The Real Alcazar is a palace in Seville. It is an actual palace that still functions as one of residences of the King and Queen of Spain.
Orginally built as a royal palace for the Moors it is a UNESCO World Heritage site and considered to be one of the most beautiful buildings in the world.
Queen Isabella met with Christopher Columbus here just before his second voyage.
Each room, each wall, each arch and each floor is etched in harmonious beauty with its surroundings.
We didn’t take a formal tour or purchase advance tickets. We waited for about a half hour in and entered through the main gate. The entire place is surrounded by a high wall. It includes a number of plazas such as the one below.
The plazas give a feeling of simple spaciousness and are almost plain compared to the other features including a network of finely irrigated gardens and pools.
Even though there was a considerable crowd, they all seem to be accommodated by the vast surroundings.
There is a beautiful cistern under the Alcazar that was fenced off at the time. You can see it and other professional photos on this web site. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alc%C3%A1zar_of_Seville
I liked the fact the Alcazar is still being used as a palace with a dual function – also a residence. With special tickets you can glimpse the current private residences of the King and Queen. We were more interested in the older parts of the palace and the architecture.
Whenever you pick out a popular place to visit there are always the crowds. Just about everyone has a camera and wants to take similar angles – like through an archway or a detail of a statue. Even though we made an effort to spread ourselves out there were always places where you just had to wait – sometimes for 50 people on a tour to move past. One nice thing about the Real Alcazar was that the gardens provided a real break from noise and people. I felt a lot of admiration for this quiet element in the design. The sound of running water, the leaves rustling, and the benches off to the side provided much needed relief. The Real Alcazar had all the best elements of a home, an administrative center, and a source of spiritual refuge. Our original plans for Spain were to stay in Granada in order to visit the Alhambra, but I am quite happy we chose Seville because the whole city has beauty as its focus and the Real Alcazar is the best example.