Sunday, 23 May 2010

17 May 2010 - Real Alcazar Seville

The Gate of the Lion is the main entrance to Real Alcazar, the first royal palace in Seville and still used by the Spanish royal family when they visit the city. Our guided tour was due to start at 3pm, but delayed by half an hour to allow for another Gandia party to join us. In fact it was gone 4pm by the time they arrived, and the three hour tour was cut short to take them on part of the tour we had done in the morning. So our guided tour only lasted about forty-five minutes!

The palace was built at about the same time as The Alhambra in Granada, but Seville was Christian and Granada Moorish. So it is natural to compare the two. There are a lot of similarities, as Real Alcazar was designed in the eastern tradition, but the d├ęcor is much more impressive than The Alhambra.

Parts of the palace, such as this garden, are very similar to The Alhambra.

Throughout the palace there are views of the gardens and after thirty minutes or so gazing at panels and ceilings we were more than ready to get outside and explore them.

The gardens are again similar to The Alhambra, but not as extensive. However they are a delight to explore and all the easier because they are not so large.

Alcazar is not as famous as Alhambra, and though popular with tourists is not so crowded with them. So it was easy to find a quiet spot to sit and admire.

There is no charge for pensionista to use the Real Alcazar, and it must be very popular with retired locals as a spot to spend a few hours on a summer afternoon.

There are at least two peacocks wandering around the gardens, and they make a lot of noise to attract attention. But despite our best efforts they would not display their tail feathers. Throughout our visit they were attended by tourists with poised cameras, but all were disappointed.

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