March 2017. Much like The Alhambra in Granada, a great deal of Seville’s tourism revolves around its amazing royal palace. With its architecture dating back to a succession of distinctive eras, it feels like there’s a surprise around every corner! You’ve got Moorish influences (11th to 12th century), Gothic (13th century), Mudejar (14th century) and Renaissance (15th-16th century) sections of the complex. This shot is of the palace’s main courtyard (Patio de le Monteria) where King Peter I and his posse used to meet before setting off on local hunting expeditions.
March 2017. The Alcázar’s most impressive courtyard (Courtyard of the Maidens) refers to the legend that the Moors demanded a hundred virgins every year as tribute from the Christian kingdoms. If this is true, one can only imagine what went on in the numerous antechambers that run along its side. The courtyard was also used as the court of the King of Jerusalem in the Ridley Scott movie Kingdom of Heaven.
March 2017. The absolutely stunning Hall of the Ambassadors used to be a throne room back in the days of the wonderfully named Pedro the Cruel. The room features triple horseshoe arches, Arabic inscriptions and portraits of fifty six Spanish kings. But the crowning achievement is surely its majestic dome of gilded wood, with multiple star patterns symbolising the universe. The dome’s shape also influenced the hall’s alternative name, Sala de la Media Naranja (Hall of the Half Orange).
March 2017. The Alcázar includes a vast complex of beautifully landscaped palace gardens. It took me well over an hour to stroll through, pausing here and there to admire the work of various art students scattered around with their paintbrushes and easels. There are pools, fountains, pavilions, a sizable maze and this incredible raised viewing gallery, Galeria de Grutesco. The covered viewing terrace features porticoes fashioned in the 16th century out of an old Muslim-era wall.
March 2017. The gardens are so vast that for the most part you can get away from the crowds and enjoy some peace and quiet. But things do get a little hectic around Mercury Pond, a former palace swimming pool presided over by the god of Mercury. Lion-embellished railings surround the pond, while a segment of the gallery walls forms the backdrop with painted birds and mythological figures.
For more on this incredible city have a read through my other articles on Seville.
Wanna read more about the region? Then check out more pieces from around Andalusia.
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