"Ad utrumque". This is the inscription carried by the famous lion represented on a tile panel above the main entrance to the Alcázar. It is the abbreviated version of the motto “Ad utrumque paratus”, from Virgil's “Aeneid”, which could be translated as “prepared for one and for the other” or “prepared for everything”.
This door dates from the 14th century and was opened on the Almohad walls in the time of Pedro I. The objective was to give direct access to the magnificent Mudejar palace that the king was building inside the Alcázar.
The representation of the lion that we see today was made in 1892 in the Triana ceramic factory of Mensaque, following a design by José Gestoso, art historian, researcher and great popularizer of Sevillian themes.
The panel shows a lion with an open royal crown, who bears a cross on one of his legs and perches two others on a spear, all framed by a cord with knots at the corners.
It follows the prevailing historicist criterion in the restorations of the time, since it must be remembered that the lion has been the animal most used historically to represent the king and, in general, the Spanish sovereignty.
Specifically, Gestoso's design is very similar to that used in the times of Felipe III and Felipe IV, who also made use of the motto "Ad utrumque paratus", wanting to allude to the king's willingness to act, both in peace and in situations. times of war. Reminiscently, it is still the motto of the Navy Submarine Flotilla today.