This week we visited the Real Alcazár de Sevilla, a royal palace in the center of the city. This palace was built back in the 10th century as a residential fortress for the Moors, who had a constant war with the Spanish over Sevilla. When the Spanish regained power over Sevilla, they kept part of the Islamic palace but added some elements of Spanish architecture. This palace kept expanding over time and in the 14th century, Pedro I “el cruel” decided he didn’t want to live in the same castle other kings before him, he wanted his own… He also didn’t want to have a “basic” palace, no, he wanted to show his dominance over the Moors and leave his mark; therefore he decided to build his castle based on the Islamic architecture of the time. He ordered to tear one of the castles down and built his own castle, which is the one that now stands on these grounds.
Pedro el Cruel was thought to be a cruel and mean king (therefore the name). He loved to intimidate others, and show his dominance over those around him, and the palace he built definitely portrayed that, but I have to give it to him, he built a beautiful palace which has preserved throughout the years, and according to my host dad still serves as a vacation home to the royal family.
Going into the palace I had no idea what I was walking into, I knew it was supposed to be a castle, but from the entrance, it didn’t seem like it. We first walked through a huge patio, which was surrounded by walls which were the forts built by the moors. To the side of the wall were the only remains of the old Islamic palace, a building which on the inside had been modified by the Spanish to better resemble a Spanish place. This room was pretty, but it was less than I expected, so I was a little disappointed.
We continued to make our way into the palace and got to this:
The 2 side buildings are the Gothic Castles, and in the middle is the palace that King Pedro el Cruel built. We walked into King Pedro’s castle and I couldn’t believe what was in front of me, the castle was so detailed and colorful, and it was so different from all the architecture I had seen in Sevilla so far. Inside, the palace was full of colorful mosaic tiles and ceilings made of gold, it looked like something out of a movie, and little did we know… ‘Game of Thrones’ was actually filmed here.
After finishing our tour through the castle, we walked through my favorite part of the Alcazar, the gardens. Orange trees, lime trees, labyrinths, fountains, hedges, flowers, everything green you could imagine. It was the prettiest sight I’ve seen so far, and it was crazy to believe that we were actually able to walk through this amazing place. We walked around the gardens for about an hour, and in every corner we found a place prettier than the one before. So far this has been one of my favorite places in Sevilla and 10/10 recommend that all of you visit it. Not only is the story of this place amazing, but just thinking about the fact that all of this was built way back when there was no technology amazes me.
Stay tuned for more beautiful sightings…