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Royal Alcazar

Sevilla

If we had to talk about only one of the many historical figures related to the Royal Alcazar, we would probably pick King Pedro I, who for some was The Just and for others The Cruel. His charisma, his extravagances and his misdeeds make him an irresistible figure, what can we say…

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If we had to talk about only one of the many historical figures related to the Royal Alcazar, we would probably pick King Pedro I, who for some was The Just and for others The Cruel. His charisma, his extravagances and his misdeeds make him an irresistible figure, what can we say…

But before that sort of medieval rock star started dancing, the Royal Alcazar was not short of stories. Everything began when Seville was known as Isbiliya, and the Arabs spent their time building citadels and other similar things. A fortification from the tenth century followed some reforms, some extensions and, why not, a few palaces here and there.

King Al Mutamid knew a lot about the Muslim customs of adding courtyards and corners for pleasure to the defensive buildings. He promoted several of the works during the eleventh century, and spent many hours among the gardens, listening to the subtle sound of the fountains and surrounded by singing houris that inspired him to the poems about the beauties of this world. We sure understand you, Al Mutamid!

Then, as you know, it was the Christian´s turn, who enjoyed the fortress exactly the way the Almohads had left them, until Alfonso X came and erected, around 1260, the Gothic Palace.

It was only a century later when Pedro I burst into Seville, who with his popular taste for discretion, left his mark on the palace complex. So, next to the construction of Alfonso he ordered to build another one, but of course, he was not going to repeat the same style. We are talking about a man who collected lovers in The Gold Tower (Torre del Oro), and who, in order not to get bored, in his evening escapades challenged any gentleman to a duel. That’s how he killed a nobleman whose family demanded the head of the murderer. And what did the bizarre monarch do? He ordered a bust of himself and sent it to the relatives of the deceased. An excellent display of black humour, which would also end up giving the name to the street Cabeza del Rey Don Pedro (King Don Pedro´s Head Street). 

But as we were saying he was determined to build his palace in the citadel and, since he liked to dress as an Arab from time to time, he thought of developing a Mudejar Muslim style one, no matter how Christian he was. Said and done, Pedro left for posterity his own copy of the old Muslim models, but he could not enjoy it much because he died in 1369, just a few years after the work was finished.

Legend has it, this time in its evil version, that Pedro cut the neck of his own half-brother because he suspected that he was getting on with his wife. This happened in la Sala de los Azulejos (Room of the Tiles), and they say that, if you look closely, you can still find the blood stain on the marble. If you dare to look for it, will you tell us where it is…?


Royal Alcazar

Patio de Banderas, s/n
41004 Sevilla
(+34) 954 50 23 24

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Tags: Gothic Art

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