The varieties of architectural styles in this palace are stunning. It is a must stop in Sevilla and a beautiful place to just wander and enjoy.
Hopefully I can save you a little aggravation in seeing this site. I booked a tour through Feel the City Tours; while I had two other great experiences with them, I could have skipped their tour of Alcazar and gone on my own.
We saw the huge lines in the morning and the staff of Feel the City encouraged us to purchase a tour to skip the lines. We paid 30 Euros on top of the entry fee to the palace (which we paid in cash) for two adults. The tour was interesting, but we had to wear headsets (which were over the ear but still grossed me out) because they understandably want to keep the noise down from the tour guides. There were some stops that I didn't find interesting at all and others that I would have liked to linger, but had to keep up with the (LARGE) group.
Today I looked at the Alcazar website and found their link to skip the lines... you can purchase a timed ticket WITH a rented audioguide for 31 Euros (for 2 adults). I think I would have had a better time had we just done this and moved at our own pace (AND at a time we wanted to go).
Here's the palace's website where you can purchase your timed tickets and audioguide rental in advance: http://www.alcazarsevilla.org/english-version/
Surrounded by the cathedral, the Alcazar and the Royal Archives of India, this wide square is the main hub of all touristy movements in Seville.
It has an image of the Virgin in the centre, but its name comes from another small monument close to the archives.
On the city tour we did by Andalucia tours and discovery, our guide recomended us to visit the Alcazar of Sevilla, or the royal palace(s) of Seville. She informed us that scenes from season 5 of Game of Thrones were filmed here. We watch the series so we thought that was very cool.
We were glad to follow her recommendation, both the palaces and the garden were absolutely beautiful!
A great mix between the Arabic and the Catholic styles of architecture.
The Alcázar was built between 913-914 by the first Andalusian caliph Abd al-Rahman III who, for its construction, took advantage of a ancient Roman settlement. In the following centuries, the caliphs preceding added different palaces and gardens to the initial construction. Is the Palace with continued use as the world's oldest royal residence. Today, it remains the official residence of the Kings of Spain during their visits to Seville.
El Alcázar fue construido entre los años 913-914 por el primer califa Andaluz Abd al-Rahman III quien, para su construcción, aprovechó un antiguo asentamiento romano. En los siglos siguientes, los califas que le preceden añaden diferentes palacios y jardines a la construcción inicial. Es el Palacio con uso continuado como residencia Real más antiguo del mundo. Hoy por hoy, sigue siendo la residencia oficial de los Reyes de España durante sus visitas a Sevilla.
The oldest Royal Palace still in use in Europe, the Alcazar is one of the biggest tourist attractions in Seville. Its origins go as far back as the 11th century and it was declared a World Heritage Site in 1987. It is similar in many ways to the Alhambra of Granada, but considerably less crowded, so it is far more atmospheric, or at least that is how it seemed to me. We arrived at 10.00 am. on a Sunday morning without a pre-booking and were able to go straight in. It was very quiet, no queues.
The first room we came to was the Sala de la Justice, built by Alfonso XI in mid 14th century. It was under restoration, so we weren't able to see the plasterwork which combines Muslim tradition and Castilian emblems according to the information board.
Then we came to the Patio del Yeso, a courtyard which was rediscovered in the 19th century. During the Almohad period two porticos opened onto it. Now only the southern one remains. It was very peaceful here. There was nothing to hear but the sound of pigeons who were lined up by the central pool as if daring each other to take a dip.
Retracing our steps we came to the facade of the Palace of Pedro I (1364 - 7). Inside the entrance hall are two narrow passages with right angle bends to preserve the privacy of the interior, in accordance with Islamic custom. The passage leads to the Patio de la Doncelles/Maidens Courtyard, a cool courtyard with pools at the centre of Pedro I's palace.
From here we climbed the stairs to the Chapel of the Gothic Palace / Capilla del Palacio Gotico. This is an older part of the palace, built by Alfonso X 'the Wise' (1252-1284) over the old Almohad palace.
The Tapestries Hall / Salon de los Tapices was destroyed after the Lisbon earthquake of 1755 and remodelled by Sebastian van de Borcht. The tapestries on display today are replicas of 'The Conquest of Tunisia' which was commissioned by Charles V after his victory in 1535. These replicas were commissioned by Philip V during the 18th century, and are worth a close look.
Hall of Charles V is also called the Vaults Hall as the original ceiling vaults are preserved. The walls are decorated with tiled panels. It looks out over the gardens.
The Mercury Pond collects water from an old Roman aqueduct which was reused by the Moors to water the orchards and garden. It was transformed into a pond from 1575, with a statue of Mercury by Diego Pesquera.
The Jardin de las Damas / Ladies' Garden was redesigned in the 17th century in the form of a large rectangle with 8 compartments. It is bordered by the Grotto Gallery (from which you can get a good view over the garden) and the Fame Fountain (Fuente de la Fama).
Beyond this are extensive gardens and Pavilions. There is also a maze (though this is quite new - it was designed in 1914).
The Banos de Maria Padilla is a garden dug into the earth beneath the palace, making it the ideal temperature and humidity for summer.
By the time we returned to the main building to see the Salon del Tecno de Felipe II /Philip II Ceiling room, the Courtyard of the Dolls the Salon de los Embajadores / Salon of the Ambassadors and the Alcoba Real / Royal Bedroom, more visitors had arrived, so it was a bit more crowded.
In the gardens is a cafeteria with inside and outside terraces, and an air-conditioned room. Watch out for the fearless peacock who stalks the outside tables in search of crumbs.
Opening hours from March to October are 9.30 to 17.00 and April to September are 9.30 to 19.00.
Entry is 9.50 euro. You can pre-book, but there doesn't seem to be any need if you arrive reasonably early. It is also possible to visit the upper palace, which is the official residence of the royal family in Seville. There is a separate admission fee for this.
The magnificent gardens located behind the palace create an atmosphere of a cool summer residence with smelling sweet flowers and pools.
You can watch my 3 min 09 sec Video Sevilla Alkazar part 4 out of my Youtube channel or here on VT.
From Patio de Banderas we get into the Hunting court yard (Patio de la Montera) which anticipates premises of the palace.
This court yard is the greatest on size unlike small courtyards which are executed in moorish style.
You can watch my 3 min 18 sec Video Sevilla Alkazar part 3 out of my Youtube channel or here on VT.
The entrance in Alcazar is from Plaza del Triunfo. It conducts into the green court yard Patio de Banderas. There were made ablution there.
You can watch my 4 min 03 sec Video Sevilla Alkazar part 2 out of my Youtube channel or here on VT.
Palace Alcazar is located at the southern side of Plaza del Triunfo. The palace represents a masterpiece of moorish architecture - mudehar and can be compare with well-known palace Algambra in Granada. Alcazar was an official residence of Spanish kings during six centuries. The palace was built by architect Pedro in 1350-1369 on a place of the Arabian fortress of VIII century and included its many halls and buildings. Therefore complex Alcazar consists of moorish and Gothic parts.
You can watch my 3 min 31 sec Video Sevilla Alkazar part 1 out of my Youtube channel or here on VT.
If you are visiting the Alcazar, make sure you are in the Ladies' Garden on the hour.
The Fame Fountain (Fuente de la Fama) has a hydraulic mechanism, estored in 2006, which plays musical notes on the pipes of an organ on the stroke of each hour.
We arrived at around ten to eleven, and decided to wait to hear it. I think it was running slightly late as it didn't start up until about 5 minutes past, but it was worth waiting for. I was expecting just a few notes, but it plays a real piece of music.
There is a small opening round the back that you can look through to see the organ pipes - you can just about see the cylinder that rotates to play the tune (like a giant musical box).
To some this is the major attraction in Sevilla.A series of palace buildings built over many years under different influences.I would recommend taking a least half a day to see this complex and gardens.Take some food and drink,find a quite spot in the gardens and enjoy the oasis.
Finally we are on the third UNESCO building in Sevilla, the Real Alcázar, the oldest Royal Palace used in Europe, because it still being the official residence of the Spanish Royal Family in Seville.
Noteworthy as it is it not only a singular palace but a series of palaces, the product of successive reforms that took place since the Arab occupation. Thus these grounds bring together a perfect symbiosis, a succession of architectural styles, from Islamic to Neoclassical, incorporating Mudejar elements, Gothic, Renaissance, Plateresque, Purist, Baroque and Rococo; all contributing to the magnificence of this landmark. They are present at its beautiful gardens, patios, rooms and tapestries.
It's really advisable a visit to the Alcázar, and also I could advice you to take an audioguide to understand better the history and unique art of this building.
Visiting hours during the day
From October until March 9:30 - 17:00
From April until September 9:30 - 19:00
Price / Precio: 8'75 €
Retired and students from 17 to 25: 2 €
Sevillians, disabled and children under 16: Free entrance
Free entrance for regular public 18:00 - 19:00 (April - September) and 16:00 - 17:00 (October - March)
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