Palacio de las Dueñas (Palace of the Dukes of Alba) currently belongs to the House of Alba. It was built in the late 15th century in the Renaissance style with Gothic and Moorish influences. The palace is one of the major historic homes in the city of great architectural and artistic heritage. Today it is one of the most visited monuments in Seville.
The palace consists of a series of courtyards and buildings. The style ranges from Gothic art-Moorish to the Renaissance, with local influences in the bricks, shingles, tiles, whitewashed walls and pottery.
The palace is fitted with long passageways. At the top floor of the palace, there is a room whose ceiling is of an octagonal shape and is decorated with alfarje gold.
The entry door is of Mudéjar style. The palace was fitted with eleven patios, nine fountains, and over 100 marble columns. Of these, one patio remains, and it is surrounded by a gallery with columns. The Andalusian patio dominates the exterior of the property. At the entrance to the palace, in the main archway, there is the shield of the Duchy of Alba in tiles, made by Triana of Seville in the 17th or 18th century. The gardens also have very important unique species.
The courtyard garden, divided into four parts in keeping with its traditional Islamic style, includes tiled paths and a centralized raised fountain. The palace garden's lemon trees and fountain are recurring symbols in Machado's poetry. Behind the garden is a courtyard surrounded by arches with columns of white marble. The arch situated west of the courtyard in the lower galleries gives access to the building that was used as the chapel palace. The 15th-century chapel has fared badly during restorations. The chapel's altar contains several tiles with metallic reflections, typical of 16th-century Seville ceramics.References:
From its origin as a small stronghold built by the ancient Illyrian tribe Dalmatae, becoming a royal castle that was the seat of many Croatian kings, to its final development as a large fortress during the Ottoman wars in Europe, Klis Fortress has guarded the frontier, being lost and re-conquered several times. Due to its location on a pass that separates the mountains Mosor and Kozjak, the fortress served as a major source of defense in Dalmatia, especially against the Ottoman advance, and has been a key crossroad between the Mediterranean belt and the Balkan rear.
Since Duke Mislav of the Duchy of Croatia made Klis Fortress the seat of his throne in the middle of the 9th century, the fortress served as the seat of many Croatia"s rulers. The reign of his successor, Duke Trpimir I, the founder of the Croatian royal House of Trpimirović, is significant for spreading Christianity in the Duchy of Croatia. He largely expanded the Klis Fortress, and in Rižinice, in the valley under the fortress, he built a church and the first Benedictine monastery in Croatia. During the reign of the first Croatian king, Tomislav, Klis and Biograd na Moru were his chief residences.
In March 1242 at Klis Fortress, Tatars who were a constituent segment of the Mongol army under the leadership of Kadan suffered a major defeat while in pursuit of the Hungarian army led by King Béla IV. After their defeat by Croatian forces, the Mongols retreated, and Béla IV rewarded many Croatian towns and nobles with 'substantial riches'. During the Late Middle Ages, the fortress was governed by Croatian nobility, amongst whom Paul I Šubić of Bribir was the most significant. During his reign, the House of Šubić controlled most of modern-day Croatia and Bosnia. Excluding the brief possession by the forces of Bosnian King, Tvrtko I, the fortress remained in Hungaro-Croatian hands for the next several hundred years, until the 16th century.
Klis Fortress is probably best known for its defense against the Ottoman invasion of Europe in the early 16th century. Croatian captain Petar Kružić led the defense of the fortress against a Turkish invasion and siege that lasted for more than two and a half decades. During this defense, as Kružić and his soldiers fought without allies against the Turks, the military faction of Uskoks was formed, which later became famous as an elite Croatian militant sect. Ultimately, the defenders were defeated and the fortress was occupied by the Ottomans in 1537. After more than a century under Ottoman rule, in 1669, Klis Fortress was besieged and seized by the Republic of Venice, thus moving the border between Christian and Muslim Europe further east and helping to contribute to the decline of the Ottoman Empire. The Venetians restored and enlarged the fortress, but it was taken by the Austrians after Napoleon extinguished the republic itself in 1797. Today, Klis Fortress contains a museum where visitors to this historic military structure can see an array of arms, armor, and traditional uniforms.