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



What’s new on TTS


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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
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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



What’s new on TTS


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Barrio Santa Cruz in Seville | Best Guide to Where to Stay Eat and Things to do

Barrio Santa Cruz in Seville | Best Guide to Where to Stay Eat and Things to do

Stunning Seville, the rhythm of Andalusia celebrate a myriad of local customs, traditions, boundless energy and the marriage of spices in their salivating dishes. There is no better place to experience the Sevillanos passion than in the heartbeat of Seville, Barrio Santa Cruz.

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What to expect from this guide on Barrio Santa Cruz

Having wandered and wondered around the city for three days, exploring the thrills of the many labyrinth of alleys in the Old Jewish Quarter, in the backdrop of the flamenco dancing and the strumming of the guitar, amidst the chatter, laughter and the friendly neighbourhood vibe, I share the highly rated places to stay at Barrio Santa Cruz in Seville including the one I stayed in.

Also included in this best guide are 14 highlights of the very best things to do in this barrio Santa Cruz so you do not miss anything on the history, vibrancy and culture of this colourful city.

As the Santa Cruz neighbourhood is highly touristy, this guide offers suggestions on where to eat along with tips for enhanced experiences so you do not fall into the tourist traps.

Whether your visit is for one day, three days, a week or even longer, this best guide will help you choose where to stay at Barrio Santa Cruz in Seville, select places and things to do along with where to eat that best suits you like a breeze.

barrio santa cruz seville | timelesstravelsteps.com

This article and related articles are sprinkled with affiliate links. We may earn a commission from qualified purchases and bookings at no cost to you at all. These links have no influence on the editorial content we produce.


Timeless Travel Steps BEST SIGHTSEEING TIPS FOR SEVILLE TRAVEL

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

2 | Go for the best deal – Buy a combo ticket to visit the Royal Alcazar, Seville Cathedral + Giralda.

3 | Enjoy timeless experiences on the Guadalquivir River.

4 | Experience the culture of the Sevillanos – Tapas hopping tours

5 | Experience the passion and vibrancy of the time honoured Flamenco – Flamenco & Tapas Experience in Triana


Barrio Santa Cruz in Seville – Seville City Centre / Old Town / Old Jewish Quarter

Welcome to my guide on Barrio Santa Cruz in Seville, the best guide to where to stay, eat and the very best things to do.

Barrio Santa Cruz was the Parish of the Holy Cross and is the oldest part of the city of Seville. Located within the perimeter of the Roman city walls, the first settlement dates back to the 1st century , with a large Jewish community settling here after the Reconquista in late 1248. Thereafter, followed a period of dark history encapsulating deceit, destruction and the loss of many Jewish lives.

Today, Seville City Centre or Seville’s Old Town, also known as Barrio Santa Cruz was the old Jewish Quarter of Seville. This area is the heartbeat of Seville, ideally located to public transportation (not that you will need it) and is home to the most popular tourist attractions. Seville City Centre is the area around Seville’s Gothic wonder, the breathtaking spectacle of Mudejar palace, Plaza Nueva and El Arenal.

Santa Cruz is one of the most picturesque neighbourhoods, in Seville. Encompassing white-washed houses, a labyrinth of narrow alleys of cobblestone, and charming Andalusian balconies. This is an area where you can wander for hours trying to decide which bar or restaurants to go to as each has its own appeal and warmth.

Staying anywhere in the Santa Cruz neighbourhood means you are only minutes away from the city’s historic attractions, the famous Bull Ring in Seville and dangerously close to Calle Sierpes, the heart of small business and a place where you can get anything you want. If you are looking to stay in Seville at the heart of the city, barrio Santa Cruz is the place to be.

While the Santa Cruz neighbourhood is splendid for a stay, the barrio is also one of Seville’s busiest and touristy neighbourhoods. Hence, the streets can be noisy at night if you are visiting Seville during the high season such as the summer months.

I | WHERE TO STAY IN BARRIO SANTA CRUZ

Barrio Santa Cruz boasts a splendid collection of hotels and boutique accommodations, ranging from high-end to budget finds.

i | Luxury Hotels in Barrio Santa Cruz

1 | The historic and much desired Hotel Alfonso XIII

hotel Alfonso XIII Seville  | barrio santa cruz
Where to Stay in Seville | Hotel Alfonso XIII Seville
Hotel Alfonso XIII | Image: ©TTS photographer

2 | For luxury and a modern feel, stay at EME Catedral Mercer Hotel, Seville

3 | Hotel Colón Gran Meliá

Other luxury hotels to stay in Seville at Barrio Santa Cruz

Hotel Palacio De Villapanés

Radisson Collection Hotel, Magdalena Plaza Sevilla

ii | Mid-range hotels in Barrio Santa Cruz

1 | Hotel Casa 1800 Seville

2 | Petit Palace Marques Santa Ana

where to stay in Seville

Georgina: “We stayed at Petit Palace Marques Santa Ana in Seville. Ideally located to all attractions that were on our list, and a few blocks away from the tram station. It was quiet.”

3 | Hotel Las Casas de la Judería

Other mid-range accommodations in Barrio Santa Cruz

Puerta del Principe

Casa del Rey Sabio

iii | Budget accommodation at the edge of Barrio Santa Cruz

1 | Basic Hotel Puerta de Sevilla

2 | Hotel Murillo

II | WHAT TO DO IN BARRIO SANTA CRUZ

Primary attractions and places to visit in Barrio Santa Cruz are:

1 | The Royal Palace Alcázar  — a palace complex and home to the most beautiful gardens, colourful ceramics and mind-blowing architecture.

Maidens Courtyard The Alcazar | Barrio Santa Cruz in Seville
Courtyard of the Maidens | The Royal Alcazar Seville | Image: ©TTS photographer

the majestic Seville Cathedral
Seville Cathedral and Giralda Tower | Image: ©TTS photographer

3 | Iglesia Colegial del Salvador — Church of the Divine Saviour at Plaza del Salvador is the second most important church in Seville following Seville Cathedral. Built on the site of a former mosque, the Salvador Church is filled with remarkable altarpieces in solid gold. Definitely worth a visit.

Church of the Divine Saviour at Plaza del Salvador | Barrio Santa Cruz | timelesstravelsteps
Church of the Divine Saviour at Plaza del Salvador Seville | Image: ©TTS photographer

Tip: Join a guided tour of Seville Cathedral and /or the Royal Alcazar.

Giralda Tower tours
Alcazar, Cathedral & Giralda

4 | Casa de Pilatos — besides the Alcázar, there is more insanely beautiful architecture in this well-preserved 16th century palace.

Barrio Santa Cruz in Seville | Casa de Pilatos
gardens of Casa de Pilatos

5 | Archivo de Indias — the General Archive of the Indies along with the Alcázar and Seville Cathedral are listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites since 1987.

6 | Plaza Nueva  this is the central square in Seville and has a statue of King Ferdinand III of Castile. Everyone goes here! 🙂

7 | Jardines de Murillo — a serene park with a monument dedicated to Christopher Columbus.


8 | Hospital de los Venerables Sacerdotes —  this building was a hospital for the priests in the 17th century. The most attractive part is the church with exquisite frescoes.

barrio Santa Cruz in Seville
Hospital de los Venerables Sacerdotes | Barrio Santa Cruz Seville

9 | Palacio de la Condesa de Lebrija — Palace of Lebrija is another architecturally fascinating palace. Home to a beautiful collection of colourful mosaics ranging from ancient Greece to Roman times. An unmissable experience.

10 | Plaza del Cabildo — a lovely quiet semi-circular square to just enjoy… except on a Sunday when it is not so quiet. Stamp Collectors market takes place from very early in the morning till about lunchtime.

Barrio Santa Cruz in Seville

11 | Plaza de Toros de la Maestranza

Plaza de Toros de Sevilla is an emblematic monument of Seville. Built in the 18th century, the bullfighting arena is the most important in Spain and can accommodate 13,000 spectators. Bullfighting takes place throughout the year but there are some days when the arena is open to the public for a visit. There is a museum that tells the story of the arena’s evolution and the bullfighting scene.

Bull Ring skip-the-line ticket

Bull Ring in Seville | Barrio Santa Cruz in Seville

Georgina: I do not support bullfighting and would never pay to watch a live bullfighting event. I respect those who do as each is to our own. As many of you may already know, I love history and I always visit monuments and landmarks that tells a story of a nation’s culture. I visited this monument to learn of its story and to see for myself what an incredible arena it is. It is an incredible arena indeed!


12 | Experience the spirit and passion of Flamenco

flamenco.street.Santa Cruz Seville
street performance of flamenco in Santa Cruz neighbourhood Seville | Image: ©TTS photographer

When walking around Santa Cruz, you are sure to bump into an impromptu flamenco performance. These are pretty good to watch, in return for a small tip. Watch a short video below:

Flamenco street performance in Santa Cruz, Seville

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13 | Walk around Barrio Santa Cruz

Barrio Santa Cruz  at night
Santa Cruz at night ©TTS photographer
Santa Cruz Neighbourhood Al Arenal | timelesstravelsteps
Al Arenal Seville | Image: ©TTS photographer

… explore the winding and narrow alleyways unhurriedly – the mysterious cobblestone paths are both romantic and intoxicating with its bright, bold colours along with the white-washed walls. The architecture is delightful showcasing a varied of cultures with a unifying trait – conquest, and so many conquests! You can see that the Romans were here, the Visigoths, the Moors, the Castilians and the Spanish Empire.

kissing street Santa Cruz neighbourhood Seville

While exploring the labyrinth of barrio Santa Cruz, go also in search of Calle de los Besos (Street of Kisses) – the narrowest street in the city.

Georgina: We were out late on both nights and it was kinda nice to see the Cathedral glow against the night skies, with not many people around.

14 | Horse-drawn carriage ride

This appeared to be a popular activity among tourists but we did not participate in this activity. If you wish to, learn more about a horse-drawn carriage ride and what it entails here.


III | WHERE & WHAT TO EAT IN BARRIO SANTA CRUZ

Santa Cruz neighbourhood is a great place to try any and all of Seville authentic food — seafood, tapas and drinks.

While Vineria San Telmo is highly recommended and rightly so for their exquisite dishes, Lobo López is a restaurant I would return to in a hearbeat for its natural and relaxed feel. Both were excellent.

Vineria San Telmo —  Paseo Catalina de Ribera, 4 41004 Sevilla

Lobo López — C. Rosario, 15, 41001 Seville, Spain

For traditional tapas, try Casa Morales > Garcia Vinuesa 11, Seville. Two minutes from Seville Cathedral.

While Seville’s most popular eating spots serve tapas and cañas, you must not leave town without trying Seville’s Spanish ham! This is no ordinary lunch meat ham bought off the shelf, for sure. Once you try, you will want to try again.

Jamón ibérico - Iberian ham | Seville
Jamón Ibérico — Iberian ham

The traditional ham is the celebrated Jamón Ibérico — Iberian ham, cured to perfection over years at a time. For the best in Central Seville, go to Flores Gourmet.

Flores Gourmet: Calle San Pablo 24 | Centro, 41001 Seville, Spain

Experience an Evening of Tapas in Seville – Avoid the tourist traps and join a guided tour of the most emblematic of the tapas bars.



IV | HOW TO MAKE THE BEST OF YOUR VISIT TO SANTA CRUZ, SEVILLE

Seville is a small city and compact. The best way to explore the city is by foot. I can assure you, public transport is not needed at all when visiting the barrio Santa Cruz and all you need is a good pair of walking shoes.

However, if you do wish to experience the public transport in Seville, the Tram (Metro Centro) is the best option. It is a 1.4 kilometre line that runs through the centre of Seville. The Centro Tram line connects Plaza Nueva to Seville Cathedral, with stops at Archivo de Indias, Puerta de Jerez, San Sebastian and San Bernardo.

While exploring the city centre independently is encouraged and easily done, your visit to Seville is significantly enhanced if you join a guided tour. A knowledgeable guide who knows exactly where to take you for the best tapas, best dining, best bodegas, best Jamón Ibérico and for the best stories ever told.


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Barrio Santa Cruz SevilleBarrio Santa Cruz Seville

The majestic Seville Cathedral | A Visitor’s Guide to the largest Gothic Cathedral in the World

The majestic Seville Cathedral | A Visitor’s Guide to the largest Gothic Cathedral in the World

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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.

majestic Seville Cathedral | timelesstravelsteps.com

We may earn a commission from affiliate links at no cost to you at all.


I | Story of the majestic Seville Cathedral (Catedral de Sevilla)

Seville Cathedral | timelesstravelsteps.com
Seville Cathedral, Seville City | Image: © TTS photograper

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.

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.

Recommended read: The Giralda Tower in Seville

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

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

Gothic interior of the majestic Seville Cathedral
The towering, massive and slender pillars emphasize the height of the extravagant vaulting, while elegantly arch over to support the ribbed vaults | Image: © georgina_daniel

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.

towering columns in the Seville Cathedral
towering columns and beautiful geometrical patterns on the ceiling of Seville Cathedral | © georgina_daniel

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

Silver Altar at the majestic Seville Cathedral
Silver Altar at Seville Cathedral showcasing a mastery of Sevillian silversmithing | © georgina_daniel

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

Main Altar Seville Cathedral
The High Altar is a dazzling showpiece-the largest Gothic altar in the world | © georgina_daniel

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.

pretty geometrical ceiling in Seville Cathedral | timelesstravelsteps.com
beautiful geometrical patterns cover the vaulted ceiling | Image: © georgina_daniel

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

Tomb of Christopher Columbus in Seville Cathedral, Seville

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:

Seville Cathedral
The inscriptions: 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 | Seville Cathedral | Image: © georgina_daniel

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)

Christopher Columbus Seville Cathedral | timelesstravelsteps.com
viewed from rear of Christopher Columbus’ monument Seville Cathedral | Image: © TTS photographer

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

Seville Cathedral Andalusia
Ferdinand Columbus’ tombstone is etched on the floor below the central nave near the west entrance in Seville Cathedral | Image: © georgina_daniel

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.

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

majestic Seville Cathedral
The dome is sculpted with the Final Judgement in three rings | Image: © georgina_daniel

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:

The Main Sacristy, Seville Cathedral, Seville

8 | La Giralda of the majestic Seville Cathedral (Bell Tower)

Giralda Tower and Seville Cathedral
Giralda Tower and Seville Cathedral | Image: © TTS photographer

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.

Recommended read: The Bell Tower at Seville Cathedral

9 | Patio de los Naranjos

Seville Cathedral, the fountain in Patio de los Naranjos
the fountain in the centre of Patio de los Naranjos, Seville Cathedral | Image: © TTS photographer

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

seville cathedral exterior
view over the exterior of Seville Cathedral as you climb up the ramps to the bell tower

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

Door of Assumption Seville Cathedral | timelesstravelsteps.com
The Door of Assumption Seville Cathedral | Image: © TTS photographer

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 Assumption Seville Cathedral | timelesstravelsteps.com

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

Seville Cathedral
Door of the Prince at Seville Cathedral | Image: ©TTS photographer

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)

Door of Forgiveness Seville Cathedral | timelesstravelsteps.com
Door of Forgiveness Sevile Cathedral Spain | Image: ©TTS photographer

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.

door of forgiveness Seville | timelesstravelsteps.comCathedral
a closer look at the fusion of architecture on the Door of Forgiveness at the majestic Seville Cathedral | Image: ©TTS photographer

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.


Recommended read: The Complete Guides to two popular neighbourhoods in Seville – Santa Cruz and Bohemian Seville.

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.

Luxury Hotels

1 | Hotel Alfonso XIII

One of the most prestigious hotels in Spain, Hotel Alfonso XIII is 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.

Other luxury hotels to checkout are:

Hotel Colón Gran Meliá – A Travel Sustainable Property

Radisson Collection Hotel, Magdalena Plaza Sevilla


Mid-range Hotels

1 | Hotel Casa 1800 Sevilla

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.

Other mid-range properties to peruse:

Casa 95 Sevilla

Puerta del Principe


4 | Budget Accommodation

1 | La Bella Sevilla

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.


Recommended: The rich Gothic Palace at Royal Alcazar


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.

Giralda Tower

This tour gives you skip-the-line access with a guided tour of the Cathedral and Giralda. Check availability >>

Alcazar, Cathedral & Giralda

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.

Read >> The Real Alcázar of Seville | A Guide to the BEST 22 Unmissable Highlights in the Alcázar Complex

2 | Shopping at Calle de las Sierpes

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.

Baco Restaurante Seville
Georgina: “great experience – food was amazing so was the setting and service”

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.

the awesomeness of the largest Gothic Cathedral in the world just as you step in …

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.

xoxo


SEVILLE TRAVEL

Spain Travel Advice

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

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


Essential Information:

Seville Cathedral

Add: Av. de la Constitución, s/n, 41004 Sevilla, Spain

Hours: 10:45 – 5:00 pm


TRAVEL ADVICE

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.

For the latest on Travel Guidelines, please go to the following Official portals:

Travel abroad from England Advise

Travel abroad from Scotland Advise

Travel abroad from Wales Advise

USA Travel Advisories

Travel between European Countries

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention



The majestic Seville CathedralThe majestic Seville Cathedral

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

The Real Alcázar of Seville

The Real Alcázar of Seville | A Guide to 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.


Visiting the Real Alcázar of Seville

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/

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 …

This article and related articles are sprinkled with affiliate links. We may earn a commission from qualified purchases and bookings at no additional cost to you. These links have no influence on the editorial content we produce.



The Real Alcázar of Seville, Andalusia

Part I | 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.

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 Alcázar of Seville or simply as the Alcázar, the royal palace in Seville is one of the most exceptionally enchanting places to visit.

Part II | The Best 22 Unmissable “see and do” in the Real Alcázar palace complex in Seville

The Royal Alcázar of 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.

* 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

horseshoe designs - Moorish architecture the Royal Palace of Alcazar

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.

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.

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 León at 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 León at Alcázar Seville

Once you are through the Lion’s Gate, a beautiful corridor welcomes you, Patio del León 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, Alcázar Seville

The Hall of Justice was the first Moorish work 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

The Real Alcázar 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

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 Palace of the Alcázar Seville

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 Alcázar Seville

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’s Mudéjar 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 of León 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 Doncellas Real 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.

Read: An Enticing Courtyard of the Maidens

12 | Hall of Ambassadors | Salón de los Embajadores at 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.

Read: The Hall of Ambassadors at Royal Alcazars of Seville

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 Palace at 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.

Learn more about the rich Gothic Palace and the archaeological discovery >>

14 | Tapestry Room

tapestry room alcazar seville

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 Alcázar Gardens.

* 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.

Recommended read: Mercury’s Pool at the Royal Palace in 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 at Alcázar 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.

Recommended read: Baths of Doña Maria de Padilla at The Real Alcázar of Seville

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 the Royal Alcázar in Seville


Finally …

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

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.

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)

Free Admission:

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)

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 >>


TRAVEL ADVICE

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.

For the latest on Travel Guidelines, please go to the following Official portals:

Travel abroad from England Advise

Travel abroad from Scotland Advise

Travel abroad from Wales Advise

USA Travel Advisories

Travel between European Countries

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention



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The Real Alcázar of Seville first published at timelesstravelsteps.com | Updated: June 9, 2022

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Best Tip for Priority Visit to Royal Alcazar Seville

Priority Visit to Royal Alcazar, Seville

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The Royal Alcazar Complex and Gardens are a top visitor attraction in Andalusia and indeed Spain. As such, long queues are expected at any given time, even during the off season. In addition, the Alcazar has a visitor limitation daily and if this is met, you will not gain access regardless of how long you’ve been in the queue.

To make a pleasant visit, a little prior planning may be necessary. The best tip to see the Royal Alcazar palace complex and its gardens at ease is with pre-booking online a Priority Visit to Royal Alcazar, purchasing a skip-the-line ticket or joining a guided tour.

What to Expect from the Priority Visit to Royal Alcazar event

1 | Choose from a small-group or private guided experience;

2 | Find out the history of Islamic and Mudéjar architecture in the Alcázar;

3 | Stroll through the beautiful gardens and try the labyrinth maze;

4 | See where scenes from Season 5 of Game of Thrones were shot;


5 | Tour duration is 1.5 hours;

6 | Mobile ticketing;

7 | Skip the line through a separate entrance;

8 | Wheelchair accessible.


On the day of your tour:

Meeting point is at the Plaza del Triunfo, where the primary entrance to the Royal Alcazar is located. After using the Priority Visit to Real Alcazar ticket, you shall enter the palace. Tour begins at the Patio del León ( The Lion Courtyard), the prelude to Monteria Courtyard. You shall see an ancient wall of triple arch which dates to the 12th century, during the Almohad reign.

Read the Complete Guide to the Royal Alcazar of Seville, Spain.

Once within the Alcazar complex, visitors are allowed to stay within the complex until closing time, so long as visitors do not exit. Re-admission is not available.

Your knowledgeable guide will share information on how the Moorish and Christian styles were blended after the Reconquista to create a palace that was emblematic of Mudéjar architecture. You will visit examples of newer post-Reconquista architecture, such as the Casa de la Contratación, a place where sea voyages were planned and secrets kept during the time of Christopher Columbus, before heading to the Palacio del Don Rey Pedro, the core of the Royal Alcazar, a perfect example of Mudéjar architecture.

Your guide will ensure that you learn all there is to know about the palace’s rich history and its architecture.

At Pedro’s Palace, discover the Patio de las Doncellas (Patio of the Maidens) and grand Ambassadors’ Salón as featured in Game of Thrones. Both incorporate intricate carved detailing and colorful Islamic-style tiling.

The tour will then move on to the Gothic Palace with its royal tapestries and ornate tiling.

Priority Visit to Royal Alcazar complex & the Gardens

Your guide will take you to the gardens of the Royal Alcazar where the tour ends. Stroll around orange-tree-filled gardens at your own leisure after the tour. Take in the peacocks that live there, the smell of orange blossom, and the numerous tranquil water features.

The grounds of the Alcazar are extensive and absolutely beautiful. These were orchards during Moorish times providing providing fruits and herbs to the royal court. The magnificent gardens are geometrically laid out, with gentle running waters for a soothing atmosphere. As you stroll around the Royal Alcazar gardens, ensure you do not miss the following:

1 | The Mercury Pond;

2 | Grotto Gallery;

3 | The Fountain of Fame;

4 | Dance Garden;

5 | Baths of Doña Maria de Padilla;

6 | English Garden;

7 | Galley Garden;

8 | Prince’s Garden;

9 | Carlos V Pavilion and the 600 year old orange tree;

10 | Stop at the Garden Cafe and watch the lovely peacocks strut.

Enjoy the gardens to your hearts content.

Circle back to the Royal Alcazar complex grounds, if you need to.

Recommended read: The Real Alcázar of Seville | Best 22 Highlights


The Priority Visit to Royal Alcazar includes:

Priority entrance ticket;

English, French or Spanish-speaking guide (please select when booking);

Audio guide reinforcement (if needed but please also confirm when booking);

What Royal Alcazar Priority does not include:

Entrance to the Royal Chambers


Visiting the Royal Apartments at the Royal Alcazar, Seville

The priority visit to Royal Alcazar guided tour does not include the Royal Apartments. A separate ticket is required to view the fifteen rooms or so of the Royal Apartments at the Royal Alcazar. There is a very strict time-slot reservation and it is viewed via an audio guide.

When you book the Royal Apartments tour (Cuarto Real Alto) online, the time printed on the ticket is the time you need to be at the entrance door on the second floor. Late visitors will not be able to join the group or join another group.

Furnishings are mostly 19th century.


Safety measures in place:

All areas that customers touch are frequently cleaned;

You are required to bring and wear a mask.


Check availability with your preferred tour operator:

Tickets for Priority Visit to Royal Alcazar, Seville

In cooperation with our trusted partners: Get Your Guide and Viator

From: £29.37 per person (Jan. 2022): Check availability with your preferred tour operator:



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 >>


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