Seville: The City of Castles

November 23rd, 2013 | by Ashyln Molly

Spain, the country of ancient history and long-standing traditions, dates back to the earliest centuries. Influence of neighboring European states and close neighborhood to African people have contributed a lot in cultural development. The idea of getting acquainted with local sightseeing spots is chased by millions of tourists, who visits Barcelona, Madrid, Toledo and many other cities – the pillars of Spanish history. This list won’t be complete without Seville, one of the most beautiful cities in the country. Besides cathedrals and museums, there are remarkable castles and palaces, the pride of Spanish aristocracy and grand people.

One of them, which gained fame all over the world, is the Alcazar of Seville, constructed in the early Middle Ages period. In fact, it was started by Arabs, who ruled in Sevilla until the 14th century. The exact date of Alcazar construction is recorded in 1364, when King Peter of Castile renovated it on the remains of Arabic fort. To date Alcazar is truly an architect marvel, where interior is full of art masterpieces and visual appearance of the palace outbursts with luxury and allurement. The Alcazar Palace is a mix of different architect styles, including ancient Islamic and Moors’ features and intelligence of Gothic and Baroque parts. The Ambassador Hall is one of the trademarks of the castle, where everything, ceilings, walls and floor, preserve the spirit of mightiness and gorgeous ornamentation. It is not for nothing Seville Alcazar appears to be the summer residence of the Spanish royal family.

Casa de Pilatos or Pilate’s House is one more old-fashioned residence of urban aristocracy of the 16th century. One can ask why it carries the name of Pontius Pilate. The key reason: it was made as an exact copy of Pilate’s Castle in Jerusalem in the styles of Mudejar and the Spanish Renaissance. Since the 1520s the castle became the starting point of Way to the cross during Holy Week. However, besides traditional significance of Pilate’s House in Seville, it is also an essential architect wonder in the city. It consists of several yards, linked by gorgeous galleries and rooms. Wealth of the residency grew as new holders took Pilate’s House, among which one might recognize the representatives of de Ribera Dynasty. Specific attention is usually drawn by Francisco Pacheco’s frescoes, series of paintings by Francisco Goya and fine arts by Luca Giordano. Many outstanding figures of Spanish literature gathered in the library, arranged in Pilate’s House, among others Miguel de Cervantes. Their meetings were held at nighttime, which is why they received the “Vatican Nights”.

The title of “The best European mansion” was received by Palacio de Lebrija of the 16th century. Indeed, its magnificence is much preconditioned by Roman mosaics, covering the floors. Countess de Lebrija, who ran the castle in the 20th century, did all her best to fill its rooms and halls with exquisite art masterpieces and superb furniture. In this context, in the Palacio de Lebrija travelers might enjoy Roman and Greek sculptures, furniture in the style of Louis XVI of France or Etruscan ceramics. Palacio de Lebrija essentially confirms the brilliance of Seville and its status of “The City of Castles”.

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