The Almohades were the first to build a palace, which was called Al-Muwarak, on the site of the modern day Alcázar. The palace is one of the best remaining examples of mudéjar architecture. Subsequent monarchs have added their own additions to the Alcázar. The upper levels of the Alcázar are still used by the royal family as the official Seville residence and are administered by the Patrimonio Nacional.
Saturday, October 23, 2010
The Alcazar (forgive lack of emphasis accent on second syllable pls) baloo my mind
I took a zillion pictures, when I probably should have been just sitting in one of the gardens grooving on the peace and quiet. And it is so peaceful in here, far from the madding crowd as it were. Harsh though to think of babies (royal Infantes) being born in these tiled hard rooms back in the day. Like, where is the shower, etc? the bath? Royal or not, this was an albeit insulated but tough row to hoe for the residents and workers back in the day, "the day" being , like, i dunno, one of those Eddie Izzard/ George Bush "fuzzy numbers". (Go read about it here!)
From Wiki: (please do take a minute to read link as it took me for freakinever to load all these pictures I couldn't bear doing any writing. But you ought to seee the pictures in a context fo some sort. (Jeez!) Here's a wee bit for the lazy ones. BTW there is nada in the US this old.
You know. Europe! where the history comes from....
view of backside of cathedral from the entrance to Alcazar..
wandering in and out of the gardens and palaces, endless serenity
Here's more on the palaces and better pictures than mine. This place is such a jewel of serenity in the center of the city. And it is massive! You wander fromone palace to another without realizing it. I missed the baths entirely! The royal family still lives upstairs at times. Nice digs for sure. After this morning at Alcazar I went to my last class and had a fun lunch at la Havanita (a Cuban resto) or some such in an alley off the Calle Golfo i think off the Plaza Alfalfa ( i know, little rascals, what?) in the old town. A wonderful lunch but oddly all the booze seemed to be anchored at our end of the table for about 16 people. Three Americans and one Brit, Joe, the four of us hogging the mojitos and whatever that sugar cane tequila thing was, deelish! Everyone drinking water? Joe was the one Brit, the adventurous one and my favorite classmate. According to him, Terrorism is the new rock and roll. And if that isn't the most quotable thing I've heard in years I don't know what is. We were talking about forms of youth rebellion, so that was the context, and I think to some extent he's onto something here. Smartest classmate I had there IMHO. Will miss his dry humor and wit.
Maybe it's cds and ipods we should be dropping instead of bombs? [If we must drop at all, that is. This manly propensity for heavy leafleting is surely some sort of aberration, deviant behavior to be sure.]
Then it was on to meet Carmen, one of my students, an intelligent, generous and charming young woman, at the Cathedral to do an official tour with her, (and of the goreous Seville University and the Santa Cruz area). More on that on next blog, and the pictures -- amazing place. Mindblowingly immense and ornately decorated. and the Treasure room! Well, we knew those bishops and cardinals were holding out on us all those years, eh?
Saturday was a trip out in the country to an amazing place, a little outdoor cantina, quite popular (everyone kept running into people they knew from the city) that served pheasant, or was it quail? and duck with rice , Roasted red pepper salad (OMG ! Totally addicting AND I have the recipe from Isabel as well!), and an after dinner drink of ("50 degree") vodka with caramelized sugar served chilled in tall little glasses. Was it amazing? Do you even have to ask? typical Saturday outdoor lunch in Andalucia. Then a visit to a lovely estuary where storks make nests in the pine tree tops (and any available tower) and feed on whatever they can find scrounging around the miles of rice fields around them. Yep. Rice. Who knew?
So my afternoon was bliss, then siesta til 9, THEN a last night on the town in Triana. But you'll have to wait til the next blog to hear about Anselma and her wonderful singing and flamenco dancing. Cause I have to pack! Leave for Zurich at noon tomorrow. Ciao for now! and muchos besos..