Arabian Night in Sevilla

On a night tour, the Alcázar palace amazed us with its intricate Moorish designs and beautiful tiles.  Las Chicas went to Sevilla thanks to another opportunity Lisa created through her work.  As a part of the conference package, a private tour of Real Alcázar was arranged for teachers and their guests.

The Catholic King re-built the Alcázar in about 1350, after the old palace of Moorish rulers was damaged in an earthquake. At the time, Catholics, Jews, and Muslims lived in harmony in Spain and the King asked Muslim architects from Granada’s Alhambra to design and build his palace in Sevilla. It’s an excellent example of  mudéjar architecture, the name for Moorish influenced architecture after the Catholics reconquered Spain.

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This courtyard is the oldest part of the palace.

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Kings and queens through the centuries expanded the palace.

Inside the palace, craftsmen carved intricate designs into walls and arches:

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The domed roof of the throne room also shows precision carving, decoration and the play of light and shadows:

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Non-Islamic decoration included paintings and tapestries that celebrate Spain’s former empire.

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This painting of the “Virgen de los Navigadores” (Virgin of the Navigators)  is supposedly the first European image of  Native Americans (in the shadows beneath her right arm).  It hangs in the Casa de Contratatión (contracts room) where explorers and merchants received funding from Spain. The person in charge of contracts during the time of Colón (Columbus) was Amerigo Vespucci. Amerigo drew maps of the “new” world described to him by  Colón and others. He signed his name at the bottom of each map and thus the new world became known as “America.”

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Amazing inner courtyards and reflecting pools.

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Tapestry map of Spain shows Africa at the top, on the other side of the strait of Gibraltar.

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Garden pool with palms.

Check out our next blog post for sunny sights of Sevilla by day.

© 2014 by Lisa Howells and Mary Reynolds. All rights reserved.

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