Essential Architecture-  Seville

Seville Alcazar








mainly in Moorish Mudéjar style, but also in Renaissance. Its gardens are a blend of Moorish Andalusian and Christian traditions.





Supposedly, this courtyard is named for the two little faces which can be found on the in side of one of the courtyards' arches. Then of course, it is rumored, before Pedro I redecorated this courtyard it was the original site of the Moors harem.

  The horseshoe arches and wall designs are stunning but the star of the 'Salon de Embajadores' is the dome ceiling known as the "media naranja" (half orange).
Below left-
The dome ceiling is carved from wood and gilded in gold with red and blue hues in evidence; definitely not a room to bypass at the Palace.
 Below right- The Patio de la Doncellas - the upper story was built by Charles V. The courtyard name is in reference to a supposed annual tribute of 100 virgin maidens demanded of the Castile Kingdoms by the Moors.
The Alcázar facing the cathedral is the city's old Moorish Palace; construction was begun in 1181, continued for over 500 years, mainly in Mudéjar style, but also in Renaissance. Its gardens are a blend of Moorish Andalusian and Christian traditions.

While the Royal Palace of Sevilla is not quite as grand as the Alhambra in Granada, it still is a superb display of Mudejar architecture with a lot less walking than required at the Alhambra. Seville's main sights:

The Royal Palace was my first stop on visiting Seville and on entering the Patio de la Monteria I was reminded of one of the reasons I find southern Spain so enticing. The lavish and ornate styles of Architecture brought to southern Spain by the Moors are just breath taking.

From the Plaza del Triunfo; you can enter the Palace by way of the "Puerta del Leon"; the "gate of the Lion" marks the entrance to the Palace

The current Palace is built on the site of Roman fortifications and an Almohada (Moors) Palace from the 1100's. Most of the building on view today was constructed after 1364, the best parts, in the "Pedro I Palace" ( the Salon de Embajadores, Pato de las Doncellas and Salon de las Munecas) were completed by 1366, in the 1500's Charles 'V' added a chapel and halls with vaulted ceilings. During the exploration of the Americas, a wing was added to the Palace by Isabel to plan expeditions and direct her rule over the new Spanish territories. Keep in mind all parts of the Palace have undergone some restoration and renovation; some sections of the upper floors are still in use by the royal family.

If you are looking for what remains of the Moor's Alcazar you will need to find the "Patio del Yeso" (a courtyard I somehow missed on my visit); otherwise only the walls around the Puerta del Leon are attributed to the period of the Almohada rulers.

Photo below - window detail from the "Palace of Pedro I" in the "Patio de la Monteria". Note the modern glass behind the Mudejar windows.

After entering through "The Gate of the Lion", on the left and at the end of the long courtyard you might find a doorway leading to the "Patio de Yeso"; otherwise, like me, you well head straight in to the "Patio de la Monteria". The most striking facade in the "Patio de la Monteria" is Padro I's Palace; the other structures were added later by Queen Isabel.


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