Ever since my AP Art History class in high school, I’ve been fascinated by Islamic (or Moorish) architecture. One of my favorite things about Seville is its Islamic influence–certain buildings’ striped, onion-shaped archways and beautiful mosaics distinguish them as Islamic, or of the mudéjar architectural style.
I recently visited the Real Alcázar of Sevilla, or the “royal palace of Sevilla.” Literally a stone’s throw away from La Catedral de Sevilla (or “The Giralda”), the medieval Real Alcázar is the oldest European palace still in use today. Full of decadent gardens and intricately carved halls, walking through the palace is like walking through a bygone age of sultans and caliphs. Even better, the entrance fee for students (even with an ID from a foreign university) was only €2!
From enormous wall-sized tapestries depicting medieval tales to the 16th century Moorish tiles, the interior of Real Alcázar was heaven for a history nerd like me. The surprisingly expansive gardens, while stunningly beautiful, also contained some surprises. My friends and I certainly weren’t expecting to be chased by a giant peacock while exploring the gardens outside the palace! (One of them was forever traumatized.)
If you ever find yourself in Sevilla, the gorgeous Real Alcázar is a must-see. Not only is it cheap, it’s big enough to warrant multiple visits.