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:
Bamberg is located in Upper Franconia on the river Regnitz close to its confluence with the river Main. Its historic city center is a listed UNESCO world heritage site.
Bamberg is a good example of a central European town with a basically early medieval plan and many surviving ecclesiastical and secular buildings of the medieval period. When Henry II, Duke of Bavaria, became King of Germany in 1007 he made Bamberg the seat of a bishopric, intended to become a 'second Rome'. Of particular interest is the way in which the present town illustrates the link between agriculture (market gardens and vineyards) and the urban distribution centre.
From the 10th century onwards, Bamberg became an important link with the Slav peoples, especially those of Poland and Pomerania. During its period of greatest prosperity, from the 12th century onwards, the architecture of this town strongly influenced northern Germany and Hungary. In the late 18th century Bamberg was the centre of the Enlightenment in southern Germany, with eminent philosophers and writers such as Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel and E.T.A. Hoffmann living there.
Bamberg extends over seven hills, each crowned by a beautiful church. This has led to Bamberg being called the 'Franconian Rome'.