Royal Alcazar of Seville
By Gabriela Noguez |
Visit the Royal Alcazar of Seville and enjoy its surprising history and its splendid Arab architecture.
THE ROYAL ALCAZAR IN THE OLD CITY OF SEVILLE
As the song says, Seville has a special color, and that’s because, without doubt, this Spanish city has a certain charm that fascinates all who visit it. That’s why today DINKtravelers invites you to discover this magical destination.
Located in southern Spain, Seville, capital of the Autonomous Community of Andalusia, is a city infused by a peculiar spirit: its warmth. And we’re not only referring to its characteristic warm weather, but to its kind-hearted people. There, the environment is always festive. There’s nothing like taking a walk along Maria Luisa Park or spending an evening in a traditional Tablao to see a flamenco dance show and drink some wine.
Apart from everything, Seville is a city that’s packed with majestic monuments that have thousands of stories to tell. Either on foot or on a traditional horse carriage ride, there’s no more charming experience than touring the city’s historic center and discovering everything it has to offer.
During your visit, don’t miss the chance to visit the monumental complex that UNESCO declared World Heritage in 1987 and that is made up by the Cathedral and the Giralda, the General Archive of the Indies and the Royal Alcazar. Also, there are other nearby attractions such as the Royal Tobacco Factory, the Gold Tower on the riverbanks of the imposing Guadalquivir River, and the Bullring. Or, if you prefer, you can visit the Arenal Market and shop for regional products.
Don’ forget to take a walk along Maria Luisa Park and allow its harmoniously distributed green areas embrace you together with its monuments and sculptures. In that same area, visit two amazing squares: Plaza America and Plaza España (America Square and Spain Square).
After touring the city you’ll understand why Seville is so elegant and charming, and why it captivates travelers from all around the world.
THE ROYAL ALCAZAR
There are places in the world where traveling to the past is possible. It suffices to enter their premises to learn that the door to time travel exists. That’s why,in your next trip to Seville, you should go to the Royal Alcazar.
The city of Seville is one of travelers’ favorite destinations, and once you discover its history and culture, you will perfectly understand why. In the old city of Seville you’ll find the Royal Alcazar, home to kings and witness to stories that could easily seem to have been taken from books. However, every story it tells is perfectly real.
HISTORY OF THE ROYAL ALCAZAR OF SEVILLE
In the 8th century, Muslims settled throughout the Iberian Peninsula, mostly in Andalusia. They built mosques, fortresses and palaces such as the Royal Alcazar of Seville, which was established to harbor the caliphal power. After the conquest of Seville by Christian troops under the command of king Ferdinand III The Saint in the 13th century, the Arab complex was used as home of Christian kings who made some modifications to the original construction. Some of the kings who lived there were Alphonse X The Wise, author of theBook of Laws, and Peter I The Cruel, the second monarch of the Trastamara family, the same family Isabel and Fernando, the catholic kings, belonged to. Furthermore, it was in the alcazar where Isabel The Catholic gave birth to her second son, prince Juan, and where years later Charles I married Isabel of Portugal.
VISIT THE ROYAL ALCAZAR OF SEVILLE
Visit all the premises including the gardens, where tranquility takes over your mind and the fresh wind that blows through the trees creates a harmonious combination with the flowing fountains, which are testimonies of the great engineering knowledge the Arabs had.
We recommend arriving early in the morning and wearing light comfortable clothes. For 5 euros you can borrow an audioguide at the entrance. It will give you lots of interesting information about the different areas you’ll find in the alcazar, the Arab decorations you’ll see on walls, doors and ceilings, and the gardens.
THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW BEFORE VISITING THE ROYAL ALCAZAR
- During high season (May-September) and on weekends, the line to the ticket office can be more than an hour long, even in the morning. Skip the line by buying your tickets on the alcazar’s official website.
- Photography is allowed in the premises, but avoid flash photography.
- Visit the Monteria Courtyard, located near the entrance, after crossing the arches, and admire the façade of Peter I’s Palace.
- The Admiral’s Hall, on the right side of the courtyard, used to house the Casa de Contratación de Sevilla (House of Hiring). Now, it houses an image of the Virgin of Sailors, the first painting that portrayed a theme related to the Americas.
- The most popular attraction in the alcazar is the Mudejar Palace, where you’ll find the Damsels Courtyard surrounded by two levels of arches that rest on marble columns.
- The Ambassadors Hall is another must-see area, with its 1427 dome created by Diego Ruiz.
- In the gardens, visit Mercury Pond, a quaint monument, and the Garden of the Dance.
- Take bottled water in your backpack because even though there are some drinking fountains in the premises, the place is so big that it’ll take you around three hours to visit it.