It’s only fitting to follow up yesterday’s post on the Alhambra with the photos from our visit to the Real Alcázar, since it’s decidedly Alhambra-esque. We actually visited the Alcázar last week before our trip to Granada, which was great because it got me all excited for the main attraction over the weekend.
The Alcázar sits on a plaza opposite the Seville Cathedral (tomorrow’s post) and was built by 10th-century Moorish rulers and then rebuilt in keeping with Islamic style (and using Muslim workmen) by Pedro I in the 14th century. Parts of the palace are still inhabited by the current royals, making this is the oldest European palace still in use, and you can tour parts of the royal apartments with a special reservation (we didn’t). It’s kind of a strange place, because as our old friend Rick notes, it was built by a Christian king in the Islamic style, so there is an interesting mix of traditional European palace with ancient Islamic décor.
The best part of the Alcázar, in my opinion, was the extensive gardens. We wandered around the gardens for far longer than we explored the palace itself. It didn’t hurt that the sun was out, so we were rather inclined to stay outdoors…but the gardens just kept going and going. I don’t even think we saw all of them, and before we were done we had to stop and have a coffee because we were worn out from all the walking (including a brief flirtation with the hedge maze).
The Alcázar was, like the rest of the sights we’ve seen so far in Spain, a great low-key way to spend the afternoon. You really can’t beat getting lost in beautiful gardens, right?