Last week I left you with a taste of Seville, Spain, both on Wednesday and again with some of my favorite Seville photographs on Fun Photo Friday. There is however a very special location within Seville that deserves its own special focus, and we’ll be looking at this royal palace during this week’s three blogs culminating in some favorite shots of it on Fun Photo Friday. That very special place is the Alcázar of Seville.
Alcázar began it’s existence as a Moorish fort, and many of the Moorish influences remain throughout the myriad onsite buildings as a result. It’s also a royal residence whenever King Juan Carlos I is in town. That makes Alcázar the oldest such palace in Europe still used for that purpose.
Seville, by the way, is the city from which Christopher Columbus began his voyage in 1492, departing from the port serving Seville (Palos de Frontera) on August 3rd of that year. This is depicted in the oldest painting known to commemorate the event — The Madonna of the Seafarers. In that painting you will see on the right side not only Queen Isabella I and King Ferdinand II, but also Columbus in a kneeling position in front of them.
The main palace surrounds the open-air Patio de las Doncellas — Courtyard of the Maidens — which legend holds was named for the myth that the Moors required an annual tribute from Iberian Christians of 100 virgins. This myth was used to rally the troops during the Reconquista (Reconquest) of the Iberian Peninsula.
The Moorish influences are not just on the outside. They are in evidence throughout.
Much of the interior deserves to be photographed.
However one of the most stunning interior views is the great dome and balconies that tower over the Hall of the Ambassadors.
Meanwhile, don’t forget to stroll the royal gardens for some very interesting flora.