Wednesday, November 27, 2013

The Alcazar of Seville

After leaving the Seville Cathedral, we walked in a circle around the cathedral, checking things out.

The buildings were wonderfully colorful.

Here's a bit more of the outside of the cathedral.

This is the courtyard where Rick Steves said the nuns made the most delicious cookies in Seville.

Rick Steves is a liar. They were not delicious.
Despite the bad cookies, the courtyard was pretty.

We headed over to the Alcazar of Seville.

It's still a functioning royal palace, the oldest in Europe still in use. The upper apartments are still used by the royal family.

The palace was originally a Moorish fort, built in the 10th century, though additions were made by various kings throughout the centuries.

There's a lion.
The entrance.

This is the facade of Peter of Castile's palace. I don't know why that's important. This section was built in the 14th century.

Columbus was briefed in the palace, so his family crest is on the walls and he had a painting. Obviously the Virgin Mary is not Columbus. I think his family crest and painting were on the opposite wall from here.
The ceiling was interesting.
These fans were awesome. And clearly some of them were not made in Spain.

Here we are, looking normal!
It took us a long time to go through the palace, because it was extremely hot. We sat down near fans as much as possible.
A lot of the architecture, as you can see, and the art on the walls, are clearly Muslim.

This is the Patio de las Doncellas, also known as the Courtyard of the Maidens, which was beautiful, with water running through it.

The courtyard is called the Courtyard of the Maidens because of a legend that the Moors demanded 100 maidens from the Christian kingdoms in Iberia, which was spread to justify the Reconquista.
The architecture of the courtyard is a mix of cultures. King Peter I has inscriptions describing him as a sultan. The upper patio was added by Charles V and designed in the Italian Renaissance style. We couldn't walk up there.

Also, there were little baby trees throughout the courtyard.

Once again, it's just amazing how intricate everything was!
This ceiling is secretly colorful!

So cool.

Here we are! Looking relatively normal.
This the Patio de las Munecas, or the Patio of the Dolls, named because of the 4 girl heads within the art. This was part of the private living area.

These walls were really interesting. There were a lot of small pictures hidden in the details.

The tapestries were amazing. So detailed and old and wonderful.

We then walked through the gardens. By this point, it was well over 100 degrees.
Here's a very sad lion.

The Royal Alcazar!
This fountain was awesome.

Here we are!

A cute little baby door.
I think it's the steps that make it look like that guy is floating with no lower legs.
These are Los Baños de Doña María de Padilla, also known as the "Baths of Lady María de Padilla" are rainwater tanks, named after Maria de Padilla, the mistress of Peter the Cruel. I did not know who Peter the Cruel was, but apparently he was cruel.

I looked him up later. He was King of Castile in the 1300's. Apparently he murdered a lot of people.

This was strange.
This is Adrienne and Anna imitating the strange creature.

The gardens were really beautiful. I love European gardens.

After the palace, we decided to get lunch. We hung out under the umbrellas for the shade and the water spraying for a while, then decided to take a little siesta until it cooled down. It cooled down to 99.9 degrees eventually and we headed out to explore the city again. But that will be in the next blog.
And another side of the cathedral.

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