The Bohemian Seville | Top places to Stay Eat Explore
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There is an area towards the northern side of the city that embodies the true taste of Seville’s local life. An area that is filled with so much energy and as buzzing as Soho in London! An unconventional hotbed of shops, cultures, music, clubs and life, lots of nightlife! The Bohemian Seville is a neighbourhood that is continuously renewed through imagination, art and style, attracting students, tourists as well as Sevillanos.
Welcome to this mini guide on Bohemian Seville, encompassing four neighbourhoods as oppossed to one .
Traditionally, La Alameda is a neighbourhood that is associated with bohemian culture, a neighbourhood of different personalities, multi-cultural offerings and the area where Andalusian rock music was born. Home to the oldest public park in Europe, the Alameda de Hercules encompasses a large pedestrian area and is the most popular leisure area in the city. Although the Alameda neighbourhood is the heart of bohemian Seville, the areas of Las Setas, Feria and Macarena are included as wider Bohemian Seville in this article. All these four areas are located within 10 minutes of each other and share the Bohemian quirky vibe. It takes about 30 minutes to walk from the historic centre or an easy 10-minute taxi ride.
A visit to the off-track Bohemian Seville offer an alternative to Seville’s usual tourist sights, with a mix of avant-garde eateries, vintage clothing and a paradise of local independent shops.
What this mini-guide on Bohemian Seville covers
In this mini-guide on Bohemian Seville, you will find an overview on each of the barrios and what you could do on your visit along with suggestions on where to stay and places to try some delicious food. In Bohemian Seville, it is all about the “relax, fun and the easy-going where anything goes vibes” rather than ticking-off a list of attractions, although there are some unmissable historic monuments which you could see along the way, especially in Macarena.
Please also read Barrio Santa Cruz, the BEST guide to Where to Stay, Things to do and Where to Eat alongside this article for a greater context on the city of Seville.
Planning a trip to Seville? You may find the following articles helpful also:
A MINI GUIDE TO BOHEMIAN SEVILLE — LAS SETAS — CALLE FERIA — LA ALAMEDA and MACARENA AREAS
1 |LAS SETAS AREA
The area around Las Setasde Sevilla (The Mushrooms of Seville) or the Metropol Parasol was once a run-down area and now, is home to quirky boutiques, organic food shops, and independent shops.
1.1 | What to do at Las Setas Area
Las Setas de Sevilla is a large wooden structure at La Encarnación and is one of Seville’s iconic landmark that was built in 2011. The Metropol Parasol houses the local market, Mercado de laEncarnación, several tapas bars, and cafes. Alongside these are a rooftop walk and an archaeological museum.
From Las Setas de Sevilla, walk up the quirky neighbourhood along Calle Regina towards Feria. Calle Regina is a pedestrianised street offering bookshop, Spanish-sweet shop, and a cafe for a quick break.
2 | FERIA, SEVILLE
Feria, as the name itself denotes is a ‘party’ neighbourhood and makes as one of Bohemian Seville. This cool barrio encompasses several streets clustered around Calle Feria with the lively part of this neighbourhood stretching along Alameda de Hercules, one of the busiest spots for nightlife in Seville.
2.1 | What to do at Feria, Seville
Calle Feria is famous for its noisy, hectic flea market on Thursdays for all things trash or treasure. Jueves Market is the oldest and the most colourful flea market in Seville and you can buy pretty much anything here – from books, flamenco dresses to bird cages! One of Seville’s best vintage clothing boutique, Ropero and Jueves is located at Feria, 37.
Located towards the northern end of Calle Feria is Mercado de Feria, a popular food hall with 100+ vendors dishing up paella and croquettes.
The heartbeat of Bohemian Seville, the Alameda neighbourhood was once a down-and-out barrio. Now, this is where life is lived intensely and where people get the impression that Seville embraces diversity. Go here for a drink and to hang-out till the early hours.
3.1 | What to do at Alameda Neighbourhood
La Alameda is one of Seville’s trendiest and hippiest of neighbourhoods. Home of Andalusian rock music, the Alameda now boasts all kinds of music. You can enjoy jazz, pop-rock, concerts and music festivals. There are funky art galleries, chic bars, restaurants and vintage boutiques. La Alameda represents a marriage of historical places, spaces, style, art, imagination and cultural expressions. The aura of complete la libertad!
Head to La Alameda de Hercules, a historical public square encompassing a large (480 metres by 80 metres) tree-lined pedestrian area surrounded by tapas bars, terraces cafes and restaurants. It suits all personalities and frequented by artists, students, and tourists.
As revellers call it a ‘night’ on the early hours of Sunday morning, the historic square becomes alive with hectic vendors setting up stalls for one of Andalusian capital’s most interesting art and craft markets. You can visit the Alameda Market scene on Sundays from 7:30 a.m.
Macarena is popular for its creative vibe and home to a range of shops selling vintage clothes and books. This neighbourhood takes its name from the Basilica de la Macarena, home to the revered Virgin Macarena.
4.1 | What to do at Macarena Bohemian Seville
The Basilica de la Macarena sits next to the city’s ancient gates and parts of an ancient wall, possibly the largest remaining sections of Moorish city wall. This remarkable monument stretches from Puerta de la Macarena on the west to Puerta de Cordoba on the east, two of the oldest gates to the Andalusian capital city.
Macarena nowadays is an economically important part of Seville and is home to the Andalusian parliament. The Andalusian Parliament building was once a hospital, Hospital of the Five Holy Wounds (Hospital de las Cinco Ilagas).
Macarena is also host to Seville’s best loved Christian processions. The procession of Virgin of Macarena, Semana Santa (Holy Week) takes place every Easter.
This neighbourhood is filled with budget accommodations and apartments while also popular for its vibrant nightlife scene that keeps going till the early hours.
The Royal Alcazar, Seville Cathedral & Giralda Tower skip-the-line guided tour from £45.20 per person > Check availabilityand Book
WHERE TO STAY AT THE BOHEMIAN LAS SETAS — CALLE FERIA — LA ALAMEDA and MACARENA AREAS
If the noise is not a bother and you wish to stay in these barrios that make up Bohemian Seville, look up the following hotels as they come highly rated for this neighbourhood. Also, this is a popular area for the night owls, so ensure you grab a good deal by booking early.
1 | Mid-range hotels atBohemian Las Setas – Calle Feria – La Alameda and Macarena Area
1.1 | Exe Sevilla Macarena
Hotel Sevilla Macarena is located facing the city wall and the Basilica de la Macarena. The hotel offers rooftop pool, panoramic views and is set around a typical courtyard usually found in Seville. International breakfast buffet is offered as well.
1.2 | One Shot Palacio Conde de Torrejon
One Shot Palacio Conde de Torrejon is a 4-star hotel located within minutes of La Alameda de Hercules. Guests enjoy the seasonal outdoor swimming pool, a terrace, bar and a buffet breakfast. Offers family rooms.
2 | Budget accommodations at Bohemian Las Setas – Calle Feria – La Alameda and Macarena Area
2.1 | Alcoba del Rey de Sevilla
Alcoba del Rey de Sevilla is located close to the Basilica de la Macarena. This highly rated boutique hotel feature a rooftop terrace, a hot tub and is set around a typical Andalusian patio. Located at just 3-minutes from the La Alameda area. Alcoba del Rey de Sevilla is particularly noted by guests for its unique rooms, incredible breakfast and friendly hospitality.
2.2 | Sacristia de Santa Ana
Sacristia de Santa Ana is located in La Alameda de Hercules. A 18th century manor house feature parquet floors and classical-style decor. Conveniently located near a bus-stop.
2.3 | Patio de la Cartuja
Patio de la Cartuja features apartments in split floors. Conveniently located within minutes to La Alameda de Hercules. Continental breakfast is available each morning.
WHERE TO EAT AT THE BOHEMIAN LAS SETAS — CALLE FERIA — LA ALAMEDA and MACARENA AREAS
This is a neighbourhood where there are many tapas bar and cafes that serve some of the very best in authentic Andalusian dishes. The area is abuzz with vendors serving from paella and croquettes to seafood and empanadas along with snug and hidden bars.
Mix with the locals and soak up the sun at vibrant La Alameda while enjoying cañas till the morning hours. Your choices of local cuisine is endless with the offerings of over a hundred food stalls at Feria Market and at the great choices at the fresh food market at La Encarnación Metropol Parasol.
Within Bohemian Seville neighbourhoods, you may want to try the following which are highly rated:
Eslava – has been around for over thirty years and is a favourite for both locals and tourists. It has the buzz of a local bar and offers traditional tapas such as costillos (pork ribs) alongside some newer creatives.
Arte y Sabor – offers a fusion of cuisine. Morrocon dishes such as tagine alongside Spanish dishes. Vegetarian friendly
The remarkable Antiquarium Room in Old Seville is an important archaeological site. It represents Seville’s ancient Roman roots going back to the 1st century and the later influences of the Almohads on the Iberian peninsula of Southern Spain.
This post gives an overview of the historic context of the Antiquarium Room in Old Seville along with what visitors’ can expect and the highlights to look out for.
The discovery of the archaeological remains in Old Seville are quite recent. They were discovered when a wider project to regenerate the area of the Plaza de laEncarnación was undertaken in 2005, with the construction of Metropol Parasol. The Antiquarium Room sits in the basement of the iconic Metropol Parasol.
1 | A HISTORIC PERSPECTIVE INTO SEVILLE’S OLD TOWN & METROPOL PARASOL
The area in general was a square at which the town came together since Roman times. In ancient Roman cities, the axis was known as ‘cardo’, the north-south streets and ‘Decumanus”, the east-west street which served as the primary street in the town. This area developed over the centuries into an important market and commercial centre.
In the 1830s, a fresh food market was established, the first of its kind in Seville. The square grew over the years into a thriving area, but its prominence declined in the 1970s. With a view to breathe life back into the area, the local council decided on an urban redevelopment project. The project was assigned to Jürgen Mayer-Hermann, a German architect.
Mayer-Hermann designed a five-storey building incorporating a colossal undulated honeycombed parasol made of a wood called Kerto. The parasol were designed and constructed in mushroom-shaped timber lattice. This is the largest timber construction in the world ever built. This construction was aptly named Metropol Parasol but more affectionately known locally as Las Setas de Sevilla or just, Las Setas.
2 | THE COOL ANTIQUARIUM ROOM IN OLD SEVILLE AT THE METROPOL PARASOL
The Antiquarium Room located at the basement of the Metropol Parasol is outstanding. The cool museum was designed by the Felipe Palomino Architects. The primary purpose was to create a sensational space where visitors can enjoy the remarkable archaeological discoveries made during the excavations for the construction of the iconic Metropol Parasol in Seville’s old town.
2.1 | What to experience at the Antiquarium Room in Old Seville
The Antiquarium Room in Old Seville at the Metropol Parasol is located at 5.45 metres below ground level. The archaeological museum has no natural light but visitors will not feel that they are in a ‘dungeon’. The museum is astutely designed to encompass a giant open-space floor area of about 5,000 square metres with no visible boundaries. However, as you walk along the clearly marked dedicated walkways, and as you approach each excavation site, the boundaries become visible.
Each excavation site is wrapped by a set of membrane, made of glass. These glass panels permit transparency, and visibility, creating a sense of space with no enclosures. The design also allows a visitor to gauge the whole spectrum of what was unearthed, thus an idea of a market place, shops and houses that once existed in this ancient square.
The Antiquarium Room has two artificial lighting installed. The lights create a slightly dim, but a cool sensation for visitors while also allowing for sufficient illumination of the excavation site.
2.2 | Highlights of the Antiquarium Room in Old Seville
It is hard to pinpoint the highlights of the Antiquarium Room as the entire museum is a highlight! The Room showcases an exclusive contemporary design with no walls while creating a unique sensation for visitors to experience. Not for a moment will you feel that you are in a basement!
If you plan on visiting this remarkable Antiquarium in Old Seville, here are some exhibits to look out for:
2.2.1 | An early 6th century house at the Antiquarium Room in Metropol Parasol
One of the excavations that stood out was the foundation of a house from the 6th century, called the Sigma House.
The Sigma House was a great hall where banquets were held by the ‘dominus’ (the leader or head). This was also a centre where the social hierarchy was boasted, and well received. The excavated site clearly shows the stucture of a ‘stibadium’, a semicircular shape where guests were reclined in the apse.
2.2.2 | Exquisite mosaic work exhibited at the Antiquarium Room in old Seville
Following are some of the skilled mosaic work discovered during the excavations, suspected to originate from the 12th century during the Almohad reign of Seville.
2.2.3 | Pottery of a bygone era
On exhibit are a small collection of pottery of a bygone era.
There are just a few of beautifully sculpted jars with handles, and painted decorations which were once used to store water.
Oil lamps must have been popular back then as there were several on display here. Some were shrewdly designed with a sign of a pigeon. Most of the oil lamps discovered were discarded by its owners because of defects.
On a final note
The Antiquarium Room in Old Seville has a different persona to a traditional museum. It is cool, contemporary and provides a small insight into what life was like all those many years ago in Old Seville. Worth visiting if you are at the Plaza de laEncarnación, Seville.
The majestic Seville Cathedral | A Visitor’s Guide to the largest Gothic Cathedral in the World
The majestic Seville Cathedral in the sultry Andalusian capital is an astounding sight that awes visitors by its sheer size and glorious splendour. The sprawling interior presents immensity, grandeur and beauty, with towering and massive column arches, ribbed vaults along with various multicoloured stained-glass windows throughout the cathedral. A collection of art treasures and liturgical items provides a glimpse of the opulence and richness the city of Seville enjoyed from the expeditions during the New World.
The largest in Christendom of Gothic style in the world and the third largest in Europe following the Neoclassical Saint Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City and St Paul’s Cathedral in London, Seville Cathedral is an awe-inspiring architectural marvel.
Built on the site of a former 12th century mosque, the magnificent Cathedral is home to a mind-blowing 30-metre tall altarpiece gilded with the finest gold brought back during the New World discovery era. The interior is adorned with masterpieces of Spanish painting and precious religious objects. This remarkable majestic Seville Cathedral is also the final resting place of Christopher Columbus and a former minaret converted to a bell tower with the most bells which offer spectacular views over the medieval city.
This wondrous cathedral is of cultural and historic importance and has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1987 along with the Real Alcázar and the General Archive of the Indies.
What to expect from this guide
Welcome to The majestic Seville Cathedral | A Visitor’s Guide to the largest Gothic Cathedral in the World. This unmissable guide is specially curated for you to provide historical context as well as practical tips so that you can make the most of your visit to this grandiose sanctuary. You could easily spend a few hours discovering this heritage and in this guide, you will find all the best listed.
Learn about the story of the majestic Seville Cathedral (Catedral de Sevilla), the highlights of the glorious interior, things to do and places to stay nearby.
I | Story of the majestic Seville Cathedral (Catedral de Sevilla)
The official name of Seville Cathedral is Cathedral of Saint Mary of the See (Catedral de Santa María de la Sede in Spanish) but is better known as Seville Cathedral or Catedral de Sevilla in Spanish.
Nothing prepares visitors for the monumental and glorious sight of the majestic Seville Cathedral in the heart of Seville city, the capital of the autonomous community of Andalusia. This Roman Catholic Cathedral is the world’s largest in Gothic architecture and is registered by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site since 1987, along with the Alcázar and General Archive of the Indies.
Construction of the majestic Seville Cathedral was long and ardous, about 106 years to complete.
Here is how it all began …
1 | The history — Good to Know before you go
We know from ancient history, temples and places of worship had been adapted to new spiritual purposes to reflect the spirituality and beliefs of new dominant rulers when a region is conquered. For example the Pantheon of Rome was converted into a church when Christianity became the official religion of the Empire. Similarly, the Hagia Sophia was built in 537 as a cathedral and was the largest cathedral during the Byzantine era in the imperial capital of Constantinople. In 1453, following the fall of Constantinople to the Ottoman Empire, the Hagia Sophia was converted into a mosque. A number of minarets were added over the years and is now officially known as The Holy Hagia Sophia Grand Mosque.
This phenomenon was no stranger in medieval Spain. During the 781 year-long battles famously known as the Reconquista, Christian monarchs from the north were reconquering the southern cities of Al-Andalus. The Muslim (Moors) ruled some areas of the Iberian Peninsula in Spain. This included the city of Seville which was reconquered in 1248 by Ferdinand III.
2 | When Seville Cathedral was a Mosque
It is generally recorded that the Moors ruled parts of the Iberian Peninsula for 800 years, from early 8th to late 15th centuries. Although they were expelled from Seville in 1248 and finally from the entire Western Europe by 1492, the Moors had left a distinct legacy and a mark on Andalusian culture which are richly noticeable today. One such legacy was the Almohad mosque, construction of which began in 1172 and completed in 1198.
The Almohads were Berber Muslims with origins in the Atlas Mountains of Morocco. The Almohad Caliph, Abu Yaqub Yusuf who ruled Seville in the 12th century ordered a construction of a new great mosque, aimed at making Seville the capital of Al-Andalus.
The mosque was designed by the well-known Ahmad ben Basso. His design encompassed a rectangular building space of 113 metres by 135 metres. It consisted of 17 prayer halls, a minaret and an ablutions courtyard.
The Moors also brought the distinctive orange trees (bitter oranges!) to Seville and the fragrance of oranges can be experienced in Patio de los Naranjos even today.
3 | When the mosque in Seville became the Cathedral in Seville
With the conquest of Seville by Ferdinand III of Castille in December 1248, the great mosque of the Almohad’s was converted to a cathedral. The spaces were partitioned and chapels created.
After half a century of maintenance and repairs, it was decided that a bigger cathedral was built to reflect the city’s wealth as the city was a major thriving trading centre after the reconquest. Accordingly, it was decided in 1401 by the church elders that they would:
“… build a church so beautiful and so grand that those who see it finished will take us for crazy.”
True to their words, the Seville Cathedral is one of the largest places of worship in Christendom and the largest in Gothic style in the world today built on the very site of the Almohad’s great mosque.
Construction began in 1401 and took over a hundred years to build this landmark in the centre of Seville, when it was completed in 1506. Almost half of the eastern side of the cathedral is occupied by the royal chapel, containing the royal tombs.
Seville Cathedral is also the final resting place for Christopher Columbus and his son Ferdinand (Diego) Columbus.
The belfry that towers over the cathedral and the city has its origin in the 12th century. The origin of base of the Giralda is from the Almohad reign and is the oldest part of this monument.
With this nutshell history, let’s dive in to the highlights of the majestic Seville Cathedral.
II | Highlights of the glorious interior of the majestic Seville Cathedral
An architectural masterpiece, Seville Cathedral boasts a spectacular interior and a breathtaking exterior. Access to Seville Cathedral for cultural and tourists visits is via the Puerte de San Cristobal (Door of the Prince) on the south of the building from Plaza de Triunfo (which is also the same access point for the Real Alcazar). Upon entering the Seville Cathedral, visitors will see a small display of works by Murillo and Zurbaran, just a taster of what awaits in the chapels, vestries and treasury.
Here are some of the glorious highlights to take note of when visiting the largest Gothic cathedral in the world:
1 | Gothic interior of the majestic Seville Cathedral
The astounding sight of this sumptuous Gothic haven is a jaw-dropping experience. With a length of 126 metres by 83 metres wide along with a soaring 37 metres in height at the transept and central nave, this colossal cathedral is extremely spacious, airy and exudes an overall sense of harmony. The towering, massive and slender pillars emphasize the height of the extravagant vaulting, while elegantly arch over to support the ribbed vaults. Much of the vaulting is simple and modest, with some uniquely designed geometrical patterns on the ceiling.
There are five aisles laid out in this rectangular floor plan. Much of the aisles are empty and this adds to the immense space that one feels upon entering this cathedral.
The interior is relatively dark but illuminating the interior are the noted 81 stained glass windows which represents the very core of the grandeur of a Gothic cathedral. The oldest stained glass windows dates back to the 13th century, while it is estimated about 75 dates from the 16th to the 19th century.
2 | Silver Altar at Seville Cathedral – A mastery of Sevillian silversmithing
At the northern arm of the transept, is the magnificent Silver Altar, named after the abundant use of silver by the famous silversmiths of Seville.
The centrepiece is the statue of the Virgin Mary with the Child Jesus with the sculptures of San Isidoro and San Leandro on the sides.
Standing testament to the incredible mastery of Sevillian silversmithing are the large, exquisitely crafted sun-like shaped silver monstrance at the rear of the centrepiece which is topped with an intricately designed silver crown.
Just above the Silver Altar is a fine painting of the Ascension of the Virgin Mary. Above this painting, sits a lovely stained-glass window depicting the Ascension of Jesus, by Carlos de Brujas in 1588.
3 | High Altar Main Chapel (Capilla Mayor) at Seville Cathedral
In the centre of the Cathedral is the magnificent High Altar. A masterpiece.
The High Altar is an opulent showpiece of Gothic woodcarving measuring 20 metre high and 23 metre wide – the largest Gothic altar in the world. Given its height, the sculptures higher up are larger, just so to keep the perspective when viewed from floor level. The centre piece features the Virgen de la Sede and is surrounded by 45 wood panels of carvings depicting the Life of Christ and His Apostles along with the Life of the Virgin.
The design of the High Altar was initiated by Pieter Dancart, a Flemish artist in 1482. The 45 panels of intricate work of art which include over 200 figures of saints took some 80 years to complete.
The exquisite masterpiece is lavishly gilded with 3 tons of pure gold brought back from the Americas during the Age of Discovery, pioneered by Christopher Columbus.
The vaulted ceiling above is covered with beautiful, geometrical patterns that are aesthetically pleasing. The vaulted ceiling rests on slender, tall and massive columns that are lined up along the naves. Just below the vaulted ceiling are some stained glass windows.
4 | Tomb of Christopher Columbus at Seville Cathedral
One of the last additions to the majestic Seville Cathedral is the monument to Christopher Columbus in 1899. The tomb of Christopher Columbus is one of the famous attractions at Seville Cathedral. His sarcophagus is held aloft by four life-sized statues who symbolically represent the four kingdoms of Spain during his time — Castile, Aragon, Navara and Leon. The bronze plate rectangular bottom of the coffin is inscribed with the coat-of-arms of Spain along with words in Spanish which reads:
Aqui jacen los restos de Cristobal Colon desde 1796 los guardo la Habana y este sepulcro por R.D.to de 26 de febrero de 1891
Translated to read in English:
(Here lies the remains of Cristobal Colon kept in Havana since 1796 and this sepulchre by R.D.to of February 26, 1891)
The four kingdoms were united into one nation, (modern Spain) by Queen Isabella I and her husband Ferdinand who also funded the explorer’s journey to the New World in 1492.
4.1 | A little about Christopher Columbus
Born in Genoa, Italy, in 1451, Christopher Columbus (Cristobal Colon in Spanish) was the famous explorer and navigator who completed four voyages across the Atlantic. He believed that he ‘discovered’ the New World of the Americas, although he never really discovered North America. His exploration brought much trade and wealth to Seville. He was revered a local hero. He died in 1506 at Valladolid, Spain.
Columbus was buried in Valladolid but was moved to Seville in 1509. He was subsequently moved to Santa Domingo in 1537 but he was moved again in 1778 to Cuba.
It is believed that following Cuba’s independence, the remains of Christopher Columbus were returned to Seville in 1898 and was finally laid to rest in Seville Cathedral. It is guaranteed, according to a DNA test in 2006, that the bones in the coffin at Seville Cathedral is that of Christopher Columbus. Sadly, the coffin only has a fifth or less of his bones.
His sarcophagus that is seen at the Seville Cathedral today was designed by sculptor Arturo Melida and was initially installed in Havana, Cuba before being moved to Seville.
4.2 | Ferdinand Columbus – Second son of Christopher Columbus
Ferdinand Columbus also known as Fernando Colón, or Hernando Colon was the second son to Christopher Columbus. Ferdinand was a bibliographer and a cosmographer. He wrote a biography of his father entitled, The Life of the Admiral Christopher Columbus by his son, Ferdinand.
Ferdinand also started a private collection of books and created a library called, La Bibliotheca Colombina. This library is now located on the north side of Patio de los Naranjos.
Ferdinand Columbus is buried in Seville Cathedral. His tombstone is etched on the floor below the central nave near the west entrance.
5 | Royal Chapel (Capilla Real)
The Royal Chapel is a lavish Renaissance styled chapel and is the final resting place of King Ferdinand III of Castille, who reconquered Seville, his wife and Alfonso the Wise, along with their descendant King Peter the Just. King Ferdinand was canonised in 1671 and his tomb is inscribed in Arabic, Hebrew, Latin and Castilian.
Much of the Royal Chapel was completed during the reign of Charles V, King of Spain (Castile and Aragon) from 1516 1556. The chapel is surrounded by an 18th century grille. Steps lead to the crypt below.
6 | Side Chapels and Art in Seville Cathedral
Along with statues and tombs, Seville Cathedral is host to some exquisite works of art.
Among displayed are notable works by the local Baroque artist, Bartolomé Esteban Murillo. In Capilla de San Antonio is The Vision of St Anthony, an incredible piece by Murillo as well as the Baptism of Christ. The Guardian Angel at Altar del Nacimiento and the Immaculate Conception on the ceiling of the Chapter House.
The side chapels are home to some opulent tombs – the Gothic monument of Juan de Cervantes in the Capilla de San Hermenegildo and the tomb of Arcbishop Mendoza in the Capilla de la Antigua are worth seeing.
7 | Sacristy and Treasury
The architectural details of the Main Sacristy (Sacristia Mayor) are an exquisite Renaissance style addition to the Gothic Cathedral. The Greek cross-shaped structure is adorned with columns, richly decorated with plateresque details and crowned by a circular dome. The dome is sculpted with the Final Judgement in three rings (the fiery hell is the lowest ring) and a beautiful roof lantern designed to provide daylight to the hall below.
Preserved within these walls of the sacristy are art treasures that highlight the glorious era of when Christianity was core and religious art flourished in Seville. Finely crafted liturgical items, custodias and crosses made of gold and silver are on display, while the walls are adorned with masterpieces by Goya, Murillo, Campaña (1503 – 1586) and Zurbarán (1598 – 1664).
Click the below to watch a sneak preview. Click the replay button if you wish to watch it again:
8 | La Giralda of the majestic Seville Cathedral (Bell Tower)
The Giralda is the Bell Tower at Seville Cathedral and stands as a symbol of the city of Sevilla’s multicultural heritage. The tower was originally a minaret to the 12th century Almohad mosque but was converted to a church tower after the reconquest. The base of the tower is a testament to the Almohads influence while later additions were made during the Renaissance years. The tower was topped in the 16th century with a four metre high bronze statue, nicknamed Giraldillo, for its function as a weather vane. A full size copy of this weather vane can be seen at the main entrance to the Cathedral (Door of the Prince).
The Giralda Tower is accessible via ramps. Visitors walk up the 35 ramps and there is a short flight of stairs at the top.
Entry to Giralda Tower is included in all ticket types to Seville Cathedral.
Finally, exiting the Seville Cathedral is via Door of the Conception into a pleasant courtyard full of orange trees, Patio de los Naranjos, located on the northern facade of the Catedral de Sevilla.
Patio de los Naranjos has its origins in the Almohad era. There is a fountain in the centre of the courtyard that once was the spot that served as an ablution area for the Almohad mosque.
This nice little courtyard is perfect to relax in, both before and after visiting Seville Cathedral.
II | Seville Cathedral’s Exterior Highlights
The majestic Seville Cathedral has an exterior encompassing magnificent Gothic characteristics. With tall structures, flying buttresses and beautifully adorned doors makes this gigantic structure strikingly pleasing.
There are a total of 15 doors (puertas). Most of the these doors are kept inaccessible and only three primary entrances/exits are often in use. Here are some of the Cathedral’s exterior highlights in addition to the Patio de los Naranjos.
1 | The Door of Assumption or Main Door
This elaborately decorated entrance is located on the west of the cathedral. This remain closed at most times and is open only during festivals.
2 | Door of the Conception | Puerta de la Concepción, Catedral de Sevilla
Door of the Conception (Puerta de la Concepción) is a Gothic style door at the entrance to the north facade of the cathedral. This ornate door was crafted by Demetrio de los Rios and the work was completed in 1895 by Fernandez Casanova.
Visitors exit through this door through to Patio de los Naranjos.
3 | Door of the Prince | Puerta del Príncipe
Door of the Prince also known as Puerta de San Cristobal and is the entrance to the south of the cathedral. It was built by the same architect, Fernandez Casanova between 1887 and 1895.
Standing in front of Puerta del Príncipe is a bronze statute of a young woman dressed in traditional Roman attire, holding a shield and a cross. She is a symbol of victory of Christian Faith. This sculpture is a replica of El Giraldillo, atop the Giralda Tower. However, this sculpture does not rotate.
4 | The Door of Forgiveness (Puerta del Perdón)
The Door of Forgiveness or Puerta del Perdón in Spanish was the main entrance to the Almohad mosque during their reign. These days, the Door of Forgiveness acts as one of the visitors’ entrance to the Cathedral. The name originates from the believe of the faithfuls that only sinners entered through this door to seek forgiveness.
The Door of Forgiveness at the majestic Seville Cathedral tells the story of fusion of Christian and Islamic art. The horseshoe shaped arch is the heritage of the Almohad era while the surrounding plasterwork is from the 16th century. Flanking the arch are four beautiful statues. On the left are Archangels Gabriel and St Peter and on the right are Virgin Mary and St Paul. Above the arch is a depiction of Jesus expelling merchants from the temple.
III | Practical tips to support your visit to Seville Cathedral
Seville Cathedral is located in Barrio Santa Cruz, the heart of the historic city of Seville. The neighbourhood’s maze of winding streets and hidden corners offer a multitude of varied dining options, vibrant nightlife and widest range of accommodations ranging from 5-star to budget. You may also wish to stay a little out of the city and take the inexpensive tram, metro or taxis to and from your accommodation.
The heart of Seville is compact and easily walkable. Many of the city’s attractions are close together and only minutes away on foot. It is perfectly feasible to explore several attractions in a day and explore the tapas bars and the night scene, feeling perfectly refreshed!
1 | Where to Stay near Seville Cathedral for Sightseeing
Anywhere in the vicinity and/or within a short walk of Catedral de Sevilla is ideal for visitors to stay.
1 | Hotel Alfonso XIII
One of the most prestigious hotels in Spain, Hotel Alfonso XIIIis located within minutes of the Reales Alcazares of Seville and the Catedral de Sevilla. Elegantly designed and include Arabic style arches and beautiful colourful ceramic tiles. Guests also enjoy casual al fresco dining as well as breakfast, lunch or dinner.
2 | Eurostars Sevilla Boutique
Within a short walking distance of Seville Cathedral is the Eurostars Sevilla Boutique. This accommodation provides amazing overview from its rooftop terrace and features an outdoor swimming pool and cafe. Includes complimentary breakfast buffet.
3 | Hotel Palacio De Villapanés
Hotel Palacio De Villapanés is a converted 18th century palace and is located just outside of Bario Santa Cruz. Spacious rooms and modern furniture along with rooftop sun terrace and a small plunge pool makes this accommodation ideal for two travellers.
Hotel Casa 1800 Sevilla is a charming boutique hotel located just steps away from the majestic Seville Cathedral and the Royal Alcazar. The property is a renovated 19th century mansion with a traditional Andalusian central courtyard. Features spacious rooms where some are ideal for 3 person family stay, rooftop terrace and breakfast buffet.
2 | Hotel Amadeus Sevilla
Located within yards of Seville Cathedral in the heart of Barrio Santa Cruz, Hotel Amadeus Sevilla features a roof terrace with views over the city and the Giralda Tower. The property is based on a classical music theme and instruments are available if guests wish to have a go. Guests are welcomed with a complimentary drink in the 18th century interior patio.
3 | Petit Palace Marques Santa Ana – Travel Sustainable Property
A restored 19th century building, Petit Palace Marques Santa Ana is a boutique hotel with wooden floors and stylish modern furnishings. The property features a rooftop terrace with views over the city. Located less than two minutes walk to Seville Cathedral! Continental breakfast is served every day.
**Georgina: We stayed here on our recent visit in November 2021 and couldn’t have been more pleased with its location, cleanliness and helpful staff.
La Bella Sevilla is a small hotel of only 11 rooms located in a quiet pedestrian street within close proximity of Seville Cathedral, Giralda Tower and the Royal Alcazar. Highly rated for its location as guests can visit all the monuments, landmarks and cultural centres without the need for public transport.
2 | Itaca Sevilla
Hotel Itaca Sevilla is a converted mansion house and is located just 800 metres from the Catedral de Sevilla. Features a seasonal swimming pool and free WiFi. Rooms are soundproofed, air-conditioned and has a minibar and flat screen TV.
2 | Tips and Tours: How to make the best of your visit to Seville Cathedral
1 | Best time to Visit:
Early morning is best as soon as the Cathedral doors open to beat the crowds.
Monday through to Friday: 10:45 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Sunday: 2:30 p.m. to 6.00 p.m.
** The ticket office closes one hour before the Cathedral and sometimes earlier.
2 | Experience a Mass:
Mass is said daily throughout the day and is free to attend. Check schedule on the official website here.
3 | Tickets to Seville Cathedral and Giralda Tower
If its just the Seville Cathedral you wish to visit, and you do not wish to be in a guided tour, buy the fast-track ticket which gives you access to Catedral de Sevilla and the Giralda Tower. This ticket is valid for the whole day, you do not have to wait in queue and you can explore at your own pace. Peruse and buy your ticket to Seville Cathedral >>
4 | Timing
Allow ample time to explore, at least a couple of hours and a little more if climbing up to the top of the Giralda Tower. Last entry to the Giralda tour is one hour before closing time.
5 | Experience a Journey through Time – A Guided tour of the Roofs of the Cathedral
A tour of the Roofs of Seville Cathedral is offered by the Cathedral at specific times of day. The tour is a journey through time, between 15th and 16 centuries when the Cathedral was built. Tickets for this tour are available directly from the Cathedral’s ticket office. It is not included in the Seville Cathedral and Giralda Tower admission ticket.
6 | Guided Tours
Guided tours of the Cathedral and Giralda Tower are available throughout the week. There are several options to suit visitors’ preferred language also.
This tour gives you skip-the-line access with a guided tour of the Cathedral and Giralda. Check availability >>
A perfect option if you wish to explore more in a day. Visit Seville Cathedral along with the iconic Real Alcazar with a tour guide who will ensure you know all there is about these two monuments. Check availability >>
3 | What’s Nearby / Nearby attractions
1 | Visit the Royal Alcazar
Visit one of the most important palace complexes in the world for an experience you will never forget.
The Royal Alcazar has captivated one and all with its Mudejar architecture spanning hundreds of years across civilisation, cultures and dynasties. Walk in the footsteps of the Spanish kings and be transported to a different era. Truly an unmissable experience.
Take a break from sightseeing and visit one of the best and fun places for shopping in Seville.
Calle de las Sierpes is lined with quaint shops, inviting little boutiques and atmospheric cafes.
3 | Stop for a snack or lunch
Stop-by at Confiteria La Campana for a little treat of candied oranges or figs. Try some Spanish pastries and fuel up to explore more of the city. La Campana has been serving sweet toothed’s since 1885.
On the other hand, if you are peckish and wish to try some delicious tapas, Restaurante Baco is a great place to relax and enjoy a delicious selection of tapas. Great service and friendly staff.
Address: C. Francos, 42, 41004 Sevilla, Spain
Finally … the lasting legacy of the majestic Seville Cathedral
An iconic landmark of Seville the majestic Seville Cathedral is exquisite, immense and a sight to behold. It stands robust after 600 years with a legacy that continues to draw millions of visitors each year. You can gaze from the outside, be blown away when viewing from the top and absolutely marvel at the grandiose and opulence inside from the moment you step in. This is one majestic cathedral not to miss.
Watch this youtube video, a sneak peek into the majestic Seville Cathedral.
Our trip to Seville was undertaken in late November, 2021. All travel and safety protocols were adhered to. It was fully self-funded and no part of our trip was sponsored in any way.
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Add: Av. de la Constitución, s/n, 41004 Sevilla, Spain
Hours: 10:45 – 5:00 pm
Due to recent global health and safety issues, please adhere to travel guidelines in the country you are travelling to. While we at TTS work hard to be accurate, and provide the best information possible, we also encourage you to please always check before heading out, as some attractions may be closed due to local restrictions.
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Presiding over the city of Seville for almost a millennium is the Giralda, a monument that stands as testament to the fusion of architecture, reflecting the cultures and civilisations that has enriched this historic city.
Many define it as special while some say it is just built of stone. The Giralda Tower in Seville is indeed unique. It gives a sense of permanence, and perspective on the passage of time across civilisations as well as the union of cultures that is emblematic of the passionate and mysterious Andalusian capital in Southern Spain. Perhaps also, because the iconic Giralda Tower in Seville was born of the Almohad dynasty, a minaret to the then famous mosque and now, is a Renaissance style bell tower for Cathedral Santa Maria de la Sede (simply known as Seville Cathedral) today. The Giralda Tower remain as one of the most iconic symbols of Seville since the Middle Ages.
The Tower offer charming views over the bijou city — Patio de los Naranjos, sounds of guitar music, close-up of the largest Gothic Cathedral in the world and the exotic flamenco rhythms that never fail to seduce and charm you.
‘Giralda’ means “one that turns” in Spanish and takes its name from the weather vane at the top of the tower (the bronze sculpture).
The Giralda Tower or La Giralda (in Spanish) of Seville Cathedral is recognised as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO since 1987, along with the Real Alcázar and the General Archive of the Indies. It is a popular attraction, accessed from within Seville Cathedral. We highly recommend that you go. La Giralda will not disappoint. Access to Giralda Tower is included in the Tour to the Seville Cathedral.
This guide shares a brief history of the Giralda Tower, features on what makes the tower unique and ways on how to explore the monument.
The Giralda Tower was born in 1184 as a minaret to the mosque that was built in 1176. The base of the minaret was in cut stone and the main body of the minaret was built in brick, with a later addition of a small secondary shaft at the top of the tower. Crowning the minaret were four golden balls and metal spheres to top the tower. In addition to bricks sourced locally, recycled marble were used from old Umayyad masterpieces. It was the biggest mosque in the Andalusian territory and the pride of the Almohads during their reign.
1 | The design of the minaret
The mosque had a rectangular floor measuring 113 by 135 metres decorated in Cordoban style with stucco and wood, embellished with sandalwood, ivory, ebony, gold and silver. Its base was a square at street level. The foundation was built with solid stones and the tower consisted of two sections, the main shaft and a smaller shaft with a series of ramps so a horse or donkey could carry the Islamic leader to the top of the tower five times a day so he could call for prayers.
2 | From a minaret to a bell tower
However, when Seville was reconquered in 1248 by the Castillian Christians, the mosque was converted to a cathedral. In doing so, some exits and archways were closed off and a number of small chapels were created. The minaret was used as a bell tower.
3 | Rebuilding of the mosque/cathedral
The mosque/cathedral was badly damaged in 1356 during the Basel Earthquake. The metal spheres that topped the structure fell and these were replaced with a cross and bell around 1400s.
Following the earthquake, rebuilding of the Cathedral commenced. The construction project brought together the best artisans in the trade from all over the Castilian empire, as far as the Netherlands and Germany. Work was entrusted to the famous architect of the time, Hernan Ruiz II. The Cathedral was completed in 1506, after some 106 years.
Known simply as Seville Cathedral, it is the largest Catholic Cathedral of Gothic style in the world.
II | What makes the Giralda Tower in Seville unique| 5 features to lookout for when you visit
There are no great ornaments that adorn La Giralda but its uniqueness lies in its marriage of architecture between a fine example of Arab design of the time and the 16th century Renaissance additions, along with its famous bells in the belfry.
Here are some features across civilisations to look out for when you visit:
1 |Design of the Giralda Tower in Seville
The original design of the minaret was inspired by Koutoubia, the great mosque of Morocco, located in Marrakech. As can be noted from the photo above, the facade of the minaret reflect simple stone base and bricks. The main shaft followed by a smaller shaft with netting design on the walls. The windows on the tower are placed in tune with the ramps in order to maximise light coming through to the path, and vary from a single horseshoe arch to double arched openings. They are framed by marble columns and arabesque carvings.
When Seville Cathedral was constructed in the 16th century, the architect, Hernan Ruiz II also constructed an extension to the solid stone tower of two shafts and winding ramps. The Christian Renaissance style belfry was added to the top of the tower to house the bells. The belfry was constructed between 1458 and 1568. With the addition of the belfry, the tower stood at 96 metres.
The additions encompassed several tiers. The lower base is square, to fit the top of what was the minaret. It is adorned with lantern-like ‘windows’ structure and an arch in the middle on each of its sides. It is here that the Cathedral bells are hung, in between the pillars. On each corners are mounted bronze flower vases with lillies. In the centre, there is a circular opening like a dome and the top edge is decorated with stone urns. Another tier is added to this section.
This second tier is narrower and features two square sections. In 1765, a beautiful bell was installed in the upper level (attic) of this story. The top of the upper square is home to two circular sections of decreasing sizes. The fourth looks like a jar, and is named “La Tinaja.” (The Jar). Black tiles are used as decoration throughout the belfry.
On the summit, sits a rotating sculpture, known as Giraldillo, (weather wane), that gives the Tower its name. With the Giraldillo, the height of the tower is 103 metres. The Giralda Tower dominated the skyline for 800 years but now, it is the second tallest structure in Seville following Sevilla Tower at 178 metres high.
2 | The Bells at the Giralda Tower in Seville
A unique feature of the Giralda Tower is that it has 25 bells. There are 24 in the belfry and 1 in the attic. Out of the 24 bells, 6 are clapper bells. The other 18 turn around. Therefore, Seville Cathedral is not only the largest Gothic cathedral in the world but it is also one with the greatest number of bells.
3 | Giraldillo Seville — a symbol of victory
The Giraldillo was originally called the Triumph of the Victorious Faith, to symbolise the victory of Christianity over the Muslim world. It was regarded as the largest sculpture of European Renaissance, weighing at more than 1000 kilograms. It embodies a sculpture of a woman about 4 metres high and 4 metres wide carrying a flag pole and a cross, symbolising the victory of Faith. She is made of bronze and is held together with metal bars, while being supported on a vertical metal axis. The vertical axis allows the statue to rotate around like a weather vane.
Time took a toll on the Giraldillo. Damaged and worn, the Giraldillo was moved to the Andalusian Historical Heritage Institute for restoration in 1999 while a replica was placed on the summit of the Giralda Tower. The Giraldillo was returned to its rightfully honoured place in 2005 together with instrumentation to monitor its condition.
The unique design of the Giralda Tower in Seville appears to have inspired some countries or states to replicate their very own towers. More on this, below.
4 | The 35 ramps at the Giralda in Seville
Visitors can visit the belfry and reach the top of the tower via a series of ramps and a short flight of stairs.
There are 35 ramps, wide enough and gently inclining, winding around the perimeter of its core to the top of the tower. You get to walk in the footsteps of history as these are the very same ramps that were placed instead of stairs to ease the journey of a horse that carried the Islamic leader to the top of the tower five times a day so he could call for prayers back in the 12th century.
There is a short flight of stairs to reach the top for spectacular vistas over the historic city of Seville.
5 | The Views over Seville from the Giralda Tower
For a 360 view of the historic city of Seville, you need to reach the belfry. As you climb to the belfry, up the 35 ramps, you can stop at each ramp and look out the windows to view the surroundings. At the belfry, you can walk around the four sides for spectacular views of Seville.
III | The Giralda Tower in Seville has inspired other buildings
There are some towers across the world that appear to have borrowed their design from the La Giralda. Here are just a few as examples.
IV | How to visit the Giralda Tower
There are so many ways with a good selection of ticket options to visit the Giralda Tower for best experience. You could select from either to visit on your own by pre purchasing your ticket online or select to join a guided tour. Both options are available by pre purchasing your ticket online and both include priority access. Your experience will be significantly enhanced if you opt for a guided tour as you will learn of the history from a knowledgeable guide.
TTS recommends the following three best ways to experience the La Giralda to suit your interests:
1 | Explore independently by pre purchasing a ticket online that gives you skip-the-line access.
Home to a wealth of architectural curiosities and rich archaeological mysteries, the medieval Gothic Palace at Royal Alcazar of Seville forms part of the The Real Alcázar of Seville complex. It represents the triumph of the Castilian Christians over the Islamic rulers in the 12th century. The Real Alcazar is the oldest functioning palace in Europeand is the most visited attraction in the Andalusian capital, Seville in southern Spain.
To have the best experience, book online well in advance of your visit to ensure you are not disappointed on the day as the Alcazar operate on a maximum capacity rule.
The Gothic Palace at Royal Alcazar of Seville | El Palacio Gótico
The Gothic Palace was built by the Castilian King Alfonso X, also known as Alfonso theWise. Alfonso X succeeded Ferdinand III of Castile who reconquered Seville from the Islamic rulers in December 1248.
The Gothic Palace consists of two rectangular rooms sitting parallel to each other and two smaller rooms at each end.
These rooms were built in the 13th century over what was the Almohad’s palace. Alfonso X found the caliphs palace to be cramped and unsuited to his lifestyle. He preferred high, airy spaces and Gothic art. Gothic art and architecture was popular during this time as it closely related to Christianity and the Crusades. Furthermore, opting for a Gothic architecture along with the construction of the Gothic Palace over the Almohad’s palace symbolised the Christians triumph over Islam.
All four rooms were covered with vaults supported by pillars but in the 16th century, the pillars were replaced with large windows that open to the garden while the walls and floors were decorated with tiles.
The El Palacio Gótico’s four rooms are Tapestry Room, Garden Room, the Vault Room and the Chapel.
This section of the Royal Alcazar palace complex is accessed through the porticoed gallery crossing connected to the Hunting Courtyard or from the southeast side of the Maiden’s Courtyard.
The rooms in the Gothic Palace at Royal Alcazar of Seville
The entrance to the Gothic Palace was added in the 18th century, after the Lisbon earthquake of 1755. The following are the highlights of the Gothic Palace.
1 | The Tapestry Room
The Tapestry Room is an impressive salon decorated with a collection of tapestries (copies of the originals) depicting the military conquest of Tunis by Charles I, made in 1730s. The work is extraordinary and details the ships, sailors, smoke from cannons and African towns.
2 | The Vault Room also known as the Great Hall or the Party Room
The Vault Room is a typical Gothic cross-ribbed vaulted ceiling which were originally held by full height columns, but were replaced in the 16th century to allow for tile work.
The room is emblematic of traditionalSevillano albero yellow and the stunning Renaissance tiles depict allegorical figures from mythology and exotic birds. Embedded also are historical figures of Charles V and Isabella of Portugal whose wedding is believed to have taken place here.
3 | The Chapel | Gothic Palace at Royal Alcazar of Seville
The Chapel in the Gothic Palace has its original Gothic roof, medieval rib vaults and pretty wall and floor tiles of Renaissance style that was added in the 16th century. The Chapel’s key attraction is the 18th century painting by Diego de Castillejo on the altar featuring the Virgin of Antiquity (Virgen de la Antigua). The original of the Virgin of Antiquity is at the Seville Cathedral.
Archaeological mysteries at the Chapel in the Gothic Palace at the Real Alcazar – 2021
In early 2021, work was undertaken to restore the 16th century Renaissance tiles at the Chapel. During this restoration, a coffin with the remains of a young child was found under the floor tiles near the main altar of the Chapel in the Gothic Palace at Royal Alcazar.
It is reported that this young child was about 5 years old at the time of her death and who died during the late 13th century. The 700 year skeletal remains were found in a wooden coffin, inside a sarcophagus along with leather shoes, two mother of pearl buttons, and fabric. Archaeologists suggests that this child may have been a member of a powerful family.
Visiting the Gothic Palace at the Royal Alcazar
There are several options to visit the Royal Alcazar but the following have been carefully picked for you:
1 | Best Ticket for Priority Visit to Royal Alcazar Seville
Breeze by the long queues and enjoy the oldest royal palace in Europe still in use with the best in priority visit to Royal Alcazar in Seville. The Royal Alcazar Priority gives you priority access and includes a live tour guide, in a small group to ensure you have the best experience.
Hours:Apr-Sept: 9:30 am to 7 pm | Oct-Mar: 9:30 am to 5 pm
Essential Information you need to know before your visit:
The Palace has a maximum capacity of 750 visitors. When it is full, it is full! Waiting times can be extremely long during peak times. Avoid the queues, save time and book ahead your skip-the-line tickets.
The Real Alcázar of Seville| A Guideto the BEST 22 Unmissable Highlights in the Alcázar Complex
A rich history, stunning architecture, exquisite tile work and glorious gardens, the Real Alcázar of Seville is a breathtaking spectacle and a joy to explore.
Welcome to my guide on the BEST 22 unmissable highlights at the Real Alcázar of Seville, the finest example of Mudéjar,architecture, a treasured cultural heritage and the oldest royal palace in Europe still in use. Surrounded by a unique landscape of enchanting courtyards, water features and secluded corners with colourful tiled benches where you could steal moments to enjoy the tranquility it bestows right in the historic heart of flamencoSevilla. Historic, yet cool and contemporary Seville is the capital city of Spanish autonomous community of Andalusia, on the south-west of the Iberian Peninsula in Spain.
The Real Alcázar of Seville is an exceptional and the most popular attraction in the Andalusian city, therefore long queues at entry are expected. To reduce waiting time, pre-purchasing a ticket is advisable at www. alcazarsevilla.org/
To truly appreciate and enjoy your visit to this magnificent palace, you may want to plan ahead by purchasing a skip-the-line ticket and to spend at least three to four hours. We spent almost four hours and it was not enough! You could visit the royal apartments as well with a special ticket, made available in addition to the entry ticket to the royal palace.
In either case, this perfect guide has all the information you are looking for to plan and accompany you on your visit to the Real Alcázar in Seville. So, come, walk along with me …
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Showcasing a grandiose marriage between the Moorish and Christian architecture, Seville’s royal palace began life in medieval Spain as a residential fortress built by the Islamic rulers of the region. Thereafter, modified, enhanced and developed into a palace complex to be the finest example of Mudéjar,architecture. It’s distinguished style has earned a claim to fame as a UNESCO World Heritage Site along with Seville Cathedral, (the final resting place of Christopher Columbus) and the General Archive of the Indies.
A treasured cultural heritage in the world, the palace is surrounded by a unique landscape of enchanting courtyards, extensive gardens (some since the 12th century), and bright summer colours of exotic flowers and shrubs along with statues, water features and pretty alcoves with colourful tiled benches where you could bathe in the serenity it confers. The magic of these gardens were portrayed in the popular HBO Game of Thrones series as the Water Garden of the Kingdom of Dorne.
PartI | A brief history on the Real Alcázar in Seville
Let’s begin with a brief history …
The Alcázar was born as a fort to the then Cordoban governors of Seville but an angry revolt in 913 led to its destruction and the occupation by the first caliph of Andalusia, Abd al-Rahman III. He built a stronger and dominant fort on a site where a Visigothic church had once stood to protect the city of Seville from attacks. The major rebuild came in the 11th century when the fortified construction was enlarged, stables and storage facilities were added along with a palace, known as Al-Mubarak which means “the Blessed” was built. The Al-Mubarak is on what’s now the western part of the royal palace complex.
When the 12th century came along, another palace was added to the east of Al-Mubarak by the Almohad rulers, and what is now known as the Patio del Crucero.
The Almohad Caliphs were North African Berber Muslims who established their residence in the Alcázar, and made Seville their European capital. Much of the previous buildings were demolished and about twelve palaces were built.
Not long afterwards, Seville was captured by Castilian Christians, as part of their centuries-long Reconquista in 1248. The Alcázar became the residence of the Christian King Fernando III. Several Christian monarchs followed King Fernando III and made the Alcázar their main residence. Much of the Almohad palace were replaced with a Gothic one by Fernando’s son, Alfonso X.
There are still some archaeological remains of the Almohad palaces and these are preserved under the slabs of the Montería Courtyard (Patio de la Montería), the main courtyard of the Real Alcázar of Seville.
In the mid 14th century, between 1364 and 1366, King Pedro I built the magnificent Mudéjar Palace, which remains to this day as the core of the Real Alcázar complex. He was known as Pedro the Cruel and lived in the palace with his mistress, Maria de Padilla. Some referred to him as Pedro the Just because he defended the Muslims and the Jews. Whether he was Pedro the Cruel or Pedro the Just, he left a remarkable legacy in the form of a majestic palace for all to relish.
Later, the Catholic monarchs, King Ferdinand II of Aragon and his wife, Isabella I, Queen of Aragon came to rule Seville (1474 – 1504). They extended the upper floors and converted these into their main residence. These upper floor royal apartments are still in use and open to viewing by the public with a special timed ticket.
What is in the ‘name’ – Real Alcázar
The word “alcazar” originates from the Arabic word “al-qasr” meaning “the castle” while “Real” means “Royal” in Spanish. Hence, Real Alcázar means Royal Castle/Palace.
The official name is “Reales Alcázares de Sevilla” or Royal Alcázar of Seville. The palace name aptly represents the very many palace complex and gardens that evolved over time reflecting the rich history of the Muslim and Christian cultures in its architecture.
No matter how you reference it, Real Alcázar de Sevilla,Royal Alcázar of Seville, Real Alcázarof Seville or simply as the Alcázar, the royal palace in Seville is one of the most exceptionally enchanting places to visit.
PartII |The Best 22 Unmissable “see and do” in the Real Alcázar palace complex in Seville
The Royal Alcázarof Seville is vast! The gardens alone are said to be over 24,000 acres plus the 4.2 acres of opulent and historic buildings, though not all is accessible to the public. It can take almost half a day, if not more to explore this majestic place to your heart’s content. Every part of the palace is absolutely wonderful but there are some sights which you must not miss. From its many architectural styles, grand halls, majestic courtyards to mystical secret baths, the Royal Palace of Seville will captivate you and take you on a journey through the ages.
Firstly, when exploring the Real Alcázarof Seville, take note of the beautiful architecture that surrounds you. It feels like a walk through time surrounded by poetry in stone.
* The architectural styles of the Real Alcázar in Seville
While there still exists some remnants of the ancient architecture of the Al-Mubarak, the Real Alcázar of Seville has seen many architectural styles succeed one another throughout the centuries.
1 | A unique blend of architectural styles
From the 13th century onwards, with the Christians Reconquista, extensive remodelling of the palace took place incorporating Gothic and Romanesque elements. The 16th century saw the introduction of Renaissance architecture alongside Islamic decorations.
The present day Royal Palace of Seville looks more of a Moorish palace. It was indeed built by Moorish workmen for the Christian King Pedro I of Castile between 1364 and 1366. King Pedro was much interested in Islamic culture and philosophy while also embracing Spanish Christianity. The combination of Moorish workmanship with Christian aesthetics is called Mudéjar and these are much evident throughout this palace, especially in the Salón de Embajadores — Hall of Ambassadors.
The Moorish style encompassed rectangular centre with four corners of living spaces. Decorated with horseshoe and interlacing arches, intricate ornamentation of Islamic art with arabesques, calligraphy and geometric patterns using plaster and tiles.
Other parts of the Real Alcázar underwent a series of 19th century renovations, including the alluring Courtyard of the Maidens.
Today, the Real Alcázar presents a unique fusion of architectural styles. A remarkable confluence of Mudéjar art , Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque elements along with Islamic adornments. The features include beautiful ornate carvings in soothing colours, colourful tile works, immense water features and marbled floors. This architectural style is unique to the medieval kingdoms of the Iberian Peninsulaand makes the Royal Palace of Seville a one-of-its kind, a must-see destination.
In 1755, the Royal Palace of Seville sustained damage from the Lisbon earthquake. Consequently, the facade of the Palacio Gotico underwent a complete renovation using Baroque elements.
Added to the Alcázar’s unique architecture, is its tile decorations.
2 | Intricate designs on the Tiles
The Royal Alcázar exhibits one of the best tile decorations in the world combining three traditions: Islam, Gothic Europe and Renaissance Italy. A distinctive melting pot of cultures is evident in the art of arista and majolica ceramics developed in the 16th century.
The arista style was developed in the early 16th century during the Renaissance period. An aesthetic of Andalusian architecture especially during the reigns of the Catholic monarchs (Ferdinand II and Isabella I) and the Emperor Charles V was one of colour! Bold, rich colours of green, yellow, and blue were brought together to form a design on either a single tile or four tiles. The body of the tile has different motifs, sizes and shapes with each segment having raised ridges. The tiles were placed on walls and decorated to form either vertical or horizontal panels.
The majolica styles exhibit ceramics with opaque glazes. As such it was possible to paint directly on them. The designs were of geometric patterns influenced by arabesque frills.
A beautiful selection of the timeless pieces are exhibited as part of the Carranza Collection at the Real Alcázar in the House of Trade.
* Entering the Royal Palace of Seville
The palace complex is accessed through the historic 12th century gate, Puerta del León (The Lion’s Gate) located at Plaza del Triunfo.
3 | The Lion’s Gate | Puerta del Leónat the Royal Palace of Seville
Above the doors, there is a depiction of a lion with a crown, a cross in his claws bearing Gothic script across. A grand reminder that despite the influences of Islam represented by the Mudéjar style, it is a palace very much owned by Christians.
4 | Patio del LeónatAlcázarSeville
Once you are through the Lion’s Gate, a beautiful corridor welcomes you, Patio delLeón leading to an ancient arched wall structure. This was the garrison yard of the original Al-Mubarak palace. Just before the arches, on the left, is the Sala de la Justicia (Hall of Justice), and beyond this, is Patio del Yeso which was part of the 12th century Almohad palace.
Beyond this ancient arched wall, you shall enter into a large courtyard. This courtyard is known as Patio de la Montería or the Hunting Courtyard).
Begin with the Hall of Justice
5 | Hall of Justice, AlcázarSeville
The Hall of Justice was the first Moorishwork in the Alcázar and was built in 1311 by Alfonso XI. The walls have stone benches, providing seating spaces, a feature that do not exist in any other room of the palace complex. There is a delightful fountain in the middle, and inviting sense of calmness in the room. The Hall of Justice connects to Patio del Yeso.
6 | Patio del Yeso at the Royal Palace of Seville
Patio del Yeso is a small courtyard which was part of the Almohad residence from the 12th century. It is believed to be the oldest part of the palace. Also, it was the residence of Pedro I before the Mudéjar Palace was built. The courtyard was rediscovered in late 19th century and restored between 1918-1920.
There is a sense of calmness here despite there being several people around.
7 | Patio de la Montería | The Hunting Courtyard
Patio de la Montería or The Hunting Courtyard is the primary courtyard of the RoyalAlcázar. Once, used as a meeting place for hunters to join King Peter I, it now connects three very important buildings of the palace complex. Ahead, you shall find the imposing Mudéjar Palace built by King Pedro I. On your right is the House of Trade (Casa de Contratacion) and on your left is the facade to Palacio Gothico, built in 1755 after the Lisbon earthquake, and access to Patio del Crucero.
Below the slabs of the courtyard lies archaeological finds of the Almohad palaces from the 12th century.
* Casa de Contratacion | House of Trade
The House of Trade was established in 1503. The current front patio was added in the 17th century.
Casa de Contratacion was the centre from whence the Spanish Empire once ruled from early 16th century to 1717. This was the headquarters where ‘top secrets’ were stored, voyages were planned, crews assembled, contracts signed, navigational maps and charts drawn up. It was here that Christopher Columbus signed his famous contract to sail to the Indies with Queen Isabella I of Aragon in 1492.
8 | Staircase to the Upper Palaceof theAlcázarSeville
Take the staircase that leads to the upper palace. It is an important part of the palace that was built in the 16th century during the reign of King Philip II. The decorative tiles that adorns the walls are copies of the originals, presently at “Madre de Dios” Convent, in Seville.
9 | Admirals’ Room at the House of Trade, Real AlcázarSeville
On the upper floor, visit the Admirals’ Room named in honour of Christopher Columbus. It is home to some extraordinary paintings, portraits of the Spanish aristocracy and some remarkable events in history. This was where Amerigo Vespucci,Magellan and El Cano planned their sea voyages to explore the New World. The room also inspired the first world map in history by Juan de la Cosa.
9.1 | Virgen de los Navigantes (Virgin of the Navigators) at the Royal Palace of Seville
At the northern end of the Admirals’ room, is the Chapterhouse (Sala de Audiencias), which was restored in 1967. The central altar piece is the celebrated Virgen de los Navigantes (Virgin of the Navigators) by Alejo Fernandez from around 1536. Sailors pray to her before embarking on their voyage. She is surrounded by four saints. Saint Sebastian and Saint James on the left; Saint Telmo and Saint John the Baptist on the right.
Also displayed in the Admirals’ Room is a model of “Santa Maria”, Columbus’ flagship. The Fan Room houses some rare fans made of ivory, feathers and pearls. As well, at home here is the Carranza Collection (mentioned above), a little museum dedicated to a collection of 171 priceless Moorish ceramics.
Next explore the resplendent Pedro’s Mudéjar Palace.
* Pedro’sMudéjar Palace, Seville
The facade to Pedro’s Palace is the quintessence of Mudéjar architecture. Moorish features such as arches, columned windows and Arabic lettering sits harmoniously along Christian words and Kingdom ofLeón coat of arms. The inscriptions declares in Spanish that the palace’s creator as “the highest, noblest and most powerful conqueror Don Pedro, by God’s grace King of Castilla and León” while in Arabic, it indicates “there is no conqueror but Allah”
Unusually, oriental styles are incorporated as well. There is the square roof and projecting portico with carvings in green, red and gold which gives a somewhat Asian feel. The fascinating combination of styles sets a tone to what to expect when you venture indoors — splendour, magnificence and a walk through various centuries.
10 | Courtyard of the Maidens | Patio de las DoncellasReal Alcázar, Seville
Courtyard of the Maidens is an enchanting rectangular patio with a sunken garden, an elegant long reflecting pool, painstakingly crafted marble columns and 24 elaborate arches with intricate designs, surrounded by lavish royal rooms. The delightful details on each arch and the carvings are akin to delicate lace. The layout is balanced and geometric in design, displaying harmony. Utterly spellbinding.
The Maidens’ Courtyard was built in the 13th century when Christians returned to rule Seville. The upper floors were added in the 16th century by King Charles/Carlos V. These were primarily of Renaissance design and some mudéjar decorations were incorporated also. It took some 32 years to complete, from 1540 through to 1572.
The sunken garden was discovered recently in 2005 by archaeologists and restored to its original 14th century form. It was paved over in 1570s after Pedro’s death.
“Courtyard of the Maidens” takes its name from rather a degraded old legend. Apparently, the Moors demanded 100 virgins every year from the Christian rulers!
Take your time to walk around.
11 | Royal Quarters around the patio
Around the rectangular patio are royal quarters. All rooms feature stunningly beautiful ceilings, tiles and stucco.
The Infant Room looks out to the Galley Garden, has wooden shutters with metal works that carries Arabic calligraphy. Charles V Ceiling Room was designed as a chapel, and has a Renaissance ceiling from 1543. The Royal Chamber has a winter room designed to receive sunlight and a much cooler summer room with a barrel-vault ceiling.
Across the Maidens’ Courtyard is the spectacular Ambassadors’ Hall.
12 | Hall of Ambassadors | Salón de los Embajadoresat the Real Alcázar
The Hall of Ambassadors is a melting pot of Seville’s historic cultures and has its origins in the 11th century.
One can see the influences of both the Islam and Christian religions as well as their cultures. A squared room, symbolises the earth and the dome above, the night sky, the universe. Remarkable decorations forming a star joins the circle to the square, upholding the Mudéjar aesthetic delights. The arches have frieze work, along with motifs of castles and lions. The architect was inspired by the Hall of the Pleiades, built by the poet-king al-Mutamid, ruler of Seville in the 11th century.
The room was the centrepiece of the palace during the reign of King Pedro I. Known as the ‘Throne Room’, it was here that Pedro received his elite guests.
Pro tip: When visiting here, don’t forget to look up (pictured above) and use the angled mirror in the room to see the designs close-up.
The dome was added in 1427 and is distinctly regal, exuding a touch of dominance.
On the western side of the Ambassadors’ Hall sits the beautiful Peacock Arch (Arco de Pavones) named after the peacock, animal and floral motifs introduced to decorate this flamboyant room.
The Arch leads onto Felipe II Ceiling Room. The ceiling is Renaissance, known as “half round.” Decorated with geometric motifs from 1589 – 1591. Beyond this is the Prince’s Garden.
From the Ambassadors’ Hall, you will reach the Patio de las Muñecas.
13 | The Courtyard of Dolls | Patio de las Muñecas Alcázar Sevilla
The Courtyard of Dolls is much smaller than the Maidens Courtyard but is equally exquisite. The Courtyard gets its name from the doll faces that adorns the arches.
If you find a doll’s face on the arches, you are lucky as it is said to bring good fortune when found.
Each of the columns are unique, and originate from Italica, an ancient Roman settlement outside of Seville. The tops of each column bears inscriptions from the Quran, and comes from Medina Azahara, a Moorish palace abandoned by the Caliphs outside the city of Cordoba.
This small courtyard was designed to accommodate the palace’s private quarters, for the use of the king and his family. It opens to 3 bedrooms and the Prince’s Garden.
The Dolls Courtyard had undergone extensive renovations over the years. The top two floors are 19th century additions with plaster work brought in from Alhambra. The rooms were also completely refurbished. It has an awesome glass ceiling that lights up the room!
13.1 | The Catholic Monarchs’ Room | Salon de los Reyes Católicos
Also known as the Moorish Kings’ Bedroom, the Catholic Monarchs’ room has a beautiful wooded ceiling, decorated with ribbons and heraldic symbols.
13.2 | Prince’s Suite
The Prince’s Suite has one of the finest Renaissance styled ceilings, an elaborate gold ceiling creating a starlight night sky effect. Along with exquisite scalloped plaster arches, Arabic quotes and lattice tiles. The room was initially used as the Queen’s bedroom until the Catholic queen, Isabella I built the upper floors. Her son, Prince Juan de Aragon was born here, but sadly died at just 19 days. Hence the name of the room.
* The Gothic Palaceat the Real Alcázar of Seville
The Gothic Palace can be reached via the porticoed gallery crossing connected to the Patio de la Monteria (the Hunting Courtyard) or via a narrow staircase located on the southeastern side of the Maidens’ Courtyard.
This section of the Real Alcázar is very different to the rest of the palace and does not encompass Mudéjar artwork. It underwent much remodeling in the 13th century by Alfonso X, over the remains of the old Almohad palace, turning it into a beautiful Gothic palace.
The echoing halls were designed for King Carlos V and were added in the 16th century. The stone baroque entrance was added in the 18th century. There are a series of rooms such as the tapestry room, garden room, party room and a Chapel. The most striking of them all is the Hall of Tapestries.
The remains of a child who lived 700 years ago was found in a coffin under the floors of the altar in the Chapel at the Gothic Palace early 2021.
In the Hall of Tapestries, there are a series of twelve large tapestries representing the invasion of Tunisia by Carlos V in 1535. It carries extraordinary details of ships carrying sailors, ranks of soldiers, emitting flumes of smoke from cannons. These tapestries are said to be one of the best in the world today.
The original vaulted ceiling in this room was damaged in the Lisbon earthquake of 1755. It was later replaced by a baroque design.
Beyond the Hall of Tapestries, is the Courtyard of the Cruise.
15 | Courtyard of the Cruise | Patio del Crucero
The charming Courtyard of the Cruise owes its name to its cross-shape and is considered one of the the most important part of the Almohad palace from the 12th century. It’s initial design consisted only of raised walkways along its four sides and two crossed walkways that met in the middle. At the bottom, there was a central swimming pool surrounded by underground gardens. All kinds of fruits and aromatic trees is said to have grown here. The fruits were basically at one’s fingertips and could be plucked from the platforms.
The lower level medieval garden was buried in the 1755 Lisbon earthquake. The present lower level of the patio, along with the corridor leading to the Hunting Courtyard as well as the facade to the Gothic Palace were built in the 18th century in the Baroque style.
Below the raised walkways are vaults that leads to the picturesque secret Baths of Doña Maria de Padilla, mistress to Pedro I.
Beyond the Patio del Crucero, you are met with endless, fragrant, serene oasis of the AlcázarGardens.
* The Real Alcázar of Seville Gardens
The Gardens at The Real Alcázar of Seville are extensive, unique and reflect the passing of history. Home to at least 20,000 plants, and over 180 plant species to be found in this 60,000 metres square of gardens are some of Europe’s oldest, from Moorish times. The English Garden, the Poets’ Garden and Garden of the Marquis de la Vega Inclán are from the modern 19th century era.
Water plays an important role in the concept of the Alcazar gardens which are the epitome of Moorish garden design. The gentle trickle, gurgle sounds of the fountains and ponds invites you to slowdown and to appreciate the moments in the pleasurable greenery of orderly hedgerows, towering palm trees and oranges.
Linger among the palm trees, cypresses, myrtle, mulberries, magnolia, pomegranate, orange and lemon trees. The scent of oranges were noticeable even in late November when I visited. I can only imagine the scent of marmalade in spring when the orange trees drop their fruits and the ground is covered in them.
There are small courtyards with glittering pools, fountains, ponds, arches and pavilions wherever I turned! The Ladies Garden has an elegant fountain with a statue of Neptune which was totally mesmerising. Secluded shady corners with dainty colourful tiled benches to steal moments and be lost in my faerie world.
I assure you, you will be delightfully lost in this lush and exotic labyrinth of a paradise, soaking into the moments in quiet contentment. To thoroughly enjoy the gardens, give yourself at least 3 hours.
Here are some of the unmissable highlights of the Gardens at The Real Alcázar of Seville.
Begin your garden walk with Mercury’s Pool (Garden of the Pond).
16 | Mercury’s Pool | Garden of the Pond
The Mercury’s Pool is a large pool with a fountain filled with fish. Formerly it was a cistern supplying water to the palace brought from Carmona, a town on the outskirts of Seville. In the centre of the pond is a bronze statue of the Greek god, Mercury, sculpted in 1576. The pond is surrounded by railings and spikes.
On the east side of the Mercury’s Pool, is Galleria de Grutesco.
17 | Gallery of the Grotesque | Galeria del Grutesco at The Real Alcázar of Seville
Originating from the Almohad era, the wall of Gallery of the Grotesque was lavishly reimagined in the late 16th and early 17th century to as far as the 19th century, giving it the appearance it currently has. The Gallery was constructed using different stones, plastering and painting in between of classic mythological scenes, giving the wall a cave-like look. Known as the Italian Grotto, this wall has an upper gallery of 160 metres that can be accessed via narrow steps, offering incredible vista over the gardens. It was lovely to walk along the corridor, in the shade with the occasional cool breeze.
While here, you may hear tiny little notes of music coming from somewhere … follow it and you will be rewarded with a little treasure at the Fountain of Fame.
18 | Fuente de la Fama Water Organ | The Fountain of Fame at Real Alcázar of Seville
The Fountain of Fame is really something special. It’s a water organ or fountain organ and plays music every hour. The music is generated by the flow of water through its various pipes.
Water organs have been around a long time, since the 3rd century in Alexandria. This one at The Real Alcázar of Seville was built in the 17th century and is the only one of four in the world and the only one in Spain.
19 | Dance Garden atAlcázar of Seville
Next to Mercury’s Pool, on the west, via some stairs down, is the Garden of Dance, curated in the 1570s. The graceful little metal staircase dates from 1610. In the centre, there is a low fountain from the 16th century. The botanical elements constitute magnolias, acanthus, pitchardias, as well as Canary Island palms, trumpeters, spireas, celestinas and wire vines.
From here, you can access the secret Baths of Doña Maria de Padilla.
20 | Baths of Doña Maria de Padilla at The Real Alcázar of Seville
One of the most picturesque, sensational and an obligatory stop is the Baths of Doña Maria de Padilla when visiting the historic Real Alcázar of Seville. The fresh air, infinite arches, reflections on the water and the subject of many legends makes this mysterious underground bath an unmissable spot at the Alcázar.
Built around the 12th century to a medieval Almohad structure, the vaults were used to store rainwater and food. During Pedro’s rule, these were turned to underground bath and used by Doña Maria de Padilla, his mistress. The temperature inside is about 15°C lower than the outside. Sunlight seeps through the sides, and the reflections of the arches on its clear water makes this a surreal scene.
21 | Carlos V Pavilion | Charles V Pavilion at the Royal Palace in Seville
The square tiled pavilion in the lush gardens of the Alcázar was formerly a qubba (an oratory) and was known as Jardin de la Alcoba. It was converted between 1543 and 1546, in Mudéjar style. The Spanish Emperor, Charles V had his dinners here in the summer months. Home to splendid tapestries and is said to be the oldest building in the gardens. Its walls, as well as its benches are covered in 16th century tiles. The exterior is surrounded by four semicircular arches supported on marble columns.
Take a breather and sit on one of its beautiful benches for a moment or two. Soak in the nature and sanctuary this garden of eden bestows. You can’t go into the Carlos V Pavilion at the moment.
Nearby the Pavilion, there is an orange tree, said to be planted by Pedro I which makes it over 600 years old! Orange trees were favourite of the Arabs and were used for ornamental purposes. The fruits are sour and not for consumption. Don’t eat them.
Carlos V Pavilion was another location used for Game of Thrones .
22 | Garden Cafe
The Garden Cafe at the The Real Alcázar of Seville is hidden in the corner of the English Garden, obscured by trees and plants. Not a great selection of snacks but it is a nice place for a quick coffee and to watch a peacock or two strut their stuff.
There is so much more to the gardens at the Alcázar that I decided to dedicate an entire post on it which will be published soon. Stay tuned. Ensure you are Subscribed! Read > Gardens of theRoyal Alcázar in Seville
As autumn leads into winter, colour does not fade from the scene in the Real Alcázar gardens. The sky remains blue, the famed tiles glisten in the sun and brighten many a corner but the colour orange seems to prevail. Orange doors, orange steps, orange walls, orange gateways and oranges on the ground. There are orange structures peeking in-between the greens of the lush gardens, The view, from the corridors of the Grotto Gallery portray a surreal panorama.
So, when you are at the Real Alcázar of Seville, leave your hurries behind. Immerse in the surroundings, take photos for the Gram, daydream. Let your gaze linger on the palm trees, cypresses, orange trees, oaks … Do a perfect walk of the palace and the gardens — the paths once walked by the Spanish Kings themselves.
this is just me,found my happy corner … enjoyed my visit very much xoxo
Hours:Apr-Sept: 9:30 am to 7 pm | Oct-Mar: 9:30 am to 5 pm
Essential Information you need to know before your visit:
The Palace has a maximum capacity of 750 visitors. When it is full, it is full! Waiting times can be extremely long during peak times. Avoid the queues, save time and book ahead your skip-the-line tickets.
TICKET OPTIONS 2022:
General ticket to the Ground Floor: €13.50
Admission to the ground floor for EU citizens seniors over 65 years old, students from 14 to 30, or holders of European Youth Card: €6.00 (valid identification required)
Disabled persons, children younger than 13, and residents of Seville (identification required);
Monday from 6 pm to 7 pm (April to September) and from 4 pm to 5 pm (October to March)
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What to expect in this Guided Tour of Seville Cathedral and GiraldaTicket
Declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1987 for its historical, artistic and religious interest, the Seville Cathedral along with the infamous Giralda Tower is one of the most visited monument in the Andalusian capital city in Southern Spain. Visit this iconic landmark with a knowledgeable guide who will ensure you will learn everything there is about this incredible monument.
Seville Cathedral is the largest Gothic Cathedral in the world and was a mosque in the Middle Ages. Stroll around the magnificent cathedral and learn about how a 12th-century Almohad mosque was transformed into the world’s largest Gothic Cathedral over a span of 100 years. Admire the altarpiece and the domed ceiling of the Chapterhouse, as well as keep an eye out for the decorative details from its years as a mosque. There are 81 stained glass windows that will completely blow you away with its intricate designs. Admire works of art by masters such as Alejo Fernández, Pedro Roelas, Murillo, Velázquez, Zurbarán, Valdés Leal and Goya.
Skip the long queues to one of Seville’s most popular attraction. Buy Seville Cathedral and Giralda Fast-track entry ticket to explore at your own pace. Marvel at the magnificent architecture, climb the Giralda Tower, and see the tomb of Christopher Columbus. Upgrade for an audio guide.
Visiting tips to the Seville Cathedral and Giralda Tower
Step inside the largest Gothic Cathedral in the world with a fast-track entry ticket and explore the historic monument within. Known as the Cathedral de Santa María de la Sede, this magnificent Cathedral is home to notable works by Zurbaran, Murillo, and Goya. This monumental architecture is also the final resting place of Christopher Columbus, the Italian explorer. You can see his tomb in front of Puerta del Principe.
Upgrade to include an audio guide and learn how the Castillian King Fernando III captured Seville from the Almohads in the 12th century. Also, learn how the largest mosque of the time was transformed and became the largest Gothic Cathedral today.
The Seville Cathedral and Giralda Fast-track entry ticket also includes fast-track entry to the Giralda Tower. Climb all the 35 ramps to the belfry for spectacular views over Seville.
What does the Seville Cathedral and Giralda Fast-track entry ticket include:
1 | Seville Cathedral skip-the-line ticket;
2 | La Giralda Tower skip-the-line ticket;
3 | Booking fee;
4 | Audio guide (if option selected).
Know before you go:
1 | Ticket is valid for 1 day only.
2 | Skip-the-line entry.
3 | Special health and safety measures adhered to.
4 | Mobile ticketing.
5 | Ticket confirmation within 48 hours.
6 | Optional audio guide.
7 | Free cancellation.
Tickets for Seville Cathedral and Giralda Fast Track Entry