March 03, 2007


My favorite part of the Real Alcazar were the gardens which are a combination of Arab, French and Renaissance style. I appreciated all of the splendor but am still learning appreciation for the Moorish style. I like the symmetry, arches and water elements and can’t even comprehend how work intensive it would be to make it, but the delicate and elaborately carved stucco filigree work with arabic words and busy designs are harder for this westerner to fully appreciate.

This Palace was first built by conquering Moors in the early 10th century. Then it was rebuilt by Christian Spanish King Pedro I (called Pedro the Cruel) in the 14th century using Moorish craftsmen and is considered to be the most complete Mudejar (Moorish) architecture in Spain. It is one of the oldest royal residences in Europe and is located right next to the Cathedral and Giralda and is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

We saw this immediately after the Cathedral and it is interesting to contemplate that Queen Isabella met with Columbus here and the voyages of Balboa and Magellan were both organized here. It is still a part time residence of the Royal Family of Juan Carlos when they visit Seville and that is probably the fact that most impressed Mozart.

It is really a series of palaces with a history that spans over 900 years because many Monarchs have made
it their home due to its beauty and added their individual touches. Thus there have been a succession of architectural styles from Islamic to Neoclassical with parts of Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque and Rococo.

It is huge and our last item on a long day, so we did not see every inch of it, but we did enjoy what we
did see. The gardens were full of spring blossoms and there were not many crowds inside or out, so quite peaceful. The elders rested a lot on the benches in the gardens, while we explored and Mozart had great fun with two ducks in one of the small fountains and running about.













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