The Spectacular Royal Palace of Sevilla
Reales Alcázares de Sevilla (“Real Alcázar” for short, or The Alcazar of Seville) is a royal palace in Sevilla, Spain, that was originally developed by Moorish Muslim kings. Hence, its resemblance to Alhambra de Granada (the Alhambra Palace) in Granada, Spain, which is renowned worldwide as an exemplar of Moorish architecture in the 13th Century. The palace is the main tourist attraction of Sevilla (Seville). Fans of the HBO series, Game of Thrones may also recognize the palace from its portrayal as the famous water gardens of Dorne.
Puerta del León, Reales Alcázares de Sevilla is the main entrance to the Real Alcázar (Royal Palace). It takes its name from the 19th century tile-work inland above it, a crowned lion holding a cross in its claws and bearing a Gothic script.
The palace is regarded as one of the most outstanding examples of mudejar architecture on the Iberian Peninsula and the most beautiful palace in Spain. The upper levels of the Alcázar are still used by the royal family as the official Seville residence. It is the oldest royal palace still in use in Europe and was recognized by UNESCO in 1987 as a World Heritage Site.
The main courtyard of Reales Alcázares de Sevilla is known as the Patio de las Doncellas. The name, meaning “The Courtyard of the Maidens”, refers to the legend that the Moors demanded 100 virgins every year as tribute from Christian kingdoms in Iberia.
Los Baños de Doña María de Padilla (The “Baths of Lady María de Padilla”) are rainwater tanks beneath the Patio del Crucero. The tanks are named after María de Padilla, the mistress of Peter the Cruel.
According to Wikipedia, “All the palaces of Al Andalus had garden orchards with fruit trees, horticultural produce and a wide variety of fragrant flowers. The garden-orchards not only supplied food for the palace residents but had the aesthetic function of bringing pleasure. Water was ever present in the form of irrigation channels, runnels, jets, ponds and pools. The gardens adjoining the Alcázar of Seville have undergone many changes. In the 16th century during the reign of Philip III the Italian designer Vermondo Resta introduced the Italian Mannerist style.”