October 8, 2019 – Raffaella Bonaccorso
Located in the southern Spanish town of Seville, the Royal Alcazar or ‘Real Alcázar de Sevilla‘ is a breathtaking royal palace complex, originally developed as a fort in 913 for the Cordoban governors of Seville.
The term Alcázar comes from the Arabic al-qaṣr, which derives itself from the Latin word castrum (“castle”).
The Alcazar of Seville is a glorious combination of Christian and Mudéjar architecture and it is the oldest royal palace still in use in Europe. It was registered in 1987 by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site and more recently, the Alcazar featured as a location for the Game of Thrones TV series.
Alcazar of Seville – History
Protected by a wall, the Alcazar of Seville is made up of several palaces and gardens designed during different historical periods.
It was considerably renovated over the 11 centuries of its existence, particularly in the 12th-century under the Almohads and most remarkably in the 14th century when King Pedro I (known as the Cruel) created his stunning namesake palace.
Palacio del Rey Don Pedro (King Pedro Palace) is still today the Alcazar’s crown jewel and for its construction, the king employed Moorish craftsmen who built what is now considered the best example of mudéjar architecture in Spain. Elements of the old Moorish building, such as the Patio del Yeso and some of the walls remain until today.
Later sovereigns made several additions, including a second floor and the modeling of the gardens. The 16th century in particular, with gold coming from the Indies, saw its greatest development period.
Seville Alcazar Tour – The Entrance
The main entrance to the Alcazar of Seville takes its name Puerta del León (Lion Gate) from the 19th-century tile works set above it, a crowned lion holding a cross in its clutches and carrying a Gothic script.
Puerta del Leon is located in Plaza Virgen de Los Reyes, opposite Seville Cathedral. There is also another entrance, on the corner of Calle Menendez Pelayo with Calle San Fernando, which is only used for special events.
Games of Thrones – Alcazar of Seville
As mentioned, during the fifth season of “Game of Thrones”, the Alcazar of Seville featured as a location in four parts of the complex: the Ambassadors’ Hall, Mercury’s Pool, the Baths of Maria de Padilla, and the gardens.
Hall of Ambassadors
The most spectacular room in the whole Alcazar of Seville is the Salón de Embajadores (Hall of Ambassadors). It was originally King Pedro I’s throne room, even though the spectacular wooden vault of several star decorations, symbolizing the universe, was only added in 1427. Because of its shape given by the vault, the room is also called Sala de la Media Naranja (Hall of the Half-Orange).
Seville Alcazar Tour – The Gardens
The gardens are a green oasis of quietness within the city and its three distinct areas reflect styles of gardening from three respective eras. The Hispano-Arab area is the oldest and closest to the Palace including small patios connected by stairs. The central area dates from the Renaissance and comprises the Garden of the Prince, the Charles V pavilion and other architectural features. Last, the area developed in the 20th century is the largest and incorporates what is celebrated as the English garden, complete with its resident peacocks.
In the garden, you will not only find orange and lemon trees but also exotic plants from every part of the world. At present, there are over 170 species. The 6 hectares of gardens are scattered throughout by fountains, pools and architectural trademarks that are heaven to wander through at any time of the year.
The gardens’ most spectacular feature is the Galeria del Grutesco (Gallery of the Grutesco), a lifted gallery with porticoes constructed in the 16th century from an old wall of the Islamic-era. There is also a hedge maze, which will captivate everyone: children and grown-ups.
Useful Information on Alcazar Seville
- Opening hours from October to March: Monday to Sunday, 09:30 to 17:00.
- Opening hours from April to September: Monday to Sunday, 09:30 to 19:00.
- Closed on 1st and 6th January, Good Friday and 25th December.
- General admission to the ground floor: €11.50
- Admission to the ground floor for seniors and students from 17 to 25 years: €2.00
- Admission to visit the Royal Bedroom: €4.50
- Minors must be accompanied by an adult.
- Admission for disabled persons, children younger than 16 years old and residents of the city of Seville: Free (valid identification must be presented at the ticket office)
- Monday from 18:00 to 19:00. from April to September, and from 16:00 to 17:00 from October to March: Free.
Where to stay near Royal Alcazar
- Hotel Gravina 51
- Hotel Casa 1800 Sevilla
- Hotel Kivir
- Hotel Becquer
- Hotel Las Casas de El Arenal
- Hotel Ateneo Sevilla
- Halo Boutique Hotel
- Hotel Posada del Lucero
- Hotel Monte Carmelo
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If you enjoyed this article you can also check out Game of Thrones Locations in Spain and 5 Travel Bloggers share their favourite Game of Thrones Filming Locations.