Officially known as the Reales Alcázar de Sevilla (Royal Alcazar of Seville) it was originally built by the Muslim kings but today is the royal palace in Seville and still used by the Royal Family when visiting the city as their official residence. The result has been that for more than 1000 years the ruling Kings of Spain have used the Alcázar as their home whilst in Seville. The building is known as being one of the most beautiful palaces in Spain and the oldest palace still in use in Europe. In 1987 the palace, along with Seville Cathedral and the General Archives of the Indies were registered by UNESCO as World Heritage Sites.
The Alcázar began life as a fort for the Muslim Governors of Seville in 913, and has been modified or enlarged every century since. When Seville fell to the Christians in 1248 Ferdinand III moved into the fortress, in fact dying inside in 1252. His son added mores salons but using the more Christian Gothic style. The scene was set for all Spanish monarchs to not only reside their but also improve it including Isabel & Ferdinand who used the building to plan the Battle of Granada which saw the eventual defeat of the last of the Muslim rulers.
Palacio de Pedro el Cruel (The Palace of Peter the Cruel)
Built in 1362 the palace is considered one of the finest examples of Mudejar (fusion of Arabic & Christian design) in Spain. Built by stone mason from the Granada, the building is influenced by the Alhambra and each subsequent reform has kept its original design and theme.
Jardines (The Gardens)
The gardens are one of the best examples of Moorish garden design in Europe. the area is laid out with terraces and numerous ornamental basins, the most impressive being the English Garden and the Charles V Pavilion.
Patio de las Doncellas (The Courtyard of the Maidens)
The historical meaning of the name stems from the legend that the Muslim Kings demanded 100 virgins every year as a tribute from the Christian kings in Iberia. The courtyard is wonderfully decorated with a rectangular pool reflecting the sunken gardens on either side.
The courtyard was used by Ridley Scott being the court of the King of Jerusalem in the film Kingdom of Heaven.
Salon de Embajadores (Hall of the Ambassadors)
This was once Peter the Cruel’s Throne Room, it is today known for its incredible wooden dome ceiling with multiple star patterns symbolising the universe-
Salón de Tapices (Tapestry Room)
Has a wonderful collection of 18th century tapestries showing Charles I and his 1535 conquest of Tunisia
A guided visit to the Alcázar is available, along with a visit to Plaza America, is available on;