The Royal Alcazar of Seville

I purchased a book a few years back called “1001 Buildings You Must See Before You Die”. From earlier posts you might have noticed that I love walking buildings, streets, markets, gardens and parks. I check the book for architectural masterpieces, important public buildings, palaces, museums, unique or unusual structures or simply undiscovered gems of building before I set off traveling.

While planning a visit southern Spain a number of places stood out. One, located in Seville where history abounds as this is a city which is more than 2,000 years old – the Royal Alcazar of Seville. 2000 years is plenty of time to create some history. Even older Roman features that include the remnants of an aqueduct exist however it is the Moorish influence that dominate much of the architectural tourist attractions.

You cannot miss the Royal Alcazar. It’s a palace with more than a thousands of years of art and history. This is on my must visit list. It is not a single castle but an arrangement of palaces built over several reigns. It also has a massive grouping of gardens to explore.

Locally referred to as the Real Alcazar of Sevilla it has been fortunate that it has evolved over a variety of architectural periods when most of the monarchs that lived within its walls continued to construct around previous palaces rather than demolish. The now complex building is harmonious combination of Muslim, Gothic, Mudejar, Renaissance, Baroque and Romantic according to the tourist materials.

As you walked around there was so much to take in so here’s few snaps I took as I admired the Royal Alcazar…
alcazar-spain-entry-2011Entry Gate

The subsequent extension of the Alcazar over a period of 10 centuries has brought about  different entrance ways. See another for the exit at the end of the blog.

The doorway in the centre of the facade is Mudejar work of 1364.

alcazar-spain-mudejar-work2-2011Closer look at the detailed work.

The Maidens’ Patio – The nucleus of the palace’s official activity has the Ambassador’s Halls in one section where the king received his subjects.

Tiles of the Maidens’ Patio.  It is made by positioning small ceramic pieces in a  puzzle like way, face down to form the motif. Once finished it is covered with plaster and applied to the wall.  The complex designs of stars and lines also was reflected in the ornate ceilings and carved  wooden door and window shutters. See the window shutters next.

Window shutter in the Infantes’ Room. These windows look out to the Galley Garden. One of  several gardens in the Royal Alcazar grounds.

The Gallery Garden is part of the 6 historic gardens which are about 3400 Sq M. They include the Prince’s Garden, the Flower Garden, Galley Garden, Garden of Troy, The Dance Garden and the Pond Garden.

The Charles V Pavilion is the oldest building in the gardens. Yes when you are restored between 1543 and 1546 this building is old by Australia standards. It’s walls are covered with tiles and there are Muslim ornaments so while Charles V was a Catholic King this is another example of the harmony of the various architectural styles.The Pavilion is the the jewel in the centre of the former Muslim orchard of Alcazar now called the Alcove Garden. It is not really an Alcove as it covers 4100 square metres.Other gardens include the Damsels’ Garden ( 4000 Sq M), and the Marquis’ Garden of Retreat (16 Hectares).

Grotto Gallery in the Gardens is 160m in length. It starts at next to the northern wall of the Pond Garden and finishes on an angle in the Alcove Garden.

Yes they even had Gum Trees.  If you really want to investigate the gardens you need to have good walking shoes and allow more than one day to walk all the paths and stop to admire the views once in a while.

Flag Square Gateway. Parts of this are from the 12th Century. Note the size of the stone blocks compared to the tourist in the archway.

Safe and happy travels!