10 reasons why you should visit Seville's Alcazar
That’s how play-writer Agustín de Rojas Villandrando described the city in the eighteenth century, and that’s how we continue to see it nowadays. Seville’s streets have been bathed in the tears of Kings, artists, scientists, merchants and poets. Walled between buildings that are the past and present of their myths, history and legends, visiting the Alcazar allows you to immerse yourself in this truly royal and magical Seville. And that’s without having wandered around its rooms or having dreamt of it’s gardens. We have 10 reasons why you should visit Seville’s Alcazar on one of our guided tours.Seville and the world, all is one, because without a doubt everything is summarised within the city
The Alcazar witnesses Seville’s history
"May God decide that I die in Seville and that he opens my grave on my final day!" cried Al Mutamid, Seville’s last abbot king. We are sure that, among all of the places in the city, Al Mutamid, one of the monument’s constructors, would haven chosen his Alcazar.
Like a history textbook on the city, the pages of Seville’s Royal Alcazar are written by all of the cultures that have occupied it. The Romans and Visigoths have occupied its grounds and they built upon the same buildings and temples. It was then taken on by the Arab kings and, following that, the Christians.
Kings, nobles, artists and poets. The most famous people in the history of Seville have lived, visited and created the Alcazar. Within it, they have left a trail behind which you can follow and continue. This will be best experienced through one of our guided tours of Seville’s Alcazar.
For the the unique architecture of the Alcazar
Seville’s Royal Alcazar is named one of the most beautiful places in the city by many people, and its easy to understand why. It is a fortified palace (or collection of palaces), created using unique architecture resulting from the integration of all of the cultures which have shaped Seville.
It was designed by Abderramán III in the Middle Ages. In the year 913, the Umayyad caliph ordered a new centre of government to be built. The abbot’s New Alcazar was added to the government palace as early as the tenth century, which would go on to be complimented by the Almohad’s new buildings in the twelfth century.
Following the Christian conquest of Seville in the eighteenth century, the Christians continued building new palaces and rooms in a unique mix of architectural styles that uniquely represented cultural integration in Seville.
For the wonderful gardens that the Alcazar possesses
Juan Ramón Jiménez once said that "paradise usually falls on Seville in spring" ("en la primavera universal, suele el paraíso descender hasta Sevilla" in Spanish). Said paradise lives within the Alcazar’s gardens. A palace is nothing without its gardens; and that goes for the Alcazar, too. There is a reason why they are the oldest gardens in Seville.
Throughout history they have experienced many changes, but their essence still remains the same: a collection of gardens that separate different buildings and create leisure and rest areas for palatial life.
Wandering through the Alcazar’s gardens, bathed in water and immersed in the magic of its vegetation, is like reliving the Islamic, Renaissance and Romantic legends that influence their style.
For all the art that the Sevillian Palace contains
The Alcazar itself is art, but it is also filled with art. Work from the most famous artists in Seville can be seen displayed on the walls. That’s why visiting Seville’s Alcazar is also like visiting an art gallery.
The collection includes all kinds of work. From wall paintings from the Muslim era, to work by artists important artists such as the Sevillian painter Murillo, for whom the 400th anniversary of his birth is celebrated this year.
If you come on one of our guided tours of Seville’s Alcazar, you will be able to discover all of the works of art that are kept on the walls and get to know more about their story, relevance and cultural value.
Because the Alcazar is a World Heritage Site
In 1987, UNESCO named Seville’s Royal Alcazar as a World Heritage Site. This is proof and acknowledgement of its high historical, artistic and cultural value. Of course, this is yet another reason to visit Seville.
The list of World Heritage Sites is composed of little over 1,000 places in the world with cultural or environmental importance. Thanks to this distinction, these places are specially protected to guarantee their conservation.
In Spain there are 47 World Heritage Sites, being the third country with the most places to hold this title in the world. Among these few places, our Alcazar is found, a special place that is well worth a visit.
For being the Alcazar a source of inspiration
Art fuels art. Therefore, if the Alcazar is art, it is also a source in itself. Painters, sculptors, architects, musicians, poets... Since the beginning, the Alcazar has inspired the fantasies and ideas of many artists around the world.
Many painters have visited the Alcazar in search of inspiration for their work. Among said painters, Sorolla, Bacarisas, Alfred Dehodencq and Emilio Sanchez Perrier can be highlighted, who have dedicated part of their work to it.
The Alcazar has also been a source of inspiration for Spain’s most famous authors and poets. Examples of these are Bécquer and Machado, the great Cervantes, Nobel Prize winner Juan Ramón Jiménez or Grenadian poet Federico García Lorca.
For being the palace a cinema space
With all of its characteristics and immense beauty, it’s easy to understand why Seville’s Royal Alcazar has been chosen as the set for many films and TV series, which you too will be able to reenact on your trip.
The first films were shot in the Alcazar in the year 1958. However, filming scenes for the film Lawrence of Arabia in 1962, directed by David Lean, was most definitely a milestone since it was considered one of the best films in history.
Famous director Ridley Scott also selected the Alcazar as the scene for two of his films. As well as being a movie set, the Alcazar has also been chosen as a set for TV series. So much so that it has become extremely popular following its selection as the set for the acclaimed TV series Game of Thrones.
For the cultural activity that the Alcazar contains
As well as being the set for many important series and films, Seville’s Alcazar is now an important part of cultural activity in the city. The schedule of cultural activities in the Alcazar is busy and varied. It can be consulted on the website.
One of the most popular activities that is celebrated in the Alcazar is the “Nights in the Alcazar gardens” cycle. This is a cycle of music that brings the most varied styles of music together. From flamenco, classic and jazz, to the most popular music from different areas around the world.
Every year many conferences, expositions, concerts and book presentations are held in the Alcazar. Additionally, the Alcazar collaborates with regard to the publication and development of books and articles researching its history and legend.
Because the Alcazar is the oldest active Royal palace in Europe
Did you know that Seville’s Alcazar is the oldest active Royal palace in Europe? Since the Muslim era until present, the Alcazar has been home to many ruling kings.
Moreover, the Alcazar has been the location for many Spanish Royal events. Within their walls princes have been born, conspiracies have been developed and even peace treaties have been signed.
The most recent event that took place in the Alcazar involving the monarchy was in 1995. On 18 March this year, a wedding lunch was held there for Princess Elena of Bourbon (eldest born child of King Juan Carlos I).
Because the Alcazar is the sixth most visited monument in Spain
For all of these reasons and many more, Seville’s Royal Alcazar is the sixth most visited monument in Spain. Every year the monument breaks visiting records, now making it as popular as the Cathedral and the Giralda.
It is a must-see for those who want to discover the authentic Seville. Seville which, as described by Juan Ramón, is “long, flat, open, all mauve and gold, like a blonde woman daydreaming in her soul, which is her body” ("larga tendida, llana, abierta, malva toda y oro, como una mujer rubia, que sueña despierta en su alma, que es su cuerpo” in Spanish). You can experience this thanks to our guided tours.