Seville City - Alcazar

The Alcázar Real of Seville  © Michelle Chaplow
The Alcázar Real of Seville © Michelle Chaplow (Click to enlarge image)

The Alcazar Real - Royal Palace - Seville

Take me to: Hotels near Alcazar Palace

While the Alcazar looks like a Moorish palace, in fact many of its most beautiful rooms were built - by Moorish workmen, it's true - for the Christian king, Pedro the Cruel of Castile, in the 1360s. Pedro lived in, and ruled from, the palace with his mistress, Maria de Padilla. He embarked upon a complete rebuilding and extending of the palace, employing the finest workmen from Granada and Toledo, and utilising fragments of earlier Moorish buildings in Seville, Cordoba and Valencia.

The peaceful gardens of the Alcazar in Sevilla. © Sophie Carefull
The peaceful gardens of the Alcazar in Sevilla.

Pedro's Mudejar palace (designed in Moorish style for a Christian ruler) forms the heart of the Alcazar as it is today and, despite numerous restorations necessitated by fires and earth tremors, the Alcazar offers some of the best surviving examples of Mudejar architecture.

The Alcazar is divided into sections dating from a succession of eras: Moorish (11th-12th century), Gothic (13th century), Mudejar (14th century), and Renaissance (15th-16th century).

As you go into the palace complex, to your left is the oldest part, the Patio del Yeso, which dates from Moorish times.

To your right is the Renaissance palace, with the House of Trade where Columbus signed his contract with Queen Isabella. Many Italianate features, marble arches and columns, were added in the 16th century.

Straight ahead is Palace of King Don Pedro I, with a facade which harmoniously marries Moorish features - horseshoe arches, Arabic lettering ("Noone is victorious but Allah") - with Christian words (the very noble... Don Pedro... ordered ordered these Alcazares built"). Inside you will find the mesmerising Patio de las Doncellas, with its sunken gardens, painstaking arches and long pool. Around this patio are various royal salons, and at the opposite end is the most spectacular room in the palace: the Ambassadors' Hall, with a gold dome which represents the heavens. Look out for the Peacock Arch with birds decorating it, which leads to this salon. As well as a regal atmosphere, thanks to its white, blue and gold colours, and the gallery with portraits of all the Castillian kings, fabulous touches such as balconies supported by golden dragons give it a fairytale feel.

Upstairs are the private apartments, where you can see Queen Isabella's bedroom and private chapel, the dining room, the king's study and other chambers.

FAVOURITE shoot LOCATION

The Alcazar of Seville was used as a location for scenes in Season Five, and Six of the hugely successful HBO TV series, Game of Thrones, standing in for the Water Gardens of Dorne. The palace will also used to shoot the new NBC TV series Emerald City, based on The Wizard of Oz, in late 2015 and broadcast in 2016.

Visiting The Alcazar

The grounds of the Alcazar are extensive and fascinating, so be sure to leave yourself plenty of time to wander around the whole palace and gardens - two to three hours minimum. The Alcazar public entrance near the intersection of Calle Santo Tomas & Calle Miguel Mañara, and the exit is round the corner in Patio de los Banderas. 

Opening times:

October-March, Monday-Sunday 9:30-17:00

April-September, Monday-Sunday, 9:30-19:00

Closed 1 and 6 January, 25 December, Good Friday.

Prices:

13,50 euros general admission

2 euros concession (with valid ID)

Free on Mondays from 16.00 in winter, and from 18.00 in summer.

 

Hand-painted tiles and water fountains adorn Seville's grand Alcazar. © Sophie Carefull
Hand-painted tiles and water fountains adorn Seville's grand Alcazar.
The stunning gold ceiling of the Alcazar. © Sophie Carefull
The stunning gold ceiling of the Alcazar.

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Google street view of Alcazar entrance near the intersection of Calle Santo Tomas & Calle Miguel Mañara

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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