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It would be possible for a casual visitor to miss Seville’s Alcazar – the royal palace complex – hidden as it is behind a small gate near the Cathedral. The entrance gives no clue to the extent of the palaces and gardens within, or of their splendour. Yet there is much here that is reminiscent of the more famous Alhambra palace in nearby Granada.

The Alcazar features a mixture of Moorish and Renaissance design, the two styles often coexisting in layers of the same wall.  The palace offers room after room of intricately designed arches, tiles and decorative features.
Moorish arches of Seville's Alcazar
Typical Moorish arches


Moorish architecture topped with later Renaissance arches
Then there are the acres of formal gardens. We walked past trees just coming into blossom, and others groaning under the weight of last year’s ripe oranges. There were lots of tour groups so we escaped into the cool seclusion of the English Garden, where it was just us and the birds. It was cool and shady here, with many trees and a trickling fountain. We sat for a while and listened to the sound of collared doves and a peacock in the distance, before going to investigate the maze. In contrast to the usual design, we had difficulty in finding the way in (walking all the way around before finding a tiny gap in the hedge), but managed to walk directly to the centre!
Formal gardens of Seville's Alcazar
Formal gardens
English Garden, Alcazar, Seville
The English Garden


There are lots of small buildings dotted around the gardens, including the Lion Bower.
Lion Bower, Alcazar, Seville
Lion Bower


A covered arcade looks down over the gardens. I imagined Spanish queens sitting here on rainy days, looking over the gardens while sipping Amontillado!
Arcade around the gardens of Seville's Alcazar
The covered arcade overlooks the gardens

The pools are not the reflecting pools of traditional Moorish architecture. However, the Moorish baths provided still water for a reflective photograph.

Moorish Baths, Alcazar, Seville
The Moorish baths

We walked back through the inner courtyard before finally spotting the peacock that had disturbed our peace in the English Garden!

Inner courtyard of Seville's Alcazar
Inner courtyard


A rather proud looking peacock

This post is linked up with Travel Photo Mondays – have a look for some great photographs from other travel bloggers.


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