Express visit to Seville. Visiting Italica, the Alcazar and the Plaza de España. Following the Game of Thrones scenes.
30 May 2022
What is this page about
Seville is the capital of Andalusia, a city of great historical importance. The history of Seville begins in the times of the Ancient World. Seville became the economic center of the Spanish Empire in the times of the discovery of America. There was a head office of the Casa de Contratación located in Seville – an agency that managed all the research and colonization activities of the Spanish Empire. Seville was chosen as a trade and economic center for its strategic location on the map: Seville could be reached by water route through the Guadalquivir, and there was always a convenient and safe land route available.
I strongly recommend you read about the history of this beautiful city, but today we will literally visit Seville in times of three significant periods. If you only have one day to visit Seville, then my guide is for you.
We will start our acquaintance with the city by visiting the area of Santiponce, where the Roman city of Italica was located many centuries ago, thus we will dive into the Roman era, an important part of the history of Seville. This ancient Roman city is perfectly preserved for a visit and it will simply amaze you.
Entrance to Italica is free, and there are plenty of parking spaces nearby. You will find a map of the area at the entrance, where you can find the most important objects of Italica. You can reed more about Italica here.
For Game of Thrones fans, visiting Italica and the amphitheater will be a good reason to collect memories from visiting the legendary movie scene places. Episodes of the seventh and eighth seasons of this popular series were filmed here.
Alcazar Real of Seville
In 20 minutes by car you will get to the center of Seville for visiting the Alcazar Real of Seville. Alcazar is a complex of palaces and gardens with a rich history, where representatives of the Roman era, Islamic and Christian periods lived. I recommend you buy a ticket to the Alcazar in advance online.
In general, there are no traces of the Romans here anymore. A building of the I century from the Roman era was found on the territory of the Alcazar, later a temple of the Visigoths was built on the top of this building, its small ruins are still preserved in one of the courtyards.
The Islamic period began here when, in 914, the Emir of Cordoba, Abderraman III, ordered the construction of a fortress and walls attached to the old Roman walls. After the fall of the Caliphate, the Abbadid dynasty took over the administration of the city and expanded the area of the citadel significantly. In the XII century, the Almohads completely reformed all this space. They created a system of walls that connected the Alcazar with other fortifications up to the streambed of the Guadalquivir River.
During the Christian period, after the conquest of the city in 1248, Fernando III did not carry out any reforms in the fortress. For decades, the Christian court remained in the former spaces of the Almohads. Finally, between 1252 and 1260 Alfonso X used the space of the main building to build a Gothic palace. Also, the rest of Almohad buildings were rebuilt for later use. After an earthquake in 1356 that severely damaged the city, King Pedro I ordered the destruction of three Almohad buildings in order to build a Mudéjar palace (also Pedro I’s palace), which was attached to the Gothic palace of Alfonso.
Admiral’s room and the house of trade. When Seville became a port and gateway to India, some of the premises of the Alcazar were used for activities such as managing trips and activities associated with them. The reason for establishing the house of trade in Seville was a good connection to the ocean via the Guadalquivir River and the fact that the inland port was easy to defend. The building contains: the Admiral’s Room, the Audience Room, the Fan Room.
This palace was created to become a private residence of King Pedro I. Compared to the Gothic palace of Alfonso XI built in the previous century, Arabic epigraphy was used in the construction and decoration of this palace, due to the fact that since the XIV century, the monarchs of Castile tended to copy European trends, inspired by Andalusian patterns. There were various inscriptions in Arabic extolling the Pedro I´s figure in the palace of Pedro I.
The Hall of Ambassadors is the most luxurious place in the palace of Pedro I. The ceiling is covered with a golden hemispherical dome. This type of dome is called “half orange”. There is a Gothic arch with portraits of monarchs under the dome. The walls, as in other rooms of the palace, are decorated with tiles and plaster moldings. There are wooden balconies built in the end of the XVI century in the upper part of the hall.
Finally the gardens – the most colorful part of the complex. The gardens are a fundamental part of the Alcazar. They are the oldest in the city and they have been under numerous changes since their creation. Oranges from the royal gardens are grown to make jam, which were consumed by Queen Elizabeth II, the queen of Great Britain.
Many famous and not so famous films and series were filmed in the Royal Alcazar of Seville, and, the fans of the Game of Thrones cannot miss a visit here!
Where to eat in Seville
If you want to eat like Moorish kings, then I highly recommend having lunch at Arabesca restaurant next to the Alcazar.
On the left: lamb skewers. On the right: lamb tajine. Served with Arabic bread. Everything was extremely delicious!
We liked the lamb tajine so much that I decided to make it at home. I leave the recipe here.
Next to the Alcazar, you can’t help but notice this spectacular building – a Catholic cathedral in the Gothic style, the cathedral of Seville. It is the largest Gothic cathedral in Europe. Presumably, its construction began in 1401. The tomb of Christopher Columbus has been placed here since 1899. It was transported from Cuba after its loss in 1898. I definitely advise you to visit the cathedral by buying tickets online for 12 euros per person!
The last and the most important thing you can do in Seville is to visit the main symbol of this city – Plaza de España. This monument was built between 1914 and 1929 for the Ibero American Exposition of 1929. The special thing about this square is the tile benches which represent the 49 provinces of Spain. You can easily guess who came from where from the people posing for photos on the benches. Episode II of Star Wars was filmed in the Plaza de España. Watch the video and check out how masterfully was the Plaza of Spain turned into the Naboo planet.
Plaza de España
Seville is a wonderful city with a great history. I would like to go there again and again. Ideally, you should dedicate at least two days to visiting Seville. Take a walk to the Mushrooms of Seville and contemplate the art of modern architecture. Lift to the XIII century tower. Walk to the district Triana and visit an antique ceramics museum.