OLD CASTLE OF SAN JORGE

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.

BATHS OF THE MOORISH QUEEN

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.

ROYAL SHIPYARDS

Las Atarazanas de Sevilla was an immense space dedicated to the manufacture, repair and storage of ships. Its construction began in the mid-13th century by order of Alfonso X the Wise, although it is known that there were already some shipyards in the area since Almohad times, ordered to be built by the Caliph Abu Yacub Yusuf. They were built taking advantage of the protection of the network of walls in that part of the city.

The building originally had seventeen naves, raised on enormous pointed brick arches and arranged perpendicular to the river. Each ship was 100 meters long by 12 meters wide, forming a total area of about 15,000 square meters.

Throughout history, the complex has undergone modifications in its layout and use, adapting to new ship models and the needs of the Navy at all times. Among the most important modifications we can mention the reconditioning of ships 13, 14 and 15 in the 16th century to be used as customs. In the 17th century, the naves between 8 and 12 were removed to install the Hospital de la Caridad.

Part of the Shipyards were used as a storage place for artillery since the 16th century and this purpose would be expanded in the 18th century, since in 1719 the seat of the Royal Artillery Maestranza was decreed in five of the ships.

At present, the Shipyards are undergoing extensive restoration and reform in order to turn them into an immense cultural space.

WALL OF THE JEWISH QUARTER

In Fabiola street we find a fragment of the wall barely ten meters long, which constitutes the only visible remains of the Jewish quarter wall that have come down to us. This wall was built in the 13th century to separate the Jewish community of Seville from the rest of the city, surrounding the current neighborhoods of Santa Cruz and San Bartolomé. This fence had a series of gates that were closed at night, trying to guarantee the safety of the Jewish community in the city. However, the monumentality of this wall did not prevent violent episodes, such as the dramatic assault in 1391 that killed hundreds of Seville Jews.

CC BY-SA 4.0

The fragment that we see here is made of mud and at its base we can see the characteristic millstones inserted, so common in many of the buildings in the neighborhood. Its original purpose was to avoid possible damage caused by the axles of the wheels of the carts, especially on narrow roads like this one.

WALL OF THE CABILDO SQUARE

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.

TOWER OF ABDELAZIZ

Also called Torre de Santo Tomás. It was built in the Almohad period, in the 13th century, as part of the canvas of the wall that linked the Alcázar with the Torre del Oro. It has a hexagonal floor plan and is about 15 meters high, being solid in the first 8 meters.

It is built with brick, reinforced with ashlars at the base and at the corners. In its upper half, it is crossed by the two horizontal stripes so characteristic of the Almohad towers. Each wall is decorated at the top with polylobed blind arches framed by alfices.

GATE OF ABDELAZIZ

Also called Arco de la Plata or Arco de Mañara. It is one of the entrance doors through which the walled enclosure that surrounded the Alcázar was accessed. It was built in the Almohad period, probably already in the 13th century, like the Torre del Oro. From the Islamic construction, the original horseshoe arch, framed by an alfiz, can still be seen from the Avenida de la Constitución.

However, most of what has come down to us responds to the reform undertaken in the fourteenth century, in Christian times. It was then that the Gothic rib vault that covers it today was arranged.

Dibujo de la Torre de la Plata en Sevilla

TOWER OF SILVER

The Torre de la Plata is located in what is now Santander street, and was originally linked to the Torre del Oro by a stretch of wall, most of which has now disappeared. Both were probably built at the same time, in the Almohad period, around 1220. They were part of the defensive complex to the south of the city, the port and the surroundings of the Alcázar, together with other towers such as that of Abdelaziz, which is still preserved on Constitution Avenue.

It has an octagonal plan and is simpler than the Gold in its structure and decoration, although in all probability they were built at approximately the same time. What does seem probable is that it already grew in Christian times, in the time of Alfonso X, during the second half of the 13th century. We know that in Christian times it was also called Torre de los Azacanes. Azacán is a word of Arabic origin that designated those who were dedicated to carrying water using animals. It is probable that he habitually entered the city through the shutter that was next to this tower and that is where the name comes from.

Next to the tower, a fragment of the wall of about 80 meters is preserved, which adopts an 'L' shape to enter the spaces historically occupied by the dependencies of the Casa de la Moneda.

In Detail → GOLD AND SILVER TOWERS

Dibujo de la Torre del Oro en Sevilla

TOWER OF GOLD

The Torre del Oro is the most famous of those that have survived from the walled enclosure of Seville. It was built in the Almohad period, between 1220 and 1221 and apparently owes its name to the golden effects produced by its color when reflected in the river, the result of the lime and straw mortar with which it was originally completely covered.

Archaeological studies suggest that only the first body of the tower, whose plan is a twelve-sided polygon, corresponds to the initial Almohad phase. Its upper part is crossed by a frieze with paired windows, today blinded, framed by pointed horseshoe arches, supported on brick pilasters.

It is probable that the series of battlements that finish off this body are already from the Christian period, probably from the reign of Alfonso X el Sabio. There are also doubts about the chronology of the second body of the tower, although in general its construction tends to be attributed to the reign of Pedro I, already in the 14th century. It is documented that this body had a direct access from the Alcázar through the upper part of the wall, without having to go down to the street. Apparently, King Pedro made use of this circumstance to use the Torre del Oro as a setting for his meetings with one of his lovers. Given this use that we know of, it is likely that he himself ordered the construction of this second level.

In Detail → GOLD AND SILVER TOWERS

GATE OF THE WATER

Also called Postigo del Alcázar or Postigo de la Huerta del Retiro. It is a small door in the wall, one of the few that have been preserved from the medieval layout in Seville. It was erected in the Almohad period, between the 12th and 13th centuries, remodeling an original tower gate from the Caliphate period. Apparently, it was the door used by the emirs to leave the city towards the rural area of La Buhaira.