Alcazar - Gothic Alcázar

Gothic Alcázar

This section of the palace complex is reached through the Crossing Courtyard (see Moorish Alcazar), which is connected to the Patio de la Monteria (Hunting Courtyard) by a porticoed gallery, or from the Patio de las Doncellas.

Alfonso X built these rooms in the late 13th century over the remains of the old Almohad palace.

The entrance is a stone baroque portico, added in the later 18th century.

These are the main highlights.

Vault Room

This has an emblematic Gothic cross-ribbed vaulted ceiling, in the traditional Sevillano shade of albero yellow. Originally the vaults were held by full-height columns, but these were replaced by corbels to allow the tilework to be added on the wall below.

The two naval-themed tapestries were created for the 1929 Ibero-American Expo.

The stunning Renaissance tiles were added in the 16th century – with a bright yellow background, they depict allegorical figures from classical mythology, exotic birds, and also two important historical figures: Charles V and Isabella of Portugal, whose wedding may have been held in this room.

You can see into the garden from this room, thanks to a long glass-panelled gallery, which also provides illumination.

Salon de los Tapices (Tapestry Room)

This salon has tapestries depicting the military campaign of Holy Roman Emperor Charles V against Tunisia (the ones you see are copies of the originals). They were commissioned by Philip II.

The detail is extraordinary, with ships carrying sailors, and emitting plumes of smoke from cannons in the foreground, ranks of soldiers, and African towns in the distance.

After being damaged by the 1755 Lisbon earthquake, the original vaulted ceiling was replaced by late Baroque transverse arches.

Chapel

Sitting perpendicular to the other rooms, this conserves its original Gothic roof and pretty wall tiles with a cross design.

The 18th century Virgin of Antiquity on the altar is a copy of a painting in the cathedral, and the stained-glass window bears the typical monarchical emblems of castle and lion.

The Palacio Real Alto (Royal Apartments) (First floor)

The Alcazar is the official residence of the Spanish monarchs when staying in Seville, as they been for the past 1,000 years or so. Their quarters are upstairs from King Pedro’s Palace.

Started by the Reyes Católicos and finished by the Hapsburgs, the new apartments doubled the size of Pedro’s palace.

They were used during the winter months, being less cold and damp than the ground floor chambers.

Highlights include the Bedchamber of Pedro I, the Oratory of the Catholic Kings (look out for the retablo by Niculoso Pisano), and the Assembly Hall. Also the views from the gallery above the Maidens’ Courtyard are amazing, though be aware that taking photos is not allowed.

You can also see Queen Isabella's bedroom and private chapel, the dining room, the king's study and other chambers. The apartments are the present King Felipe VI’s official residence when in Seville. His sister Elena held her wedding banquet here.

While stucco and tiles design in Arabic architecture mostly use graphic shapes and botanical details, such as stars, those in Mudéjar decoration feature motifs such as flowers, as well as shells which are associated with fertility, and the lion and castle of the Spanish monarchy.