Words fail to express the extraordinary beauty of Seville’s Alcázar Palace. In reality, it’s three palaces in one, built over the centuries by Seville’s different rulers, with attached formal gardens filled with shaded, tree-lined avenues. For three centuries this was the epicentre of Islamic civilisation on the Iberian peninsular. On the other side of Plaza del Triunfo, where today the cathedral stands, was Moorish Seville’s grand mosque.
In The Land of the Blessed Virgin, William Somerset Maugham summed up the intensity of Moorish Spain that you feel visiting the Alcázar: “In what you divine rather than in what you see lies half the charm of Andalusia, in the suggestion of all manner of delicate antique things, in the vivid memory of past grandeur. The Moors have gone, but still inhabit the land in spirit and not seldom in a spectral way seem to regain their old dominion.”
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