The Hall of Ambassadors at Royal Alcazars of Seville
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.
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 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.
By far the most captivating sight in the Ambassadors’ Hall is when you look up! A gold mirrored cupola.
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.
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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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.
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:
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Enjoy and have a splendid time in Seville, xoxo