Royal Palace still in use
The Alcázar of Seville is the oldest royal palace in Europe that is still used and in the hands of the royal family. The wedding of Juan Carlos' daughter Elena took place here in 1995.
Visiting the sight
The whole complex is very varied and offers the opportunity to explore many centuries of changing rulers, different religious denominations and various ethnicities. An entire day can be spent here without feeling bored.
Especially worth visiting are the palace gardens, inviting to have one's siesta in the shade.
The palace is based on a fortress dating back to the time of the caliphate of Córdoba. The local caliph had the fortress built in 1913 to ensure contentment in the surrounding region. In the following centuries the region had seen many rulers change. Various people were reigning over southern Spain before the Christians had eventually reconquered the whole of Spain. Regardless of faith or ethnicity, all rulers were using the fortress. Due to the many changes the fortress was extended and became more splendid over time. The Almohande caliphs first constructed a residency here and later it was extended to a palace under Christian rule.
Most of the building complex was built under Peter I of Castile in the 14th century. It is quite remarkable that many architectural elements from the Muslim world were included in the construction process. Obviously, the Alhambra in Córdoba had a strong impact concerning the way of construction and skills that Christian architects apparently intended to imitate the Mudéjar architecture.
Even Emperors of the Holy Roman Empire and other monarchs shaped the palace according to their taste. The construction therefore contains many Gothic elements.
In 1987 Alcázar became a listed UNESCO world cultural heritage site.
How to get there
The Alcázar lies in the middle of the historical old town, in the vicinity of the Indian archives and the cathedral. All bus lines pass here.