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Royal Alcázar (Real Alcázar)

Once a Moorish fort, this architectural gem is now the oldest functioning palace in Europe.

There are many things that make the Royal Alcázar, Seville's royal palace, special. It's particularly gratifying to know that Spain's royal family still uses part of it as a residence today. This astoundingly intricate complex is indeed worthy of any monarch – a rich mix of mudéjar architecture and subsequent embellishments made through the ages. This is not just one building, but a collection of them, ensconced in lush gardens.

The lower portion of the Patio de las Doncellas (Courtyard of the Maidens) was built at the behest of Pedro I in the 14th century. The centrepiece of the courtyard is a rectangular pool flanked by sunken gardens. Explore the decadent reception rooms that surround this courtyard and imagine yourself as one of Pedro's courtiers. He called upon artists and architects from both Spain and Morocco to execute this brilliant fusion of the Christian and the Islamic. Wander up to the courtyard’s upper section; this was an addition made by Carlos V. Look our for Luis de Vega's Italian Renaissance style, fused with mudéjar plasterwork.

The central palace of the complex is another commission of Pedro's. Accomplished marble columns, detailed stucco, colourful mosaics and an overhanging roof make the palace particularly spectacular. Also make sure you see the Patio de las Muñecas (Courtyard of the Dolls), where you'll be able to pick out two little faces positioned on the inside of the arch.

When it comes to the interior, the Baños de Doña María de Padilla (Baths of Lady María de Padilla) – two large rainwater tanks – show an astounding mix of practicality and aesthetic, looking almost like miniature, water-filled cathedrals. The golden domed ceiling inside the Salon de los Embajadores (Hall of Ambassadors) is another Royal Alcázar highlight.

The Royal Alcázar is in Seville's Old Town, on the east bank of the Guadalquivir. It can be accessed via the Plaza del Triunfo, which is adjacent to Seville Cathedral. The Royal Alcázar is open every day with the exception of national holidays. There is a minimal entrance fee.

Popular Activities at Alcazar

Not sure how to get the most out of your visit at Alcazar? Here are some popular things to do that will help:

If you're after even more activities, peruse our Historical Centre things to do page.


Guide to Exploring Alcazar


Map

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Sevilla Center RM324
Sevilla Center

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Avenida De La Buhaira, 24, Seville, Seville
     
    4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

    Located in Sur, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Santa Maria la Blanca Church and University of Seville. Plaza de Espana and Maria Luisa Park are also within 1 mile (2 km). Seville San Bernardo Station is only a 5-minute walk and Gran Plaza is 17 minutes.

    Hotel Fernando III RM420
    Hotel Fernando III

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    San Jose 21, Seville, Seville
       
      4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

      Located in Historical Center, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Santa Maria la Blanca Church, Giralda Tower and Alcazar. Seville Cathedral and Plaza de Toros de la Real Maestranza are also within 15 minutes. Puerta de Jerez Station is 19 minutes by foot and Seville San Bernardo Station is 16 minutes.

      Las Casas de la Juderia RM395
      Las Casas de la Juderia

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      Calle Santa Maria La Blanca 5, Seville, Seville
         
        4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

        Located in Historical Center, this spa hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Santa Maria la Blanca Church, Giralda Tower, and Alcazar. Seville Cathedral and University of Seville are also within 15 minutes. Puerta de Jerez Station is 19 minutes by foot and Seville San Bernardo Station is 16 minutes.

        Hotel Alfonso XIII, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Seville RM1,290
        Hotel Alfonso XIII, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Seville

        Hotel Alfonso XIII, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Seville

        San Fernando 2, Seville, Seville
           
          5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

          Located in Historical Center, this luxury hotel is within a 5-minute walk of University of Seville and Seville Cathedral. Alcazar and Torre del Oro Watchtower are also within 10 minutes. Puerta de Jerez Station is 7 minutes by foot and Seville San Bernardo Station is 16 minutes.

          Becquer Hotel RM378
          Becquer Hotel

          Becquer Hotel

          Reyes Catolicos 4, Seville, Seville
             
            4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

            Located in Historical Center, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Sevilla de Opera Theater and Plaza Nueva. Plaza de Toros de la Real Maestranza and Museum of Fine Arts are also within 10 minutes. Puerta de Jerez Station is 15 minutes by foot and Seville Santa Justa Station is 30 minutes.

            Ayre Hotel Sevilla RM256
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            Avenida De Kansas City No.7, Seville, Seville
               
              4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

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              Hotel Rey Alfonso X RM420
              Hotel Rey Alfonso X

              Hotel Rey Alfonso X

              Calle Ximenez De Enciso, 35, Seville, Seville
                 
                4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                Located in Historical Center, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Santa Maria la Blanca Church, Giralda Tower and Alcazar. Seville Cathedral and Plaza de Toros de la Real Maestranza are also within 15 minutes. Puerta de Jerez Station is 19 minutes by foot and Seville San Bernardo Station is 16 minutes.

                H10 Casa de la Plata RM395
                H10 Casa de la Plata

                H10 Casa de la Plata

                C/Lagar 2-4, Seville
                   
                  4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Located in Historical Center, this hotel is steps away from Calle Sierpes and Metropol Parasol. Giralda Tower and Alcazar are also within 10 minutes. Puerta de Jerez Station is 15 minutes by foot and Seville Santa Justa Station is 23 minutes.