Last updated on January 29th, 2024
👑 Royal Alcazar of Seville
The Alcazar of Seville is an essential visit. A wonderful setting that condenses the entire history of Seville over more than a thousand years. It is an artistic paradise, a mixture of cultures, styles and beautiful gardens, all in the heart of Seville.
The Alcazar is one of the oldest royal palaces in use in the world, built in the year 913 on ancient Roman and Visigothic remains and used as a royal residence and defensive construction. We will show it to you.
Don’t miss the Alcazar of Seville, it is a wonderful, evocative and magical space
🙋 Guided tours of the Alcazar of Seville
Alcazar of Seville guided tour with Skip the Line. Rediscover your sense of wonder and get shown around the world-famous Alcazar de Sevilla by a fully licensed tour guide.
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As the official dwelling of the Spanish royal family, this palace holds the distinction of being the longest-standing continuously inhabited palace in Europe
❤️ The basics of the Alcazar
The main areas you will see are:
Sala de la Justicia (Chamber of Justice) and Palacio del Yeso (Plaster Palace): Two small rooms that you can see as soon as you enter. Of interest as they are some of the oldest areas.
La Casa de la Contratación (House of Contracting): Used for management of trade with America. A historical jewel of Spain.
Palacio del Rey Don Pedro (Palace of King Don Pedro) or Palacio Mudéjar (Mudejar Palace): A miniature Alhambra. Sumptuous rooms with Andalusian decorations.
Cuarto Real Alto (High Royal Chamber): The official residence of the Kings, managed by Patrimonio Nacional. Visits are possible with a special ticket.
Palacio Gótico (Gothic Palace): The Christian monarchs’ new palace after the reconquest.
Gardens: There are several areas: the old ones or those closest to the palaces, and outdoor areas that were added over the centuries.
The Alcazar of Seville is a display of Muslim, Mudejar, Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque and Romantic art. An old palace with centuries of history and wonderful gardens full of charming corners
It was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1987 and has been the scene of the filming of movies and TV series such as Game of Thrones, Alatriste or The Kingdom of Heaven. It is an unmissable attraction on your trip to Seville and an essential place to discover the fusion of cultures that have passed through the city.
👍 Private Tours
Personalised service, just for your group of family or friends, without strangers. Always with official guides. Special prices for couples, families and large groups. We try to offer the best guide for the group profile (visits with children, art lovers, visitors who want an overview, botany enthusiasts…).
We can manage your private guided tour of the Alcazar of Seville, adapted to your tastes and the profile of your group
🕛 Guided group tours
Daily guided tours in groups, with tickets included.
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🎟️ Buy your ticket
We recommend buying your tickets online, in your name and with a set time.
Many guided tours include tickets so you won’t have to worry about buying them separately.
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Tickets can be purchased directly at the ticket office. The ticket office is located in the Patio de Banderas (Courtyard of Flags), and visitors’ access will be through the Puerta del León (Lion’s Gate) in Plaza del Triunfo square.
If you haven’t bought tickets in advance, go to the ticket office in the Patio de Banderas (Courtyard of Flags). Once you have it you can enter through the Puerta del León (Lion’s Gate).
The Alcazar does not offer official guided tours, contact us for visits with the best official tourist guides in Seville.
📷 What to see in the Alcazar of Seville
The Alcázar was originally a Muslim defensive fortress surrounded by orchards, in a turbulent era in Al Andalus.
Its name comes from the Arabic qsar (fortress). Over time it was transformed into a palace with gardens. Below, we review the most emblematic points of the Real Alcázar of Seville, in the order they are visited in:
🗺️ The first thing is to have the official map of the Alcázar of Seville to hand. There you will see the main areas: the Alcázar is entered via the Puerta del León (Lion’s Gate).
Puerta de León: this is the main access door to the Real Alcázar of Seville, and is therefore located in the outer wall of the complex. It originally bore a painting of a lion, hence the name, the origins of which are unknown, but in 1892 it was replaced by the mural of tiles that we see today, in Gothic style, with ceramic tiles from Triana.
The Puerta del León is unmistakable. A regal, solemn and impressive entrance to a royal residence
The lion holds a cross and stands on a spear. It bears an emblem “Ad utrumque” and symbolises the peace that Christianity represents as opposed to the conflict of any alternative.
The canvas of walls that surrounds the door has a smooth finish in a reddish tone. It is your point of reference to enter, through which you reach the access control and security checkpoint.
After coming through the gate we cross the Patio del León (Lion’s Courtyard), with beautiful geometric plant formations and an Almohad wall in the background. On both sides of the wall that separates the León and Montería courtyards, we find the first two rooms. On the left, the Sala de la Justicia (Chamber of Justice) and the Patio del Yeso (Plaster Courtyard).
The Patio del Yeso (Plaster Courtyard), named for the main material used, located on the left as you enter the Patio de la Montería courtyard, is the area of the Real Alcázar of Seville that best represents the essence of the Almohad era (twelfth century), part of the history of this architectural complex. Here we must highlight one of its sides, where we see a particularly beautiful, decorated portico.
The Patio del Yeso (Plaster Courtyard) is one of the oldest areas of the Alcázar, a treasure of the Almohad era
The Patio del Yeso stands out for its three-module Almohad portico, with a central scalloped arch, lobed sides and profuse geometric and naturalistic decoration. The courtyard is rectangular and has a pool in the middle.
It is completed by the Sala de la Justicia (Chamber of Justice), built in the fourteenth century in the Mudejar style by King Alfonso XI after the victory of the battle of Salado. Its name comes from the use it was given as a courtroom by Pedro I. This area is of value for its antiquity as this room was part of the primitive Muslim palace. Look at the old interior plasterwork and the octagonal coffered ceiling. It is a cubic room with a beautiful coffered ceiling with muqarnas.
These are valued, very old areas of the palace complex.
Patio de la Montería courtyard
Past the Almohad arches is this beautiful monumental courtyard of Christian origin. Its name is due to it being the meeting place of monteros (riders) and horses, who waited for the king to go hunting in the marshes near Seville.
The Patio de la Montería is spectacular. It can be your point of reference to visit the different areas of the Alcazar
This courtyard gives access to 3 different areas: The yellow Palacio Gótico (Gothic Palace), the Casa de la Contratación (House of Contracting), which is the one with the arches, and the Palacio Mudejar (Mudejar Palace), which has the most Moorish style. It is very monumental and is marked by the beautiful façade of the Palacio de Pedro I (Palace of Pedro I). It retains its original structure, having undergone some renovations, and was built between 1364-66 on the initiative of Pedro I the Justiciero (or cruel), a Christian king but with tastes similar to the Muslim style.
It is a courtyard of reference in your visit, a distributor of the large spaces of the complex.
Casa de la Contratación (House of Contracting)
Adjoining the Patio de la Montería courtyard is this historic building on the ground floor, the Casa de Contratación (House of Contracting), which was founded by the Catholic Monarchs in 1503 as a centre to manage the trade with America. The centre moved to the nearby Plaza de la Contratación in 1598 and has now been replaced by a modern building built on an Almohad patio.
It is accessed to the right of the Patio de la Montería courtyard through a simple door.
Currently, only some rooms are still standing, such as the Cuarto or Salón del Almirante (Admiral’s Room or Hall), used today as an assembly hall and originally the Admiralty Tribunal Room, where you can see different nineteenth and twentieth-century paintings, such as the inauguration of the Ibero-American Exhibition of 1929, the Dukes of Montpensier and family and other portraits of romantic style.
The Casa de la Contratación (House of Contracting) is a key place in the history of Spain. The organisational centre of the discovery of America, the floors of which were walked by the great navigators and sailors of the sixteenth century
Look at the beautiful sixteenth-century ceiling and try to imagine and feel how Amerigo Vespuccio, the senior navigator, directed the first expeditions to the Indies from this room, or how Magellan, Elcano and their cartographers planned the first round-the-world trip. Or the transfer of officers, documents, navigation tools, students of Cosmology and other sciences … In this room, Isabella the Catholic received Christopher Columbus after his second trip.
Of particular note is the painting of the late years of San Fernando by Virgilio Mattoni, a nineteenth-century masterpiece owned by the Prado Museum and deposited in the Alcázar. A piece that is full of dramatic tension and historical genre.
There is a good collection of paintings in these rooms, of important Sevillian painters
There are other adjoining rooms that you can visit:
Sala de los Abanicos (Hall of the Fans): With a small collection of these fine pieces dating from the eighteenth to the nineteenth century, donated by a private collector. From here, we can contemplate the interior courtyards.
The Sala de Audiencias (Audience Hall) is beautiful and contains the wonderful painting of the Virgen de los Navegantes (Virgin of the Navigators), a sixteenth century piece
Sala de Audiencias (Audience Hall), used as a chapel. It is presided over by an altarpiece, a Renaissance work by Alejo Fernández, dated around 1531, called La Virgen de los Navegantes (Virgin of the Navigators). It is important for being one of the first thematic paintings on the Americas and is one of the artistic jewels of the Alcázar. All types of ships of the time are also represented: caravels, naos, battleships, galleons …
On both sides of the altarpiece, there are side panels representing San Sebastián, Santiago el Mayor, San Telmo and San Juan Evangelista, painted by assistants of Alejo Fernández.
You may notice figures such as Columbus, Vespucci, Juan de la Cosa, the Pinzón with Emperor Carlos and some of the first paintings of native Indians. There is a model next to the altar in honour of its past as a maritime management centre. The room is covered by a magnificent coffered ceiling of Renaissance gilded wood from the sixteenth century. The upholstered walls include the coats of arms of the Admirals of Castile, including that of Columbus. It’s very interesting, don’t miss it.
The Palacio Mudéjar (Mudejar Palace)
The Palacio Mudéjar (Mudejar Palace) or Palacio de Pedro I (Pedro I’s Palace) is one of the most impressive architectural settings in Spain, a jewel of the Christian era but hugely influenced by Seville’s Muslim past.
The façade is an artistic display in which the best local artisans of Muslim influence and specialists from the Nasrid kingdom of Granada worked to recreate a mixed style that was of great interest to Pedro I. It is considered one of the masterpieces of Mudejar, a genuinely Spanish artistic style.
It is a cultural hybrid with Arab decorations and messages combined with Christian elements and motifs, typical of a time of transition of reconquered lands. It bears artistic memories of the Alhambra or the Giralda.
Check out the blue ceramic frieze that is actually an inscription in archaic Arabic characters.
These messages were used to transmit the name of the monarch behind the buildings and their use
After passing through the beautifully decorated Lobby, we come upon a spectacular courtyard. It is curious that the patio is not visible from the outside, entirely designed to protect the privacy of what occurs within.
The Patio de las Doncellas (Maidens’ Courtyard) is the center of the palace and distribution area of the other rooms
The impressive Patio de las Doncellas (Maidens’ Courtyard) is composed of two levels of arches on marble columns, galleries and a pond in the centre. It connects the main rooms of the complex. It has a T-shaped pool in the centre and metre-deep flowerbeds with linked semicircular arches, discovered in 2002 after being buried in the sixteenth century.
The Patio de las Doncellas (Maidens’ Courtyard) is reminiscent of the Alhambra in Granada. The Christian kings hired artisans from the Nasrid kingdom to make these decorations
The courtyard is reminiscent of a Muslim palace but we emphasize that it was the project of a Christian king
The upper area corresponds to the Palacio Alto (High Palace), use of which was restricted to royal visits. This area can be visited but a separate ticket is required. This upper Renaissance level was added as a winter palace during renovations by Charles I and Philip II, so this courtyard must originally have had a very different feeling. Also, the current columns are from that renovation and come from Genoa.
The ceramic wall decorations, the wooden doors and the woodwork of the windows are original from the times of Pedro I.
Several interconnected quarters open onto the courtyard: To the west, the Alcoba Real (Royal Bedchamber), with two rooms separated by three arches and covered by a splendid coffered ceiling. Peter I and his court used these rooms for their summer stays.
The Salón de los Pasos Perdidos (Hall of the Lost Steps) links the public area with the private, communicating the bedchamber with the Patio de las Doncellas and the Patio de las Muñecas (Dolls’ Courtyard). The Patio de las Muñecas is small but of great beauty, a recreational area for women and children which was therefore reached from the lobby via a long corridor to avoid prying eyes.
Patio de las Muñecas (Dolls’ Courtyard)
The Patio de las Muñecas (Doll’s Courtyard) is small and charming. It is full of interesting details and decorative flaunting
Take in its collection of chapitels and look at the base of one of the arches for the 4 doll’s faces sculpted by Granada artists and donated by the Nasrid sovereign Muhammed V, who designed this wonderful space.
With access to the south to the Sala del Techo de los Reyes Católicos (Catholic Monarchs’ Ceiling Hall), with a ceiling adorned with their shield and the kingdoms under their command. This room is one of the few in the Palace that retains the original flooring.
To the west of the Patio de las Muñecas is the Cuarto del Príncipe (Prince’s Chamber), the primitive bedroom of Isabella the Catholic. Prince Don Juan, the Catholic monarch’s son, was born there. In the wonderful coffered ceiling, there is a frieze that repeats “Tanto Monta”, the motto of the kings and their emblems.
Sala de Embajadores (Ambassadors’ Hall): Political centre of the palace and the place where art reaches the highest level. The golden, half-orange-shaped coffered ceiling is of particular note. On either side, the Sala de los Sevillanos (Sevillians’ Hall) and the Sala de los Toledanos (Toledoans’ Hall). This was the main hall of the palace, used as King Don Pedro I’s throne room, probably making use of the audience space of Muslim times, where he received the important personalities of his time and reflected his love for orientalism.
It symbolizes the earth with the universe as sky and dome, surrounded by an undulating decoration on the plasterwork and tiles of the walls. The Spanish monarchs, from Recesvinto to Felipe III, are portrayed in the frieze in the upper part of the room along with 32 ladies, painted by Diego de Esquivel in 1599, and four wrought iron balconies from the late sixteenth century supported by dragons communicate with rooms of the Cuarto Real Alto (High Royal Chamber).
The dome of the Sala de Embajadores (Ambassadors’ Hall) is one of the masterpieces of Mudejar art. It was made in 1427 by the carpenter Diego Ruiz and has an enormous Islamic influence.
The wooden dome that crowns the Sala de Embajadores is the most impressive in the Alcázar, a half orange of carpentry and complex geometry tracing stars with almost 600 years of history.
This room was a royal reception hall so particular care was taken with the decoration
This room communicates to the south, via three very solemn horseshoe arches, with the Sala del Techo de Felipe II ( Felipe II’s Ceiling Hall), with access to a gallery over the Flower garden. It was the old anteroom to the Sala de Embajadores and is a very long room with a beautiful curved coffered ceiling.
Don’t miss the treble arch, decorated above with Arab lattices and peacocks, hawks and other birds, one of the masterpieces of Mudejar art, which communicates with the Sala de Embajadores.
From the Sala de los Toledanos you reach the Sala de los Infantes (Infants’ Hall) and the Patio de las Muñecas to the west, via the Sala de los Sevillanos. Its name, Sala de los Infantes, comes from the fact that it was the room where the King’s children, the Infantes of Castile, would rest.
It is impressive to think that Charles I of Spain and V of the Holy Roman Empire was married in this room
To the west of the Patio de las Doncellas is the Sala del Techo de Carlos V (Charles V’s Ceiling Hall). Look for the emblems of this King: the double-headed eagle, the coat of arms of the Habsburgs and the pillars of Hercules with the inscription “Plus Ultra”. In this room, Charles V and Isabella of Portugal married on March 11, 1526. It was a chapel. Beautiful tiling and plasterwork frieze with emblems of Castilla y León.
Palacio Alto (High Palace) or Cuarto Real Alto (High Royal Chamber) The Bourbons, in the nineteenth century, also left a strong mark on the Alcázar, renovating spaces on the top floor of the building, where old rooms were enhanced by nineteenth-century decorations with tapestries, crystal Farm lamps, clocks, furniture and a remarkable collection of paintings, with the preeminence of the Mudejar and Renaissance styles.
The Cuarto Real Alto cannot be visited with a general ticket. This requires a special booking on the Alcazar website
This chamber is occupied by the Royal Heads of State when they visit Seville. Accessed by a wide staircase, where a painting of San Cristóbal stands out. As the area located above the Mudejar palace is not visitable with a general ticket, you must book a separate ticket with a guided tour.
The Cuarto Real Alto (High Royal Chamber) requires a special ticket and visits are with an official guided tour
It contains the official or audience chamber, with its original arches; King Don Pedro’s bedroom, with a magnificent coffered ceiling; the viewpoint of the Catholic Monarchs, in Granada style and with beautiful views of the Alcázar, and the oratorium of the Catholic Monarchs, a jewel of early Renaissance.
Palacio Gótico (Gothic Palace)
Built by Alfonso X the Wise in the thirteenth century on an Almohad palace of which the Patio del Yeso (Plaster Courtyard) remains. The entrance is to the left of the Patio de la Monteria courtyard, through an eighteenth-century Gallery.
The Palacio Gótico (Gothic Palace) dates back to the first Christian monarchs after the reconquest, although it has undergone many modifications since then.
It predates the Palacio Mudéjar (Mudejar Palace), although it had many later additions, especially after the important damage caused by the Lisbon earthquake of 1755. The architect in charge of the repairs was the same one who built the Tobacco Factory, and it shows in the style.
We will pass through the Patio del Crucero (Courtyard of the Transept) and the entrance door.
We arrive at the Sala de Tapices (Tapestry Room), where you can see six huge Flemish tapestries representative of the conquest of Tunisia. They are a historical jewel and were made in 1730 in the Royal Tapestry Factory of Santa Bárbara (Madrid) commissioned by Felipe V to extol the glory of his predecessor Carlos V, who managed to expel from Tunisia the pirate Barbarossa, at the service of the Turkish sultan Suleiman the Magnificent.
Sala de las Bóvedas (Hall of the Vaults), to the west, with a Gothic ceiling, in which we see a striking decoration of Renaissance style, decorated with tapestries related to the conquest of America and magnificent tiles. It is a large room where it is said that the wedding banquet of Charles V and Isabella of Portugal took place.
To the left, we are led to a room with a viewpoint over the Dance garden. On the right is the Chapel presided over by a painting of the Virgin of Antigua and decorated with beautiful tiles. On the walls, there are paintings of religious motifs, with a particularly noteworthy one representing the Virgen de los Reyes.
Gardens of the Alcazar
Undoubtedly one of the greatest attractions of this architectural complex, due to their great extension and the beauty of the primitive orchard environment transformed during Renaissance times and in the reign of Felipe III.
It is a unique complex, mixing styles from mannerism, romantic naturalism, and historicism to English or Italian landscaping. All the product of centuries of renovations and the addition of the tastes of the various kings who passed through.
During the spring and summer, the palace hosts open-air concerts
The historic gardens, which are adjacent to the Palacio de Pedro I (Palace of Pedro I) are remarkable and not-to-be-missed. We highlight:
The Estanque de Mercurio (Mercury Pond), is presided over by a bronze statue of the Greek god Mercury, a work of the sixteenth century. He is the Roman god of commerce, the symbol of Sevillian prosperity.
It was an old irrigation pool connected to the old Roman pipes and was later ornamented with the arbour and the upper viewpoint.
This beautiful decorated pond is a pool inhabited by large carp and surrounded by an amazing artistic environment.
It is worth stopping to look at the carp and mythological paintings in the blind arches in the northern area of the pond.
Next to the pond down some stairs, we arrive at the sixteenth-century Dance garden, on two levels with tiled benches.
From here, via a passage, you can access the baths of María Padilla of the twelfth century.
It is an underground cistern adorned with ribbed vaults that are known by the name of King Don Pedro’s mistress who he named queen after her death. A cool spot and a magical space as a grotto, with a beautiful optical effect, photographed a thousand times.
Don’t miss the vaulted cistern known as the Baños de María Padilla, one of the iconic images of the Alcázar
The Galería de los Grutescos (Gallery of the Grotesques), on the Almohad wall, 160 metres separating the primitive gardens and the old area of orchards converted into gardens in the late nineteenth century.
In 1612, during Philip IV’s reign, the architect Vermondo Resta turned the wall into the current Galería de los Grutescos (Gallery of Grotesques) by covering the walls with rows of different stones, plastering and painting between the stones, with imitations of marble and frescoes made by Diego Esquivel of classic mythological scenes.
This wall also has an upper gallery that can be visited with magnificent views of the gardens.
The upper gallery is an ideal place to take photos for instagram
Nearby: Pabellón de Carlos V (Charles V’s Pavilion), from the sixteenth century, surrounded by the garden of the Alcove and also dubbed the arbour. It stands out for its vault and Triana tiles of the times. Large openings and an interior fountain to cool it. It was used by the court to rest and was built on a Muslim ‘qubba’ that would have been used as a mausoleum or palatial enclosure.
The Pabellón de Carlos V (Charles V’s Pavilion) was built on the occasion of the emperor’s wedding with Isabella of Portugal almost 500 years ago. Its restoration is pending
And the Cenador del León (Lion’s Gazebo), from the seventeenth century, with a fountain decorated with a lion, lies south of the pavilion. Garden of the Marqués de la Vega-Inclán: a large garden that extends from the Callejón del Agua in the Santa Cruz neighbourhood to the Paseo de Catalina de Rivera, which is entered through the fifteenth-century Puerta de Marchena gate, a Gothic gate brought from that town from the palace of the Dukes of Arcos. It is an area of wide spaces and Sevillian style, work of the early twentieth century.
Losing yourself in any of them will transmit the peace, calm and stillness that both residents and visitors have surely felt and enjoyed over the years and continue to do so today. The sound of water, the scent of orange blossom and oranges… the essence of Seville.
The end of the visit is at the so-called Apeadero, the entrance gate of the Royal Family and the exit for public visits.
The exit, the Patio de Banderas (Courtyard of Flags)
The exit of the Alcázar is the Patio de Banderas (Courtyard of Flags), a public square located within the walls of the Alcázar, surrounded by houses with orange trees and a central fountain. It stands out for the magnificent views of the Giralda.
📍 Where is the Alcazar of Seville
The best way to get there is by walking. It is located in a pedestrian area that is impossible to reach by car. Another way to get closer is by the tram line as the Archivo de Indias stop is just opposite, or the Metro line 1, as the Puerta de Jerez stop is just a five-minute walk away along one of the main arteries of the Sevillian capital. If you take a horse-drawn carriage ride in Seville, there is a stop in front of the door.
⏲️ Visiting hours and ticket prices
From September 15 to March: Monday to Sunday, from 09:30 to 17:00h.
From April to September 15: Monday to Sunday, from 09:30 to 19:00h.
Closed on 1 and 6 January, Good Friday and December 25.
Free admission for those born or resident in Seville, minors up to 16 years of age (accompanied by an adult), people with disabilities and their companions, all of these upon presentation of the supporting documentation, and the accredited unemployed from the province of Seville.
Reduced-rate ticket for pensioners and students aged 17 to 25 (upon presentation of the supporting documentation): 7 euros
Important: Once the ticket is purchased, it will not be changed or refunded. Access to the site will not be allowed once the time of the visit has passed. Print the ticket or download it to your electronic device and keep it properly so that you can present it at the entrance as a valid access ticket. Keep your ticket throughout the visit.
Evenings at the Alcázar are one of the cultural attractions of summer in Seville
✏️ Tips for visiting the Alcazar
Tickets are nominal. Book as far in advance as possible. The physical ticket offices are in the Patio de Banderas (Courtyard of Flags).
Entry is forbidden with bottles, cans and any objects that may be considered dangerous.
The basics (Palacio Mudéjar and surrounding gardens) can be seen in a quick visit of around an hour, but ideally, you should take at least two or three hours to make the most of your visit.
Great halls of the Alcázar
You cannot leave the Alcazar and re-enter with the same ticket.
It is absurd to compare the Alcazar with other similar monuments such as the Alhambra. Each one has its history and its artistic values.
Alcazar of Seville with children. Considering a visit with children to the Alcazar of Seville is feasible and it can be an attractive place for them. In addition to the beauty of the buildings, the fountains are especially interesting for them, some with monsters and curious animals. Also, the population of peacocks and ducks that inhabit the gardens will attract their attention.
The Alcazar of Seville is a mini zoo, as well as being a palace with charming gardens full of legends and stories that can captivate children
Monster of a fountain at the Alcázar:
– Thematic visits on Game of Thrones.
There are special guided tours in the Alcazar for Game of Thrones fans, with a tour of the scenarios of the series, anecdotes and other curiosities. The Alcazar became Dorne, The Water Gardens and Spear of the Sun for that legendary series.
The Alcazar of Seville was one of the most sumptuous and attractive settings of the Game of Thrones series
They are custom-organised, with a guide with a passion for George R. R. Martin’s series who also finds curious parallels between the fictional characters of the series and the historical ones that really inhabited this palace.