An Enticing Courtyard of the Maidens at Royal Alcazars Seville

Royal Alcazar Priority | Courtyard of the Maidens at the Royal Alcazars Seville | © timelesstravelsteps.com

An Enticing Courtyard of the Maidens at Royal Alcazars Seville

Written by: Georgina | We may earn a commission from affiliate links

Exuding a serene feeling, Courtyard of the Maidens at Royal Alcazars is captivating. Entwined with myths and legends, this enticing patio features simplicity with intricate and tasteful design. A perfect embodiment of Mudéjar architecture and an unmissable courtyard at the outstanding Royal Palace of Seville.

BOOK YOUR VISIT IN ADVANCE

To visit the Courtyard of the Maidens at Royal Alcazar Seville, you must book your tickets in advance of your visit. The Royal Palace operate a maximum capacity policy and there is no guarantee that you will get to enter. Imagine queuing up for hours and not being able to enter! Avoid a disappointing experience and book in advance of your visit.

courtyard of the maidens Seville

1 | Courtyard of the Maidens at Royal Alcazars

Courtyard of the Maidens, Royal Alcazar | © timelesstravelsteps.com
Courtyard of the Maidens at Royal Alcazars, Seville

Set within the magnificent and one of the most splendid royal palaces in the world, Courtyard of the Maidens or El Patio de las Doncellas is attributed to the Castilian King Pedro I (Peter the Cruel) of the 13th century. Inscriptions found here refer to him as the reigning sultan.

1.1 | Legend associated with the Maidens’ Courtyard

This serene courtyard is unfortunately associated with a legend. Apparently, the Muslim Emirate of Cordoba at the time demanded one hundred virgins from the Christian rulers of Andalusia as an annual tribute. Built in memory of the virgins, one can imagine the profound effect this degraded legend had on the psyche of the people living at the time and those building the courtyard.

Though fictional, I can’t help but feel that the patio laments the sorrow of all those who may have lost their daughters, with each piece of its intricate work representing a poetic rhythm in their memory.

1.2 | The Maidens’ Courtyard today

central pool at the Courtyard of the Maidens, Alcazar, Seville |  © timelesstravelsteps.com
Courtyard of the Maidens featuring the sunken garden, the long central pool, the upper floors and beautifully curated arches.

Today, Patio of the Maidens is a tranquil haven. It has a beautifully laid out sunken garden, with an elegant long pool in the centre. Surrounded by twenty-four arches supported by white marble columns, assiduous plaster work and tiling. There are sculptures of knights, coats of arms, hands and masks which were added during the Renaissance period in the 16th century.

the lower courtyard at Courtyard of the Maidens Alcazar Seville |  © timelesstravelsteps.com
an angle of the lower and upper levels of Courtyard of the Maidens, Alcazar Seville

The lower courtyard is bewitching with ceramic tiles in lattice patterns with vibrant colours of turquoise, royal blue and orange. Handmade and painstakingly crafted with coloured pieces inserted into them. The designs feature stars and linked by ribbons to represent divine infinity. The plaster works feature motifs such as flowers and shells linked to fertility while the lion and castle stucco are associated with Spanish monarchy.

The upper floors were added during the reign of Charles V and includes Renaissance and Mudéjar decorations. It took about thirty-two years to complete (1540 to 1572).

Recommended read: The Real Alcázar of Seville | A Guide to the BEST 22 Unmissable Highlights in the Alcázar Complex

2 | Recent discovery of the sunken garden at the Maidens’ Courtyard

When the Castilian King Pedro I died in 1369, the sunken garden was paved over with marble coverings in 1570s and a fountain was placed in the centre. It was recently uncovered by archaeologists in 2004, and the original layout was restored.

However, the sunken garden was temporarily paved over again with marble as it was needed as a set for the movie, Kingdom of Heaven. The Maidens’ Courtyard was reconverted after the filming was completed.


3 | Tip: Visiting Courtyard of the Maidens

When you visit Courtyard of the Maidens, do so unhurriedly. Take your time to walk around, enjoy the tranquility and the beautiful architecture of the building. Look up and admire the wooden carved ceilings.

looking up at the Courtyard of the Maidens Alcazar, Seville | © timelesstravelsteps.com
as you walk around the patio, don’t forget to look-up – some amazing craftmanship, wouldn’t you say?

just I, Georgina – couldn’t stop clicking away…

Around the patio, are royal rooms such as the Infant Room, Philip II Ceiling Room, Charles V Ceiling Room and access to another grand room, the Ambassadors’ Hall.

Ambassadors Hall The Real Alcázar of Seville | © timelesstravelsteps.com
The Hall of Ambassadors (Salón de Embajadores) is the most resplendent room in Real Alcazar palace complex. By far the most captivating sight is when you look up! A gold mirrored cupola.

** all photos and video © timelesstravelsteps.com

finally …

I sincerely hope this article has all the valuable information you were looking for on the Maidens’ Courtyard. You may find the following articles helpful also as you plan your trip to Seville:


We would love to share our travel stories with you. Stay Connected with TTS – Subscribe to receive more Free articles on Seville and Travel stories to your inbox.


… ensure you book your tickets to the Royal Alcazar of Seville well in advance. Our trusted partners have a long-standing reputation in the travel industry and these are partners we use in our travels also. We have no hesitation in recommending them. With the convenience of mobile ticketing along with last-minute cancellation option should your plans change, you really have the best of all worlds by booking early. If you decide to do so, we may earn a commission for qualifying booking/s. While this helps to keep the blog going, you may wish to support Timeless Travel Steps in other ways also. As always, we appreciate your continued custom.

Have a splendid time in Seville, xoxo

Spain Travel Advice

Seville Spain 37.3891° N, 5.9845° W
Seville Spain
37.3891° N, 5.9845° W

Essential Information on the Real Alcázar of Seville :

UNESCO World Heritage Site along with Seville Cathedral, & General Archive of the Indies.

Where: Plaza del Triunfo

Nearest Metro station is Puerta de Jerez.

Phone: 954 50 23 24

http://www.alcazarsevilla.org/

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:

Visitor capacity

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.

Skip-the-Line Tickets:

Seville Alcazar Priority Entrance + Guided Tour

Guided Tour of Seville Alcazar, Cathedral & Giralda

Skip the Line Ticket to the Real Alcázar of Seville

More ticket options >>



OUR BEST SELLING ACTIVITIES FOR SEVILLE

1 | For an all-round experience of the sultry city, opt for a food walking tour

2 | Buy a combo ticket to visit the Royal Alcazar, Seville Cathedral + Giralda.

3 | Enjoy timeless experiences on the Guadalquivir River.

4 | Tapas hopping tours

5 | Flamenco & Tapas Experience in Triana



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The Hall of Ambassadors at Royal Alcazars of Seville

The Hall of Ambassadors at Royal Alcazars of Seville

Written by: Georgina | We may earn a commission from affiliate links at no cost to you at all. Read our Disclosure

The Salón de Embajadores or Hall of Ambassadors at Royal Alcazars of Seville has its origin in the 11th century during the reign of Abbad III. The room was remodelled extensively during the reign of Castilian King Pedro I in the 14th century to become the most resplendent room in the palace.

TTS logo | The Hall of Ambassadors at Royal Alcazars of Seville
pin on Hall of Ambassadors at Royal Alcazars of Seville

BOOK YOUR VISIT IN ADVANCE

To visit the Hall of Ambassadors at Royal Alcazars of Seville, you must book your tickets in advance of your visit. The Royal Palace operate a maximum capacity policy and there is no guarantee that you will get to enter. Imagine queuing up for hours and not being able to enter! Avoid a disappointing experience and book in advance of your visit.

1 | The Hall of Ambassadors at Royal Alcazars of Seville – the most resplendent room in the Mudéjar royal palace

During the reign of the Castilian King Pedro I (1350 to 1369), the Hall of Ambassadors at Royal Alcazars of Seville became known as the “Throne Room“, the most important and centrepiece of the Mudéjar royal palace. The Hall was used to receive important visitors and dignitaries of the time. The King wanted the Hall to be the most resplendent room in the entire palace complex, and it is! A complete mind-blowing experience!

the hall of ambassadors at royal alcazars | © timelesstravelsteps.com
every inch of space in the Hall of Ambassadors at Royal Alcazars of Seville is covered with rich, exquisite plaster work

The room is square and its four walls are completely (every inch of space) covered with rich, elaborate ornamentation, and exquisite ceramic and plaster work depicting Gothic and Renaissance elements. There are images of birds in the calligraphic design. The lower walls are covered with ceramic tiles from Triana, Seville’s famous neighbourhood well-known for its distinctive azulejos since Roman times. On three sides of the room are triple arches and on one, a semi-circular arch lead to Courtyard of the Maidens.

hall of the ambassadors at royal alcazars of Seville | © timelesstravelsteps.com
two of the three triple arches in the Ambassadors Hall at Royal Alcazars of Seville are pictured here
courtyard of the maidens alcazar seville | © timelesstravelsteps.com
Courtyard of the Maidens at Royal Alcazars of Seville

By far the most captivating sight in the Ambassadors’ Hall is when you look up! A gold mirrored cupola.

cupola.ambassadors hall at royal alcazars Seville | © timelesstravelsteps.com
the wooden dome in the Hall of Ambassadors at Royal Alcazars Seville

The fabulous wooden dome, about nine metres in diameter, with multiple star patterns in gold and mirrors which represents the heavens, and God above all men.

1.1 | Islamic influences in the Hall of Ambassadors at Royal Alcazars of Seville

The dome in the Hall of Ambassadors at Royal Alcazars originated in the 11th century, and remodelled during the Castilian rule. In this Hall, one can see the influences of both the Islam and Christian religions as well as their cultures.

Hall of Ambassadors at Real Alcázar of Seville | © timelesstravelsteps.com
The Hall of Ambassadors at Royal Alcazars of Seville

It is a squared room, similar to a Muslim “Qubba”. The square symbolises the earth and the dome above, the universe. Remarkable decorations of muqarnas forming a star joins the circle to the square, upholding the Mudéjar aesthetic delights. When visiting here, don’t forget to look up (pictured above).

The magnificent dome was remodelled in 1427. The dome’s shape gives the Ambassadors’ Hall its alternate name – Sala de la Media Naranja (Hall of the Half Orange).

The orientation of the room was also changed. From it facing Mecca, it was changed to face northeast. The doorway now leads to the Maidens’ Courtyard.

1.2 | The Hall of Ambassadors at the Royal Alcazars of Seville was designed to exhibit dominance but …

The Hall of Ambassadors at the Royal Alcazars of Seville was designed to exhibit domination. This was the most resplendent room where dignitaries were received and royal gatherings held. The marriage of Charles V to Isabella of Portugal was celebrated in this Hall of Ambassadors in 1526.

… but there is also a ‘mystical’ feel about this room. Look above – the blue, gold and white colours with splendid balconies supported by golden dragons along with Arabic calligraphy. Can’t help but feel you are looking up at the ‘universe’!

Best tip: Use the angled mirror in the room for a closer look at the designs.


**All photos on the Hall of Ambassadors at Royal Alcazars and Courtyard of the Maidens are © timelesstravelsteps.com


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finally …

The Royal Alcazars of Seville is an embodiment of rich architectural and historical legacy. In particular, the Hall of Ambassadors at the Royal Alcazars is a journey of different eras, civilisation and a marriage of Christian and Islam religions. There are some Gothic and Renaissance elements too, in this room. A diverse and historical room worth visiting.

Plan ahead

I sincerely hope this article has all the valuable information you were looking for on the Hall of Ambassadors at the Royal Alcazars. You may find the following articles helpful also as you plan your trip to Seville:

Plan ahead and book your tickets to view the Hall of Ambassadors at Royal Alcazars of Seville well in advance. Our trusted partners are reputable providers of tours and these are partners we use in our travels also. We have no hesitation in recommending them. With the convenience of mobile ticketing along with last-minute cancellation option should your plans change, you really have the best of all worlds by booking early. If you decide to do so, we may earn a commission for qualifying booking/s. While this helps to keep the blog going, you may wish to support Timeless Travel Steps in other ways also. As always, we appreciate your continued custom.

Enjoy and have a splendid time in Seville, xoxo

Spain Travel Advice

Seville Spain 37.3891° N, 5.9845° W
Seville Spain
37.3891° N, 5.9845° W

Essential Information on the Royal Alcázar of Seville :

UNESCO World Heritage Site along with Seville Cathedral, & General Archive of the Indies.

Where: Plaza del Triunfo

Nearest Metro station is Puerta de Jerez.

Phone: 954 50 23 24

http://www.alcazarsevilla.org/

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:

Visitor capacity

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.

Skip-the-Line Tickets:

Seville Alcazar Priority Entrance + Guided Tour

Guided Tour of Seville Alcazar, Cathedral & Giralda

Skip the Line Ticket to the Real Alcázar of Seville

More ticket options >>


The Hall of Ambassadors at Royal Alcazars of Seville



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The Enchanting Mercury Pond at Royal Alcazar Seville

The Enchanting Mercury Pond at Royal Alcazar | Seville

Written by: Georgina | We may earn a commission from affiliate links

In the midst of evergreen magnolias, fan palms, jasmine and myrtle, wisteria, trees of lemons and oranges is the enchanting Mercury Pond at Royal Alcazar in Seville.

A distinguished destination as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, in the sunny Andalusian capital city of Seville, the Royal Alcazar in Seville is a “must see” attraction for visitors to this part of the Iberian Peninsula in Spain.

the enchanting Mercury Pond at Royal Alcazar Seville

Recommended read: The Real Alcázar of Seville | A Guide to the BEST 22 Unmissable Highlights in the Alcázar Complex


About The Mercury Pond at Royal Alcazar

Mercury's Pool Alcazar Seville
Mercury Pond at Royal Alcazar

The enchanting Mercury Pond at Royal Alcazar was built at the height of the palace. Therefore, it is located at the highest point of the gardens at the Royal Alcazar of Seville, thus giving visitors a strategic vantage point of a broader perspective of the surrounding gardens. It is usually the first point from whence you would begin your garden walk at the Royal Alcazar.

The Mercury Pond is a large pool with a fountain filled with fish. Formerly it was a storage point supplying water to the palace brought from Carmona, a town on the outskirts of Seville. Water crashes from a spout about eight metres high from the upper building into the basin below. The Pond takes its name from the bronze statue, a Renaissance addition. It is also famously known as Garden of the Pond.

the mercury pond at Royal Alcazar Seville
statue of Greek god, Mercury at the Mercury Pond, Royal Alcazar, Seville

Accenting the pond is a statue of the Greek god, Mercury, a deity of industry and commerce. The bronze statue was sculpted in 1576 and have been credited to Diego de Pesquera and Bartolome Morel. Surrounded by railings, figures of lions holding shields at the angles and 18 balls with pyramidal spikes.

The Mercury Pond was important to King Philip V. It was at this very pond where the king would listen to the famous Italian singer, Farinelli until late/early hours of the morning.

Backdrop to the Mercury Pond is Galleria de Grutesco.

An overview of Galleria de Grutesco — the backdrop to the Mercury Pond

The Mercury Pond at Royal Alcazar in Seville
Galleria de Grutesco — the backdrop to the Mercury Pond, Royal Alcazar, Seville

Behind the Mercury Pond is a long wall of 160 metres that runs northwest-southeast direction which make up the Galleria de Grutesco (Grotto Gallery). The wall is covered with a series of various stones, plastering and frescoes of classic mythological scenes together with some Renaissance paintings. The original foundation to the Galleria de Grutesco (Grotto Gallery) dates to the 12th century when the Almohad were rulers of Seville. Then, the wall was built as a defensive wall against flooding of the Tagarete River. However, in 1612, the architect Vermondo Resta set out to transform and built upon the defensive wall into a Grotto Gallery. The work continued into the 19th century, giving the wall an appearance it has today.

It has an upper corridor, all through the 160 metres via some narrow steps. The views from the upper gallery over the gardens of the Royal Alcazar are incredible, one not to miss.

How to visit the Mercury Pond at Royal Alcazar Seville

The Royal Alcazar in Seville is a very popular attraction and the waiting time to purchase a ticket and entry can run into hours. In addition, there is a capacity limit of 750 visitors a day. So , if this limit is reached, it is reached! You may have to return on another occasion to experience the Royal Alcazar. To avoid disappointment, you could book your tickets with alcazarsevilla. org or you may wish to combine your visit to other attractions in Seville on a skip-the-line guided tour tickets.

Skip-the-Line Tickets:

Seville Alcazar Priority Entrance + Guided Tour

Guided Tour of Seville Alcazar, Cathedral & Giralda

Skip the Line Ticket to the Real Alcázar of Seville


Spain Travel Advice

Seville Spain 37.3891° N, 5.9845° W
Seville Spain
37.3891° N, 5.9845° W

Essential Information on the Real Alcázar of Seville :

UNESCO World Heritage Site along with Seville Cathedral, & General Archive of the Indies.

Where: Plaza del Triunfo

Nearest Metro station is Puerta de Jerez.

Phone: 954 50 23 24

http://www.alcazarsevilla.org/

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:

Visitor capacity

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.

Skip-the-Line Tickets:

Seville Alcazar Priority Entrance + Guided Tour

Guided Tour of Seville Alcazar, Cathedral & Giralda


What’s new on TTS


TTS logo
the enchanting Mercury Pond at Royal Alcazar Sevillethe enchanting Mercury Pond at Royal Alcazar Seville

The rich Gothic Palace at Royal Alcazar of Seville

The Gothic Palace at Royal Alcazar of Seville

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

The Gothic Palace at Royal Alcazar of Seville | El Palacio Gótico

The Gothic Palace at Royal Alcazar of Seville
Gothic Palace at Royal Alcazar of Seville

The Gothic Palace was built by the Castilian King Alfonso X, also known as Alfonso the Wise. 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.

Recommended read: The Real Alcázar of Seville | A Guide to the BEST 22 Unmissable Highlights in the Alcázar Complex

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 Gothic palace at the royal alcazar
the tapestry room: Gothic Palace at Royal Alcazar of Seville

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 traditional Sevillano 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.

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.

More information and check availability >>


2 | Best tips for the Alcazar and Cathedral + Giralda of Seville

Visit the best of historic Seville in half-a-day — The Alcazar and Cathedral + Giralda Tower of Seville, Spain. Tickets from £42.00

More information and check availability >>

Spain Travel Advice

Seville Spain 37.3891° N, 5.9845° W
Seville Spain
37.3891° N, 5.9845° W

Essential Information on the Real Alcázar of Seville :

UNESCO World Heritage Site along with Seville Cathedral, & General Archive of the Indies.

Where: Plaza del Triunfo

Nearest Metro station is Puerta de Jerez.

Phone: 954 50 23 24

http://www.alcazarsevilla.org/

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:

Visitor capacity

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.

Skip-the-Line Tickets:

Seville Alcazar Priority Entrance + Guided Tour

Guided Tour of Seville Alcazar, Cathedral & Giralda

Skip the Line Ticket to the Real Alcázar of Seville


What’s new on TTS

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The Gothic Palace at Royal AlcazarThe Gothic Palace at Royal Alcazar
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