About Alcázar of Seville
The Alcázar of Seville is the Royal Palace of Seville, and has been described as ‘one of history’s architectural high points’. The word Alcázar means castle in Spanish, derived from the Hispano-Arabic word ‘Alqáşr’ meaning ‘room of the Prince’ or ‘royal house’. This UNESCO-listed palace is one of the most striking in Spain, and is still used by the Spanish royal family as their official Seville residence.
History of Alcázar of Seville
The oldest royal palace still in use in Europe was founded originally as a fort for the area’s Cordoban governors in 913 AD – on a site where a Roman fortress once stood. Two centuries later through Europe’s Dark Ages, the city’s Moorish Muslim leaders built Al-Muwarak (‘The Blessed’) and then in the centuries that followed, Moorish (12th-13th), Gothic (13th), Mujédar (14th) and Renaissance (15th-16th) architecture was added to form a visually magnificent yet architecturally eclectic palace.
The complex of palaces at Alcázar of Seville is widely regarded as the finest example of Mujédar architecture on the Iberian peninsula, with many influences from Moorish and Christian culture.
In 1364, ‘Peter the Cruel’ rebuilt the existing structures and established the palace as a royal residence.
Alcázar of Seville today
Visitors can walk through rooms, halls, gates and piazzas including the Puerta del León (Lion Gate), the Patio de las Doncellas (Courtyard of the Maidens), Los Baños de Doña María de Padilla (the Baths of Lady Maria de Padilla) and La Casa de Contratación (House of Trade) as well as the equally impressive gardens. The highlight of which is the Galeria de Grutesco, a raised gallery with 16th century porticoes crafted from an old Muslim-era wall.
It was only a matter of time until the Game of Thrones location researchers came across Alcázar of Seville and it became the perfect setting for the Water Gardens palace in Dorne, the home of House Martell of Sunspear featured in season six.
Getting to Alcázar of Seville
Located in the centre of Seville by the Jardines de Murillo, the palace is best reached on foot. The nearest metro station is Puerta de Jerez.