Alcázar of Seville

Alcázar of Seville

Infobox World Heritage Site
WHS = Cathedral, Alcázar and Archivo de Indias in Seville

State Party = ESP
Type = Cultural
Criteria = i, ii, iii, vi
ID = 383
Region = Europe and North America
Year = 1987
Session = 11th
Link =
The Alcázar of Seville (Spanish "Alcázares Reales de Sevilla" or "Royal Alcazars of Seville") is a royal palace in Seville, Spain. Originally a Moorish fort, the Alcázar (from the Arabic القصر, "al-qasr", meaning "palace") has been expanded several times. The Almohades were the first to build a palace, called Al-Muwarak, on the site. Most of the modern Alcázar was built over Moorish ruins for King Pedro of Castile (also known as Pedro the Cruel) with construction beginning in 1364. Pedro used Moorish workers to build his palace giving it a distinctly Islamic design. The palace is one of the best remaining examples of mudéjar architecture, a style under Christian rule in Spain but using Islamic architectural influence. Subsequent monarchs have added their own additions to the Alcázar. Charles V's addition of gothic elements contrasts with the dominant Islamic style. The upper apartments of the Alcázar are still used by the royal family as the official Seville residence and are administered by the Patrimonio Nacional.

Sections of the Alcázar

Patio de las Doncellas

The English name for this section is "The Courtyard of the Maidens." The name refers to the legend that the Moors demanded 100 virgins every year as tribute from Christian kingdoms in Iberia. The story of the tribute may have been used as a myth to bolster the Reconquista movement, but it may have had some truth to it in the sexual abuse of Christian women by powerful Moors. []

The lower level of the Patio was built for Pedro I and includes inscriptions describing Pedro as a "sultan." Various lavish reception rooms are located on the sides of the Patio. In the center is a large, rectangular reflecting pool with sunken gardens on either side. For many years, the courtyard was entirely paved in marble with a fountain in the center. However, historical evidence showed the gardens and the reflecting pool were the original design and this arrangement was restored. However, soon after this restoration, the courtyard was temporarily paved with marble once again at the request of movie director Ridley Scott. Scott used the paved courtyard as the set for the court of the King of Jerusalem in his movie "Kingdom of Heaven". The courtyard arrangement was converted once more after the movie's production.

The upper story of the Patio was an addition made by Charles V. The addition was designed by Luis de Vega in the style of the Italian Renaissance although he did include both Renaissance and mudéjar plaster work in the decorations. Construction of the addition began in 1540 and ended in 1572.

Los Baños de Doña María de Padilla

The "Baths of Lady María de Padilla" are rainwater tanks beneath the Patio del Crucero. The tanks are named after María de Padilla, the mistress of Pedro the Cruel. Supposedly, Pedro fell for María and had her husband killed. María resisted his advances and poured boiling oil over her face to disfigure herself to stop Pedro's pursuit. She became a nun and moved to a convent afterwards. She is regarded as a symbol of purity in the culture of Seville.

La Casa de Contratación

The Casa de Contratación (House of Trade) lies off the Patio de la Monteria. It was built in 1503 by the Catholic Monarchs to regulate and promote trade with the New World. The Casa dealt with trade related legal disputes and gave the royalty a monopoly on trade with the Americas. The Casa also included "Hydrographic Bureau and School of Navigation" for nautical research and study with Amérigo Vespucci as the first director, "pilot major," in 1508. "Casa" includes a chapel where the Colombus met with Ferdinand and Isabella after his second voyage. The chapel has Mudéjar influence and displays the "Madonna of the Seafarers", a triptych made in 1535 that depicts the Virgin protecting a group of Native Americans and several other seafaring and New World related scenes.

Other Sections

*Patio de las Muñecas
*Patio de la Monteria
*Puerta del León
*Dormitorio de los Reyes Moros
*Salón de Embajadores, 1427 by Charles V


External links

* [ Ibn Khaldun. The Mediterranean in the 14th century: Rise and fall of Empires] (Exhibition at the Alcázar)
* [ Images of the Alcázar in Seville] - 105 images with good descriptions of the Alcázar and its history.
* [ Casa de la Contratación] - in depth historical article.
* [ Pictures and videos of the Alcazar of Seville]
* [ Beautiful & Informative Alcazar of Seville Video]

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Alcazar de Seville — Alcázar de Séville 37° 23′ 02″ N 5° 59′ 29″ W / 37.38376, 5.9914 …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Alcázar De Séville — 37° 23′ 02″ N 5° 59′ 29″ W / 37.38376, 5.9914 …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Alcázar de Séville — 37° 23′ 02″ N 5° 59′ 29″ W / 37.38376, 5.9914 …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Alcázar de séville — 37° 23′ 02″ N 5° 59′ 29″ W / 37.38376, 5.9914 …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Alcazar de Séville — La Cathédrale, l Alcázar et l Archivo de Indias de Séville * …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Alcázar — Alcazar Cette page d’homonymie répertorie les différents sujets et articles partageant un même nom. Alcazar ou Alcázar est un mot espagnol d origine arabe signifiant palais, forteresse. Il peut désigner : Sens d origine et évènements liés… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • alcazar — [ alkazar ] n. m. • 1866; alcaçar 1669; mot esp., de l ar. al qasr, du lat. castrum ♦ Palais fortifié d origine maure, en Espagne. L alcazar de Cordoue, de Tolède. ● alcazar nom masculin (mot espagnol, de l arabe al qaṣr, la forteresse) En… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Alcázar de Cordoue — Vue partielle des jardins de l Alcázar Nom local Alcázar de los Reyes Cristianos Période ou style Forteresse Coordonnées …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Seville — For other uses, see Seville (disambiguation). Sevilla redirects here. For the association football club, see Sevilla FC. Seville Sevilla Seville …   Wikipedia

  • Séville — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Seville. Séville …   Wikipédia en Français

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