Alcazar of Seville is the royal palace located in the middle of Seville, located beside the Cathedral. It is one of the most beautifully elaborate places I’ve ever been. Although it’s a popular tourist stop (obviously for good reason) and can get really busy, I promise you it’s absolutely worth it.
The palace was originally built in in the early 1300s, also known as the Dark Ages in Europe. The Moorish rulers who built the Palace paid tribute to the Islamic art at the time which can be seen throughout the architecture. As you stroll through the epicenter of the palace you’ll notice calligraphy and geometric patterns that remind you of the middle east.
In the 13th century, the palace was overtaken by the Catholic Kings of Spain who proceeded to build upon the existing structure. The blend of Renaissance and Romanesque design blend together nicely to create a heavenly area to wander through. In 1987 the Alcazar of Seville became a UNESCO World Heritage Site and gained fast popularity ever since.
I didn’t know too much about the palace before venturing inside but I wish I did! I think the only thing I knew was that several episodes of the Game of Thrones were filmed here. I don’t even watch the show, so that meant little to me.
I think not knowing much about the palace before venturing inside actually helped me and the astonishment I experienced around every corner. The palace itself is so big that getting lost inside isn’t a hard feat. Because we were a group of 6, splitting up and trying to gather the whole group together after wasn’t easy (definitely pick a meeting time and place before going inside if you can lol).
Lion’s Gate and Court of the Lions
As you enter the Alcazar of Seville and purchase your tickets you’ll find yourself through inside the Lion’s Gate. The Lion’s Gate inside the palace is actually the grand entrance. It’s here that you’ll begin to notice the Islamic influence in the architecture. The patterns and colours that line the wall can keep your eyes entertained for hours if you let them.
You’ll also enter the Court of Lions in this area of the Alcazar of Seville. The courtyard is probably one of the most photographed and visited section of the palace. With the beautiful archways, gardening and water features it’s not hard to see why. This is usually one of the busiest areas of Alcazar of Seville as well so if you want to try and snap a picture with no one inside, be sure to arrive at the palace when it first opens.
The Gothic Palace
The Gothic Palace, located right near the Lions Gate and Courtyard was build in the mid 1200s by Alfonso X. While most of the structure was destroyed or damaged in the major earthquake, much of it was restored but this time with a Baroque influence.
The Gothic Palace consists of three rooms; the tapestry room, the chapel and the gothic room. Take your time wandering through these rooms, especially the tapestry room where you’ll get to witness some of the finest work you’ve ever seen!
This was by far my favourite part of the Alcazar of Seville. The gardens are truly something out of a dream. They are so large and so exquisite, I swear you could spend a day wandering through the area and still never see everything. The confusing layout brings you through fruit trees, trimmed hedges, water features, beautiful archways and numerous places to sit and watch the world go by.
One of the most well-known features of the gardens is the popular Mercury Pond. It’s located in the highest point of the palace and therefore makes for a great lookout. Make sure to climb the Gallery of the Grotesque for outstanding views not only of the pond but of the entire gardens area.
Entrance and Tickets
The ticket prices to get into the Alcazar of Seville are €9.50 which isn’t too bad and definitely worth the price. However, the line-ups can get very long, especially if you’re waiting in the hot sun. Like any major touristy spot it’s best to get there as soon as possible (lining up a bit before opening is recommended).
You can choose to do a tour to get in faster or at a designated time. I honestly wish I had have done a walking tour inside I think it would have made me appreciate what I was seeing a lot more.
It’s pretty easy to get to Alcazar of Seville if you’re travelling around Seville. It’s conveniently located in the same square as the Seville Cathedral. You can easily see both major sites in a couple of hours. I found Seville an incredibly easy city to walk around so as long as you’re staying in a hotel that’s centrally located you’ll be fine.
Where to Stay
There is no shortage of amazing hotels or Airbnbs located in Seville and near the Alcazar. We stayed in an Airbnb that which was perfect for the 6 of us that were travelling together and it was in a really great location. It can sometimes be cheaper if you’re travelling with a smaller group to get a hotel room so I always encourage you to do your research before booking.
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