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Hooded Mergansers

Saturday, March 23, 2013

The Alcazar and its Gardens...

After class on Thursday Bill & I walked to the Alcazar, the royal palace built in the 14th century by Pedro I, King of Castile.  We walked along the outer wall and through the Lion Gate...
As you're walking around the central part of Sevilla, you see the wall that surrounds the palace and its grounds, but a wonderful experience awaits you as you walk through that door.

While built in the 14th century, it has been added to and changed over the years by the different countries in power.
I'm not even going to begin to relate the history...  anyone can read about that on the internet... but I took well over a hundred photos and am sharing a few of those today...
 The grounds have many buildings...  and many gardens...
There were lots of school groups touring the Alcazar that day, but everyday it is crowded with tourists.  We had planned to take this tour last Sunday, but the lines were way too long.

Some of the fancy work...
A combination of Moorish and Christian styles, this is called "Mudejar" architecture.

A room of huge tapestries...
The original tapestries depicting the Conquest of Tunis in 1535, were damaged during the 18th century.  These are copies of the originals, made of silk and wool, and made in 1740.

A room of arches and tiles...
It's hard to show the right perspective of size in a photo, but, believe me, these rooms are HUGE!

This is like a huge plaza...  fountains and gardens surrounded by that ornate building on all sides...
Can you imagine living here all those centuries ago? 
What must it have been like to be the most powerful family...  to live in such elegance?

Looking down onto one of the labyrinth hedges from above...
There are even some cherry trees in bloom along the edges...

Here's Bill...  on the 2nd floor....
Looking out on to the courtyard.

Another view of the gardens.....
The hedges were not only trimmed to perfection, many of them were sculpted into geometric figures.
The wonder of it all was... you'd be walking along a path and come across a fountain, or a statue...  or maybe a column left over from the Roman times...  kind of like being a main character in a happy fairy tale.

This building was near one of the entrances... 
Isn't it beautiful?
Rapunzal, Rapunzal...  let down your hair....

Another view of the wall that surrounds the Alcazar..
This time you're inside...  there is a busy street just on the other side of this wall.

Sometimes you come across the unexpected...
Oh My Goodness!  There's a statue of Bill... right here in one of the gardens in this ancient park!  Hope he has better luck than the poor hapless creature who lost his head sometime in the past!

We did try to do some birding while walking around...  but with so many visitors roaming the paths, the wildlife was pretty scarce...  except for this guy...
He never did display his tail feathers to their fullest.
But we enjoyed seeing his magnificent colors...  and occasionally hearing his very loud call.

Another garden of hedges, palms and other plants.
I'm sure there's a fountain or two in there somewhere.

Hidden away in one of the huge buildings is the ladys banos
In Mexico, banos means "toilet"...  in Spain it means "bath".  This huge pool of water is beneath arches,  and with a little light reflect beautifully on the water.
What a lovely place....  how relaxing.

Sevilla has been a center for ceramics for centuries...
Even the stairs have decorative tile...

Another view of the Mercury Garden and pool..
That gray line that runs from the top left, sort of down through the center is actually water shooting out of a 2nd floor fountain into the pool.  

While we didn't see any variety of birds, one bird we can depend on seeing nearly everywhere here in Sevilla....
Yeah... that black species of robin...  up there singing his little heart out!

After several hours of roaming through the buildings and the garden it was time to leave...
This ornate cobblestone road led out of the buildings and back into the plaza.  I don't know if this was here all along or is a "recent" addition.  But if you've ever walked on cobblestones, you know how difficult that can be.  Many women here wear, not only high, but stiletto heels.  Not me...  I don't know how they do it!

As I wrote, I took many, many photos while we were here.  I had a heck of a time narrowing my selection down to a couple dozen.  Hope you enjoyed wandering down these paths with us...  wish you could all be here in person.  I think you'd love it!

That's All For Today!

6 comments:

  1. I really like Bill's statue. Can you have it shipped home? (grin)

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  2. Another beautiful stroll, Sharon ... remarkable statue and imagine living there? not really ... well? if I were born into such beautifulness, I wouldn't know there was a lifestyle such as mine.. Haa?

    I remember an interview when Prince Charles was visiting here... think it was before he married Diana... the reporter asked what it was like growing up in a castle... his response was ... he thought everyone lived in a castle... lol

    it's all relative isn't it

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  3. So very beautiful there! Love Bill's statue, and the Peacock is so pretty, and ....have never seen a black Robin. How interesting!

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  4. I find cobblestones murder to walk on. This place is so wonderful that it might be worth it. What a vast array of gardens and buildings!

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  5. Yes I enjoyed your tour. Well told with great photos.

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  6. And while all this beautiful architecture was built, early American tribes had just left their cave dwellings - to disappear on the path of history. Amazing!

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