Alcázares Reales de Sevilla
November 29, 2007, 2:15 am
Filed under: travel

Window in the Alcazares

Originally uploaded by cobismith.

I’m getting ahead of myself. If you follow my photo streams as well as the text, you’ll have noticed that words arrive sometimes weeks after pictures. It all depends on when I have a spare hour to write (such as now, waiting in Barcelona airport, where I’ve found a cosy armchair next to a socket near the VIP lounges). Before I started my last week in Seville, I spent a day there on the way to the Cadiz beaches, from our mountain base. Ian and I made time to see the Alcázares Reales de Sevilla, essential since Rosie’s recommendation.

I’m going to put it out there: the Alcázares in Seville is better than the Alhambra in Granada. Let me qualify: I paid the base price for both (roughly five Euros each). This only allowed us to see the gardens and some buildings at the Alhambra, while at the Alcázares we got to see almost everything for that price. Ian even got in free, with his student card.

I like that in Spain, the Alcázares, a royal residence, is open to the public. I overheard a tour guide point out that it is owned by the state, not the royal family, therefore the public have as much right to enjoy it. Is the status of Buckingham Palace different? Wandering through the Alcazar I was astounded by layer upon layer of intricacy, a characteristic of the Arab architecture I’ve come to love. Not just in individual stone carvings, but in the structures: walls, halls, tunnels. I could have spent a day wandering there.

My favourite bit was the cellars and underground tunnels, some of which is set aside for piles of pottery, another part of which is a seemingly endless pool framed by lit arches. It has that smell of clay I love, like a good wine cellar.

I can’t believe it took me nearly 2 weeks in Seville to get the Alcázares. It should be top of the list.


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