The Alcazar of Seville is one of the most fascinating royal residences in Spain. This is due to the fact that it does not respond to a single project undertaken at a given moment, but rather is the result of numerous construction phases that have taken place throughout its history.

It has been used continuously as a royal palace since its Muslim origins, back in the 10th or 11th century, until today, in which it is still the oldest royal palace in use in Spain and Europe. Throughout its history, the different monarchs who have inhabited here have been adapting the different palaces, courtyards and gardens to the tastes of each era, until configuring the marvelous and diverse complex through which we can walk today.

Although its origin is a set of Muslim palaces, very little remains of this early period of the Alcázar. Most of the palaces that we are going to see correspond to the reforms undertaken in Christian times by:

- Alfonso X the Wise, who built the so-called Gothic Palace in the 13th century.

- Pedro I, called by some the Cruel and by others the Justiciero, who built the wonderful that is the true heart of the Alcázar. It was built in the middle of the 14th century and constitutes the peak of the Mudejar style.

- In the reign of the Catholic Monarchs, the so-called Casa de Contratación was built, of which we will also see some rooms on this side, intended to centralize and organize trade with the Indies, after the discovery of America in 1492.

All this is surrounded by a magnificent set of patios and gardens, which have been added and reformed until very recent times. It must be remembered that a part of the Palace of Pedro I, specifically the upper floor, is still used as the residence of the kings of Spain when they are in Seville.

Thanks to all this, its long history, its beauty and its architecture, the Real Alcázar of Seville was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in December 1987, together with the nearby cathedral and Archivo de Indias.


In the place where the Triana Market is located today, a castle was built in the Almohad period (XIII) that would later be known as the castle of San Jorge. It may have been built on previous constructions, even Roman or Visigothic, and that it was refortified after the Muslim defeat in the battle of Las Navas de Tolosa (1212).

‘Annales d'Espagne et du Portugal’, 1741

It had ten towers that articulated a robust fortified space with a rectangular plan. The Christians would establish the headquarters of the Inquisition in Seville there in 1480, so it is certain that it was the scene of numerous episodes of imprisonment and torture throughout its history. Some of the events that occurred there have been narrated as brilliant as the one offered by Beethoven in his opera "Fidelio", which is set in this castle.

It continued to be the seat of the Inquisition until the end of the 18th century, when it was abandoned. Already at the beginning of the 19th century it was demolished and a market was built on its site. At the end of the current market, in the part that faces Castilla street, some of the great walls that belonged to the primitive castle can still be seen today.


The 12th century aqueduct that carried water from the nearby town of Alcalá de Guadaira to the city is known as Caños de Carmona. The name 'de Carmona' comes from the fact that the aqueduct reached the city next to the Puerta de Carmona. From there, some clay pipes that ran inside the walls carried the water to the Alcázar.

It seems that the pipes were built reusing the layout of an ancient Roman aqueduct, in the Almohad period, during the reign of Yusuf. Originally they were about 17 kilometers long and would have around 400 arches, raised on robust brick pillars. Depending on the unevenness of the terrain, in some areas a simple arcade was arranged and in others a double one was necessary. Currently, only a few scattered fragments remain along the axis of Luis Montoto street. The remains are frequently misidentified with a Roman aqueduct.


These are Almohad baths from the 13th century, which originally constituted one of the largest public baths built in Al Ándalus. After the Christian conquest of the city, they were ceded by Alfonso X to his stepmother, Queen Juana de Ponthieu. That would probably be the origin of the name. From 'Baños Moros de la Reina' would have derived 'Baños de la Reina Moor', since given the location of the complex, so far from the Alcázar, it is very unlikely that they were used by the wives of the kings or emirs of the city in Muslim era.

They continued to be used as baths after the Christian conquest of the city until the 16th century. Later a community of Augustinian nuns would settle there and in the 19th century it would become a headquarters of the Command of Engineers. The old barracks would be demolished in 1976 during the eighties the archaeological excavations began.

The baths are articulated around a large patio, surrounded by columns with muqarna capitals. This patio was originally covered by a vault and was probably the temperate room. The porticoed spaces that open around the patio are covered with barrel vaults, in which skylights open, with the starry shape so characteristic of Arab baths.

At the end of the patio two adjoining rectangular rooms open up, which would originally be the hot and cold rooms.

Currently, the Baths are annexed to the Brotherhood of Veracruz, which is co-owner of the property and manages its visits.


In the Bar Giralda Brewery, one of the many public baths that Isbiliya had has been preserved. In this case, it has the particularity that they were probably the closest to the great aljama mosque.

They have been dated to the beginning of the 12th century, in the Almoravid period and are probably the best preserved in Seville. They are built of brick and have a large central space, covered by a vaulted ceiling resting on tubes, which are supported by semicircular arches. The arches, in turn, rest on Tuscan columns, added later to replace the original support, which in all probability would be brick pillars.

On both sides of this central space there are two smaller ones, covered by a barrel vault. Most likely, the central space served as a warm room and those on the sides were the cold and hot rooms.


In this space currently occupied by a restaurant, the remains of one of the numerous public baths that Islamic Seville had have been preserved.

They date back to the 12th century and have preserved part of their original brick structure, with semicircular vaults resting on arches, some of which are horseshoe shaped. We can also see the original starry skylights, so characteristic of Arab baths.

The so-called Mesón del Moro was established in the building that the baths occupy, a lodging place whose origins some authors date back to the Middle Ages. Apparently, the name would derive from a concession of the Catholic Monarchs according to which all Muslims who stayed in the city had to do so in this establishment.


In this space was located one of the gates of the walled enclosure of the city. Today disappeared, only the canvas of the wall that had an annex has come down to us. It was called Puerta de Goles at least since the Christian conquest of the city until the 16th century. It became known as the Royal Gate after Philip II visited Seville in 1570, being the first king to enter the city through this gate. Until then, the monarchs entered the city through the Puerta de la Macarena.

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We can see here a fragment of about 60 meters of wall, built in the 13th century creating a fortress that was located in this area as part of the complex defensive framework that surrounded the Alcázar and the great mosque at the end of the Islamic period.

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It is built with mud wall and preserves the walkway and the battlements. To the north, a tower has also been preserved, but it is not visible from the part of the Cabildo as it has lost its upper part and is therefore covered behind the wall.

At the exit from the square towards Arfe street, inserted between the residential building, another fragment of the wall can be seen, with the same dating and characteristics.


It is one of the few gates of the walled enclosure of the city that have survived to this day. Its original construction has been dated to the Almohad period, probably in the 12th century, and it has been identified with the 'bab al-Qatai' or 'Gate of the Ships', which is mentioned in Muslim sources. This name would come from its proximity to the Almohad shipyards, also built in the 12th century.

The current name already appears in Christian times, in relation to the market and the oil warehouses that were located in the vicinity.
Its current appearance is far from the original and is mostly due to the reform undertaken by Benvenuto Tortello in the 16th century, focused on facilitating vehicle traffic through the shutter.
Also from the 16th century seems to be the monumental shield of Seville that is located on the opening towards the center of the city. It has been attributed to the Renaissance sculptor Juan Bautista Vázquez el Viejo.
Next to the Postigo is the small Chapel of La Pura y Limpia, built in the 18th century. There a small image of the Immaculate attributed to Pedro Roldán is venerated.


In the Plaza del Triunfo and in Calle Romero Murube we can see a fragment of about 150 meters of the original walls of the 'Dar al-Imara' or 'Casa del Gobernador', the original Alcázar built in the Caliphate period, at the beginning of the 10th century.

It is the most monumental and beautiful canvas of the wall among those preserved in the city. Unlike the rest of the Sevillian walls, here they were built using huge blocks of stone, many of them from the old Roman walls, which had to be demolished due to the growth of the city in the Islamic period.

Inserted in the wall, a series of seven towers with a rectangular floor plan and also raised with ashlars have been preserved. Both in the towers and in the wall you can see in the upper part the section increased by the Almohads, already in the 13th century.

In this wall canvas we find two doors. The closest to the Plaza de la Alianza is the Puerta de la Herradura, now blinded. It owes its name to its horseshoe arch shape, framed by an alfiz. Apparently, originally it gave access to a guard post or headframe, added to the wall during the extension of the Taifa period (XI).

In the Plaza del Triunfo we find the Gate of the Patio de Banderas, probably opened in the Almohad period (XII-XIII), as the two columns with capitals from this period that flank it on the patio side seem to attest. It is one of the few examples of Almohad columns preserved in situ that have survived to this day.

In the Almohad period, the canvas on which the Puerta del León is located today was also built. The towers that flank this door are, therefore, from different periods. The one on the left side, built with ashlars, is from the Caliphate period (X), while the one on the right was built in the Almohad period (XIII), mostly in brick. Next to this second one, and facing Miguel de Mañara street, you can see the original access entrance to the Almohad Alcázar, blinded when it was replaced by the current Puerta del León, opened during the reign of Pedro I (XIV).