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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

Want to be sure to get the most out of your visit at Alcazar? We've put together some popular things to do that will help:

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


Guide to Exploring Alcazar


Map

Top Hotel Deals

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Sevilla Center RM551
Sevilla Center

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Avenida De La Buhaira, 24, Seville, Seville
     
    4.4
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    4.0 out of 5.0

    Located in Sur, this hotel is within 1 mile (2 km) of Nervion Mall, Plaza de Espana and Alcazar. Giralda Tower and Seville Cathedral are also within 1 mile (2 km). Seville San Bernardo Station is only a 5-minute walk and Gran Plaza is 18 minutes.

    Hotel Fernando III RM601
    Hotel Fernando III

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    San Jose 21, Seville, Seville
       
      4.2
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      4.0 out of 5.0

      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 University of Seville are also within 10 minutes. Puerta de Jerez Station is 15 minutes by foot and Seville San Bernardo Station is 17 minutes.

      Las Casas de la Juderia RM767
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        4.3
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        4.0 out of 5.0

        Located in Historical Center, this spa hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Santa Maria la Blanca Church, Alcazar, and Giralda Tower. Seville Cathedral and University of Seville are also within 10 minutes. Puerta de Jerez Station is 14 minutes by foot and Seville San Bernardo Station is 16 minutes.

        Hotel Rey Alfonso X RM647
        Hotel Rey Alfonso X

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          4.3
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          4.0 out of 5.0

          Located in Historical Center, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Santa Maria la Blanca Church and Alcazar. Giralda Tower and Seville Cathedral are also within 10 minutes. Puerta de Jerez Station is 12 minutes by foot and Seville San Bernardo Station is 17 minutes.

          Gran Meliá Colón - The Leading Hotels of the World RM1,161
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            4.7
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            Located in Historical Center, this luxury hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Museum of Fine Arts, Plaza Nueva, and Metropol Parasol. Giralda Tower and Seville Cathedral are also within 15 minutes. Puerta de Jerez Station is 18 minutes by foot and Seville Santa Justa Station is 28 minutes.

            Hotel Alfonso XIII, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Seville RM1,617
            Hotel Alfonso XIII, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Seville

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            San Fernando 2, Seville, Seville
               
              4.7
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              Located in Historical Center, this luxury hotel is within a 5-minute walk of San Telmo Palace, University of Seville, and Torre del Oro Watchtower. Seville Cathedral and Alcazar are also within 10 minutes. Puerta de Jerez Station is only a 3-minute walk and Seville San Bernardo Station is 18 minutes.

              Hotel Doña Maria RM546
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                4.2
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                Located in Historical Center, this historic hotel is steps away from Archbishop's Palace, Giralda Tower and Alcazar. Seville Cathedral and Plaza Nueva are also within 10 minutes. Puerta de Jerez Station is 9 minutes by foot and Seville San Bernardo Station is 22 minutes.

                Hotel Madrid Sevilla RM406
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