Islamic heritage tours in Seville

Muslim heritage tour in Sevilla

Last updated on February 19th, 2024

☪️️ Islamic heritage tours in Seville

Seville was a great metropolis in the Middle Ages and the Muslim conquest of the city transformed its urban fabric, which was to change in some depth until the nineteenth century, with the city retaining the imprint of the Arab city and the ideas that shaped it.

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Seville was once a flourishing city during the period of Al-Andalus, the Islamic rule in the Iberian Peninsula

Islamic heritage tours in Seville
Islamic heritage tours in Seville

Embark on an enchanting journey through time with Islamic heritage tours in Seville, as you explore the remnants of the city’s Islamic past and immerse yourself in the beauty of its Moorish architecture and cultural treasures.

The legacy of this era is evident in the intricate architecture, public baths, gardens, and irrigation systems that continue to inspire awe to this day

During the period of Almohad domination, the city of Seville became the capital of the Iberian Peninsula, which led to the city updating its infrastructure and the construction of some large buildings.

The Archaeological Museum has a room with remains from the city’s Moorish period, which can be a first stop on this route through Muslim Seville.

Muslim heritage tour in Sevilla
Muslim heritage tour in Sevilla

The neighborhood of Santa Cruz with its archways or the area of the Plaza de la Alfalfa can still take the visitor back to the Seville of the Middle Ages.

The Andalusian influence would impregnate Sevillian and Andalusian culture, creating an architecture and decoration typical of this land, which would manifest itself in the Mudejar and neo-Arabic style up to the present day.

Remnants of the Arab presence

Church of the Savior

The primitive Great Mosque, from the year 830, was the most outstanding building of the Ishbilia (ancient Seville) until the eleventh century and even today you can visit the courtyard of ablutions, where we find plaques with inscriptions in Arabic about the earthquake of 1094, and its minaret, the current bell tower.

Church of El Salvador – Patio de los Naranjos

Around it, there is a proliferation of souks, a commercial area still in use that corresponds to the present-day streets of Córdoba, Alcaicería, Puente y Peñón and Plaza del Pan, with shops attached to the wall of the old mosque.

The Cathedral of Sevilla

Built on the site of the New Aljama mosque, with its minaret the Giralda, it is an Almohad construction of the twelfth century and is considered the grandest in Hispanic land.

Patio de los Naranjos
Patio de los Naranjos

The Patio de los Naranjos, a rectangular courtyard with orange trees and a fountain typical of Arab mosques, dates from this period.

The sides are made up of seven central arches that correspond to the original entrance to the Moorish enclosure, known today as Puerta del Perdón. The other prayer hall of the mosque is the site where the Renaissance Puerta de la Concepción stands today. In 1618, the Church of the Tabernacle was built in the west wing.

The Giralda

The lower two-thirds of the tower correspond to the minaret of the old mosque of the city, dating from the 12th century, from the Almohad period, while the upper third is a superimposed construction from the Christian period. Remains of the red and white decoration that covered the façade have recently been found.

The minaret was 82 m high, making it the tallest building in Europe at the time. According to the chronicler Ibn Sahib al-Salá, the work was completed on 10 March 1198 with the placing of four gilded bronze balls at the top of the tower.

The Alcázar

With the arrival of the Abbasids, the Roman walled enclosure was overrun, and the southern flank of the fortifications was extended. This would be the origin of the Royal Alcazars, the residence of the city’s leaders, in a magnificent construction reformed by the Almohads in the 12th century, and definitively configured by the Castilian kings, with Mudejar craftsmen from Toledo and Cordoba.

The Patio del Yeso, part of the original palace, dates from this period.

Plaster Courtyard
Patio del Yeso

The pond of the Patio de las Doncellas and the Patio del Crucero (converted shortly after into the Baths of Doña María de Padilla, XIII century).

Baths of María de Padilla

The Patio of the Casa de Contratación and the interior walls.

Almohad Walls, Lion's Courtyard
Almohad Walls, Patio del León

The crypt of the Patio de Banderas, recently excavated, contains remains dating from the 9th century BC to the 11th century AD, including the remains of houses and streets from the Muslim period.

The Walls

The Almoravids and Almohads in the eleventh century planned and surrounded the city with a walled perimeter of 7,300 meters, together with its gates, whose names have survived to the present day. Inside there were large open areas, which would be organised in the Christian period. The best-preserved section is from the Macarena gate to the Cordoba gate, annexed to the church of San Hermenegildo, a total of 800 meters, including several towers where the White Tower stands out. It is awaiting restoration so that it can be visited and restored to its original 13th-century appearance.

Barrio de la Macarena Murallas

There are other remains of the wall at specific points: Wall of the Jardines del Valle, which was located inside the convent of the Valley accessed via the Calle María Auxiliadora ring road.

Walls Jardines del Valle

Walls of the Alcázar. Parallel to the Alcazar wall was the city wall, which can be seen in the area of the Puerta del León, Calle Judería, Calle Agua and the rear walls separating the Alcazar gardens from the Murillo gardens. The Abdelaziz Tower, which is attached to a small section of the wall, is located on the Avenida de la Constitución.

El Postigo del Aceite, Arenal neighborhood.

Wall and Tower of the Plaza del Cabildo, Avenida de la Constitución, a small stretch of about 50 meters

Torre de la Plata, on Calle Santander, octagonal, crenellated. From the square outside the car park, we can see three sections of the Walls of different origins and characteristics. To the east, the one that joined it to the Alcázar, to the north another small stretch belonging to the city wall. The Mint Wall to the south, which after 52 metres, coinciding with the base of a tower, divides into two, one that went to the Torre del Oro and one that surrounds the Mint, which is longer and has double battlements, and Paseo de Ronda.

Torre de la Plata Seville

These areas are awaiting rehabilitation and will be open to visitors in the future. We can see other remains at the Puerta Real (Royal Gate).

Puerta Real (Royal Gate)

Torre del Oro

The Almohads built the first dodecagonal section of this tower between 1220 and 1221. Its purpose was to close off the passage to the Arenal by means of a section of wall that linked it to the Torre de la Plata, which formed part of the walls of Seville that defended the Alcázar of Sevilla.

The Torre del Oro
The Torre del Oro

Caños de Carmona and Arab baths

Roman aqueduct, restored and put into operation by the Almoravids in the twelfth century, to attend the orchards of the Buhaira and the public baths of the city.

Caños de Carmona

Buhaira Palace and Gardens

The Almohad Buhaira is a small pavilion located south of the large pool and equipped with numerous elements that show a complex system of irrigation and water games in relation to architecture. They are similar to the Menara gardens in Marrakech.

San Bernardo and La Buhaira
San Bernardo and La Buhaira

Later influence

The Mudejar architectural style comes from the Islamic culture, with which numerous buildings were built, including the Reales Alcázares and the 13th-century churches of San Lorenzo and Santa Marina.

Santa Marina

Other churches are San Marcos, Omnium Sanctorum, Santa Ana in Triana and the Palacio de las Dueñas, which was built on the Alcázar Abbadi.

Other buildings of more modern Andalusian influence are the Casa de Pilatos and Lebrija palaces, the old Córdoba station and multiple buildings in the old town and Sevillian houses with their typical patios decorated with Andalusian tiles.

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