Alcázar of Seville

Seville, Spain

The Alcázar of Seville is a royal palace, built for the Christian king Peter of Castile. It was built by Castilian Christians on the site of an Abbadid Muslim residential fortress destroyed after the Christian conquest of Seville. The palace, a pre-eminent example of Mudéjar architecture in the Iberian Peninsula, is renowned as one of the most beautiful. The upper levels of the Alcázar are still used by the royal family as their official residence in Seville, and are administered by the Patrimonio Nacional. It was registered in 1987 by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.

The original nucleus of the Alcázar was constructed in the 10th century as the palace of the Muslim governor. Built and rebuilt from the early Middle Ages right up to our times, it consists of a group of palatial buildings and extensive gardens. The Alcázar embraces a rare compendium of cultures where areas of the original Almohad palace - such as the 'Patio del Yeso' or the 'Jardines del Crucero' - coexist with the Palacio de Pedro I representing Spanish Mudejar art, together with other constructions displaying every cultural style from the Renaissance to the Neoclassical.

Some gardens have Renaissance statues. After damage by the 1755 Lisbon earthquake, that façade of the Palacio Gótico overlooking the Patio del Crucero was completely renovated in Baroque style.

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Founded: 10th century AD
Category: Castles and fortifications in Spain

Rating

4.7/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

robin darch (3 years ago)
Really worth going and really worth going early ,booking in advance or like us taking the opportunity to jump the queue with a guided tour. Reckon we saved 45 to 60 mins. This actually made the place more enjoyable listening to the history, the stories, the craftsmanship and hearing about the recent Game of thrones filming. Once we had finished the tour we were at our leisure to explore the best bits again. A highlight of Seville for sure.
Jose Lucina (3 years ago)
Simply beautiful. I loved the elaborate mix of Muslim and Christian design work throughout the entire facility. Its not common to see the two living in harmony in the media today, but on these walls it is enshrined that at some time in the past our two cultures were friends (even though only for a short time). Please take a tour so that you can notice the subtle designs and the brevity of their significance.
Ray Forgianni (3 years ago)
This World Heritage site is a sleeper, far better than expected. Not as large as Alhambra but more intense in its beauty. Great examples of both Moorish architecture & finishes as well as renaissance. Wonderful interior plazas. But the real surprise was the extensive and diverse gardens. Flowers, palms, mazes, peacocks. Bring good walking shoes because it is bigger than you think.
shadee vernet (3 years ago)
This palace is BEAUTIFUL. I am so glad we did the detour to come check it out. We went just before closing and that was perfect... Less people and noise. They let you stay about 1h after closing. You can actually enjoy the visit. I'm also a GOT fan so I was excited. The architecture and artistry that was put in this structure is amazing. Everything from the walls, gardens, the facades.. amazing. If you don't go see it, you'll regret it. It's a must just for it's beauty !
Larry Taylor (3 years ago)
This is an amazing place! Palace after connected Palace showing art decor and magnificent gardens. I can try to describe it and show pictures, but would not do it justice. This is one the places you must see while in Seville, Spain. It is so rich in history influenced by Muslim to Christianity. A UNESCO world heritage site, its something you must see. Just breathtaking.
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Lorca Castle

Castle of Lorca (Castillo de Lorca) is a fortress of medieval origin constructed between the 9th and 15th centuries. It consists of a series of defensive structures that, during the Middle Ages, made the town and the fortress an impregnable point in the southeast part of the Iberian Peninsula. Lorca Castle was a key strategic point of contention between Christians and Muslims during the Reconquista.

Archaeological excavations have revealed that the site of the castle has been inhabited since Neolithic times.

Muslim Era

It has not been determined exactly when a castle or fortress was first built on the hill. The first written documentation referring to a castle at Lorca is of Muslim origin, which in the 9th century, indicates that the city of Lurqa was an important town in the area ruled by Theudimer (Tudmir). During Muslim rule, Lorca Castle was an impregnable fortress and its interior was divided into two sections by the Espaldón Wall. In the western part, there was an area used to protect livestock and grain in times of danger. The eastern part had a neighbourhood called the barrio de Alcalá.

After Reconquista

Lorca was conquered by the Castilian Infante Don Alfonso, the future Alfonso X, in 1244, and the fortress became a key defensive point against the Kingdom of Granada. For 250 years, Lorca Castle was a watchpoint on the border between the Christian kingdom of Murcia and the Muslim state of Granada.

Alfonso X ordered the construction of the towers known as the Alfonsina and Espolón Towers, and strengthened and fixed the walls. Hardly a trace of the Muslim fortress remained due to this reconstruction. Muslim traces remain in the foundation stones and the wall known as the muro del Espaldón.

The Jewish Quarter was found within the alcazaba, the Moorish fortification, separated from the rest of the city by its walls. The physical separation had the purpose of protecting the Jewish people in the town from harm, but also had the result of keeping Christians and Jews separate, with the Christians inhabiting the lower part of town.

The remains of the Jewish Quarter extended over an area of 5,700 square m, and 12 homes and a synagogue have been found; the synagogue dates from the 14th century and is the only one found in the Murcia. The streets of the town had an irregular layout, adapted to the landscape, and is divided into four terraces. The synagogue was in the central location, and around it were the homes. The homes were of rectangular shape, with various compartmentalized rooms. The living quarters were elevated and a common feature was benches attached to the walls, kitchens, stand for earthenware jars, or cupboards.

Modern history

With the disappearance of the frontier after the conquest of Granada in 1492, Lorca Castle no longer became as important as before. With the expulsion of the Jews by order of Ferdinand and Isabella, Lorca Castle was also depopulated as a result. The castle was abandoned completely, and was almost a complete ruin by the 18th century. In the 19th century, the castle was refurbished due to the War of Spanish Independence. The walls and structures were repaired or modified and its medieval look changed. A battery of cannons was installed, for example, during this time. In 1931 Lorca Castle was declared a National Historic Monument.

Currently, a parador (luxury hotel) has been built within the castle. As a result, archaeological discoveries have been found, including the Jewish Quarter.