Some of my favourite things about Seville: #4 Real Alacazar

12 Nov

The Real Alcazar (Royal Fort) is my Alhambra. It has all the components one could wish for in a palace: Arabesques, sculptured plaster work arches, a starred dome, gorgeous Moorish tiling, murals, reflective water gardens and fountains galore, an orange orchard, massive gnarly old trees and plenty of perfectly placed benches to sit and contemplate the beauty and serenity of the place.

Eleven centuries of additions and renovations make it a hodge podge of styles but it works for me. The fact that much of this is due to King Pedro I ‘The Cruel’ (so named for his tactic of dispatching his competitors, including a half brother and two men of the cloth) can’t be forgotten but he certainly had an eye for beauty.

If you visit try to make it as soon as it opens as the fewer people the better to appreciate the tranquility. Unlike the Alhambra there is no need to book ahead and you can stay as long as you like for your eight euro entry fee. Tucked away to the side on the way towards the exit is the ‘Secret Garden’, a lovely cafe with an inside air conditioned room and outside vine covered terrace where peacocks stroll and kittens play.

In the summer they have concerts in the garden. What could be better than the strains of Flamenco falsettas in such surroundings.

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