Exploring the Royal Alcázar of Seville

There are few places that have withstood the test of time as gracefully as the Royal Alcazar of Seville. Located near the renowned Jewish Quarter, this incredible fortress was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987 around the same time as the Seville Cathedral
 
The Alcázar has provided the setting for a number of films, including Lawrence of Arabia, the Kingdom of Heaven. and most recently, the fifth series of the Game of Thrones.
 
Royal Alcazar, Seville, Spain
 
Enclosed within its walls is an impressive preservation of Renaissance, Baroque and XIX century influence.
 
Once you've enjoying the renowned beauty within the palace, exit to the gardens and treat your senses to the magic of the estate.
 
Royal Alcazar
 
Breathing in the fresh air and walking among the maze of orange trees is the perfect way to digest the magic of the Alcazar. 

History of the Royal Alcázar of Seville

Originally a Moorish fortress, the Royal Alcazar of Seville is the oldest European royal palace still in use. The palace has greatly transformed since its inception as a Roman fort. A long history of alterations, expansions, and renovations have created a defining mixture of styles.
 
Royal Alcazar
 
The history of this building tells the dramatic tale of Moorish dynasty to Christian rule, each chapter in time documented with changes made to its build.
 
Worth noting is the mudejar architecture - the mix of Christian and Moorish techniques. Attentive eyes will even notice the influence of Renaissance and Gothic styles.
 
Royal Alcazar

Visiting the Palace

Enter the palace from Plaza del Triunfo through the Lion’s Gate, which is easily identified by the ceramic tilework depiction of the great beast.
 
From here, you will pass through various courtyards of stunning charm.There are many maps of the Royal Alcazar offered at the beginning of the palace where tickets are purchased. We recommend using these valuable resources to help navigate both the palace and the gardens, as there are many details not to be missed.
 
The main attraction within the palace is the Patio de las Doncellas, which was once the centre of public life. This section offers access to several halls that are definitely worth exploring.
 
Royal Alcazar
 
Also worth noting is the surprising Goth-vaulted hall of Salones de Carlos V, which is decorated with elaborate tapestries and polished stone, and the Baths of Lady Maria de Padilla.
 
Take the time to read the inscriptions along the way, as the brilliance of each section is enriched with an understanding of its specific history.

Walking the Gardens

The royal gardens are divided in separate sections, all of which appeal with unique style. The first garden, the Garden of the Pond, is characterized by a small statue of Mercury, the messenger of the Gods.
 
Royal Alcazar
 
From here, there are many ways to tour the gardens. Allow yourself sufficient time to get lost in the maze of terraces, ponds, and stairways. We recommend consulting a map of the grounds before exploring.

Organizing your Trip

The opening hours are October to March from Monday to Sunday, 9:30 until 17:00. From April to September, you are able to visit Monday to Sunday from 9:30 until 19:00. The Alcazar is closed from January 1st until the 6th, as well as on Good Friday and the 25th of December.

Regular tickets are 9.50€, and 2€ for students (ages 17-25) and pensioners. Maybe make a note mentioning to bring your student card. Entrance for the disabled, those under sixteen years of age, and residents of Seville is free.

Royal Alcazar

Bring snacks, water, sunscreen and layers of clothing, as the conditions vary greatly depending where you are in the palace. If you prefer eating out, there are lots of great tapas bars in the area around the palace worth visiting.

There are few lavatories so be mindful when planning your exploration. At a decent pace, the palace and the gardens take approximately two and a half hours to see, although you could easily spend an entire day wandering the stunning complex.

Directions to the Palace

Walking from the very central Seville Cathedral, head east on Calle Fray Ceferino Gonzalez toward Calle Miguel Manara. Turn right, and the Royal Alcazar will shortly be on your left.

As the Alcazar is located so centrally, the easiest way to visit is by foot from within the city-centre. Otherwise, parking can be difficult and expensive. Ask around and most anyone will know how to guide you to the palace from within the city.

 
From your entry at the Lion's Gate to your stroll through the gardens, lose yourself in a maze of Moorish, Islamic, Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque elements that make this UNESCO World Heritage Site so timeless.

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