Sunday, October 26, 2014

Seville part 1 - the Alcazar

Last Thursday Elder Castillo, Hermana Castillo, and her two sisters and mother took me to Seville where we saw the Alcazar  and the Sevilla Cathedral. I took WAY to many pictures to do them both in one blog, so I'm starting with the Alcazar.
The Alcazar was the palace of many down through the centuries, from the Moores (in the 1100's) to the Christians (who built a new castle on the Moorish site in 1364 and added on to it over the centuries).  It's pretty wild being in something that old when your own country is less than 250 years old! And it's still in use - the royal family live in the upper three levels when they are in town.  It is built around a number of patios, which are quite stunning. The one to the left is called the "Courtyard of the Maidens" and has a beautiful reflecting pond and gardens. The whole palace had a LOT of arches, too.

It also had a lot of very large doorways, some of which had little doors built into the very large doors that accompanied them. To the right is a very elaborately carved wooden door that I thought was pretty neat.

To the left is the Hall of the Ambassadors, which was used for ceremonial events. It had really cool horse-shoe arch ways that you can see, exquisite tile work,

and a magnificent dome ceiling. This was created in 1389 in the Moorish style out of interlaced wood. I spent a lot of my time looking up as all of the ceilings were very cool.

Some interesting tile work with both the symbol of Castile (the castle, for Isabella), and Aragon (the lion, for Ferdinand), who financed Colombus' grand voyage.

More cool tile work both floor and wall, and another courtyard with multiple levels. The design work was unbelievably intricate and continually shifted my eyes from one pattern to another. VERY interesting.

The grounds were HUGE and included fountains (one 16th century), gardens, maze-hedges, and other neat stuff.

This was a REALLY cool feature - it's a water organ and played music by using a waterfall (you could hear it if you got up close) as a source of air to play a pipe organ.

This shows not only a beautiful fountain and other features, but also the ingenious irrigation system that let them water everything (anciently and today) so they didn't have to haul water to all the trees etc. Beautiful gardens!

All in all I REALLY enjoyed my trip to Sevilla, but the very best part was spending time with my great friends, the Castillos, and Hermana Castillo's sisters and mother. What great people and what a great family!  Although Spain is awesome, it's not the place, it's the people that I enjoy most of all. Thanks for including me!

1 comment:

  1. We loved having you with us. It made the trip even more fun!