long party when Seville’s residents line the streets every evening to party. Celebrations include horse parades and bullfighting, and the women wear flamenco dresses. If you want to take part in Andalusian festivals then Feria de Abril could be a better choice than Semana Santa, which is a much more serious affair.
Autumn brings equally pleasant temperatures and is also good for sightseeing without getting overheated, so October is also a great time to visit Seville, although it’s likely to be fairly busy.
Visiting Seville with kids in winter can be a great idea to escape the cold temperatures of northern Europe or North America. Temperatures average out at about 10 – 15°C so it won’t be anywhere near as cold as the rest of Europe. You might want to pack a jumper or two though! Another advantage of visiting in winter is that Seville will be much less crowded.
How to get around Seville with kids
Hop on Hop Off Bus – Operated by City Sightseeing, these familiar red buses will take you around Seville’s hotspots with running commentary. Buy your tickets by clicking the above link.
Bus – Bus lines C3 and C4 take a circular route around the Old Town. The C5 runs through the centre of the Old Town. Buses run from about 6.30am to 11pm. You buy tickets onboard which cost €1.40. If you plan on using the buses a lot then you can buy a multi trip card from tobacconists and kiosks which saves money.
Tram – The tram runs through Seville’s Old Town from Plaza Nueva to San Bernando train station. Tickets cost €1.20 although you can use a multi trip card to save money.
Taxi – We used a taxi to get from the train station to our apartment and once when the kids were too tired to walk home. They use a meter.
Walk – We mostly walked around Seville. Most of the things you will want to see are close together and you get to soak up more of the city’s atmosphere by walking through the streets.
Getting there and away
How to get to Seville by air
Seville has its own airport so you can fly direct if you want to. But if you’re flying into Madrid then you can get a train to Seville in just over a couple of hours (see below).
I initially looked at flying into Seville and out of Granada as we were moving around. But this option was far too expensive and there weren’t many flights. So instead we flew in and out of Malaga, which has good transport links to both Seville and Granada. There were tons of flights from all UK airports to Malaga so prices were much cheaper.
Skyscanner has a great tool which allows you to search for flights across a whole month to find the cheapest prices if your dates are flexible. We also managed to cut costs by taking only carry-on luggage with us.
Reaching Seville by train
Seville is well served by trains and it’s very easy to reach from several locations. We got the train from Malaga to Seville and it took us about two hours. If you are travelling from Madrid to Seville your journey will take you just over 2.5 hours.
You have to buy train tickets in advance for travel in Spain.
The Man in Seat 61 is an invaluable resource for train travel in any country. On his advice I booked our tickets at Loco2 instead of Renfe (the Spanish train network). Loco2’s website was much easier to navigate, we could pay in sterling and we printed our tickets at home. Another option could be to use an Interrail pass if you’re moving about.
Although children under 4 travel for free (on laps) we had to have tickets for them so don’t forget to add kids’ tickets to your order.
Train travel in Spain was comfortable and convenient. There was a lot of security at the stations – our bags were scanned before each journey (airport style) so make sure you get to the station in plenty of time to allow for this. The trains were all on time and even the rail replacement bus service to Granada was fine.
Hiring a car to drive to Seville
You can hire a car to pick up at the airport if you’d like to drive to Seville. This is a good option if you’re planning on moving around Andalusia – especially if you want to see some of the pretty little white villages which you won’t be able to reach by train. Check here for the best car hire prices.
In the end we chose to travel around Andalusia by train as we were just visiting cities. Initially car rental seemed inexpensive but when we added in the cost of hiring two car seats, trains worked out slightly cheaper as our kids were young enough to travel for free. We knew we wouldn’t be using a car every day and so for us train travel was more suitable.
Be aware that driving through the winding streets of the old town also appeared to be fairly difficult – no doubt we’d have got completely lost if we’d attempted it! Some of the hotels and AirBnBs in the old town don’t have parking spaces so this is another thing to consider when renting a car and booking your accommodation.
I hope this post has inspired you to visit Seville with your kids! Have I missed anything out? Let me know in the comments!
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