Palace of the Countess of Lebrija

Seville, Spain

The Lebrija Palace or Palacio de la Condesa de Lebrija is a house-museum in central Seville. Dating to the 16th century and remodeled between the 18th and 20th centuries, the palace is characterised by its collection of art, including Roman mosaics and other antiquities as well as Asian art, paintings by European masters and European decorative arts.

The interior of the palace is decorated in a palette of architectural styles, with elements such as Moorish arches, Plateresque decoration, tilework retrieved from ruined convent, a coffered ceiling from a 16th-century palace and a Renaissance frieze, while its façade and layout reflect typical Andalusian style.

The collection includes Roman mosaics that pave almost the entire ground floor. Of particular note is the mosaic depicting the god Pan that was discovered on land owned by the countess and can be found in the palace’s central courtyard. The mosaic’s central medallion represents Pan, who is serenading Galatea on his flute, while the other medallions show the love stories of Zeus and the corners contain representations of the four seasons.

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Address

Calle Cuna 8, Seville, Spain
See all sites in Seville

Details

Founded: 16th century
Category: Palaces, manors and town halls in Spain

Rating

4.3/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Catherine Petit (2 years ago)
It is a palace. Filled with art affects she collected. Very interesting.
fara diana (2 years ago)
The palace is really spectacular. It is divided into two levels. In the ground level, pictures and videos are allowed but not in the upper level. To visit the upper level, it must be with the authorized guide.
Viorel Mocanu (2 years ago)
Guide spoke awful English. Place was full of dust and smelled really bad. Art gallery is a scam (just 2 paintings). The house and decor, however, were interesting enough to make it bearable. Ah, and no photos on the 1st floor...
Thais Adamowicz (2 years ago)
It's nice, but not worth for the price you pay. There are more interesting, bigger and more significant things in Seville you can see for half of this price.
Paul Herman (2 years ago)
Fantastic! A gem among all of the extraordinary buildings and collections in Seville. Guadalupe, who runs the place, is charming and well-informed, too. The Countess (died at 87 in 1999 when the house was opened to the public) had exceptional good taste and willingness to put her rare collection of art (Moorish, Spanish and, above all, Roman) first. Even redesigning rooms to house the items better (like perfectly preserved ancient Roman mosaic floors). Must not be missed while visiting Seville!
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Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Seville Cathedral

Seville's cathedral, Santa Maria de la Sede, is the largest Gothic cathedral in the world, and is recognised as UNESCO World Heritage. After its completion in the early 16th century, Seville Cathedral supplanted Hagia Sophia as the largest cathedral in the world, a title the Byzantine church had held for nearly a thousand years.

History

The basilica occupies the site of the great Aljama mosque, built in the late 12th century by the Almohads, the ruling Moorish dynasty, of which the only remaining parts are the Patio de Naranjas, the Puerta del Perdon (on Calle Alemanes, on the north side), and the Giralda (formerly the minaret, now the belltower).

Shortly after Seville's conquest by Ferdinand III, the mosque was converted into the city's cathedral. Its orientation was changed and its spaces partitioned and adorned to suit Christian worship practices. The internal space was gradually divided into chapels by constructing walls in the bays along the northern and southern walls. Almost the entire eastern half of the cathedral was occupied by the royal chapel that would hold the bodies of Ferdinand, his wife and Alfonso the Wise.

In 1401, city leaders decided to build a new cathedral to replace the grand mosque that served as the cathedral until then. Construction continued until 1506. The clergy of the parish offered half their stipends to pay for architects, artists, stained glass artisans, masons, carvers, craftsman and labourers and other expenses. Five years after construction ended, in 1511, the crossing lantern, or cimborrio, collapsed and work on the cathedral recommenced. The crossing again collapsed in 1888 due an earthquake, and work on the dome continued until at least 1903.

Architecture

The interior has the longest nave of any cathedral in Spain. The central nave rises to a height of 42 metres. In the main body of the cathedral, the most noticeable features are the great boxlike choir loft, which fills the central portion of the nave, and the vast Gothic retablo of carved scenes from the life of Christ. This altarpiece was the lifetime work of a single craftsman, Pierre Dancart.

The Capilla Mayor (Great Chapel), dominated by a vast Gothic retablo (altarpiece) comprised of 45 carved scenes from the life of Christ, as well as Santa Maria de la Sede, the cathedral's patron saint. The lifetime's work of a single craftsman, Pierre Dancart, this is the ultimate masterpiece of the cathedral - the largest and richest altarpiece in the world and one of the finest examples of Gothic woodcarving anywhere.

The Giralda is the bell tower of the Cathedral of Seville. Its height is 105 m. The Giralda is the former minaret of the mosque that stood on the site under Muslim rule, and was built to resemble the minaret of the Koutoubia Mosque in Marrakech, Morocco. It was converted into a bell tower for the cathedral after the Reconquista, although the topmost section dates from the Renaissance.

The tomb of Christopher Columbus is one of the main attractions of the cathedral for visitors, housing the remains of the great explorer who died in poverty in Valladolid. The tomb itself is more recent, from the 1892, with four bearers presenting the kingdoms of Castile, Leon, Aragon and Navarra.