El Alcázar--page 9 (of nine pages): Palacio Gótico (also known as the Halls of Charles V)

12th century and following centuries

Salas de las Fiestas (or Halls of Celebrations), 1576-88

This area had been rebuilt in the middle of the 13th century (under Alfonso X) and is therefore older than the Mudéjar Palace or the rooms on the preceding pages. The exterior of the Gothic Palace had buttresses and crenelation with towers at the four angles. The palace consisted of four rooms, two of them parallel to the patio and the existing gardens today. The rooms had rib vaults supported by pillars. These rooms in the so-called Gothic Palace were transformed in the Renaissance.

Left: note Mannerist corbels designed by Asensio de Maeda (1577-78)

Renaissance changes including the addition of colorful ceramic tile dados and the replacement of the supporting pillars with Mannerist consoles/corbels.

Tile dado by Cristóbal de Augusta (1577-78)

Somewhat like tapestries, the dados have a lower frieze, two upper friezes and a central panel framed by vertical borders. The lower frieze continues around the rooms and features pairs of animals, faced to face. The lower of the upper friezes has snakes, birds and cherubs with central urns while the upper frieze has the coats-of-arms of Spanish royalty and the words Plus Ultra relating to the virtues of Charles V.

Center: the lowest level, showing part of the floor; right: the four registers of the entire dado

Grotesques and herms separating the central panels

These classical busts on pedestals and fantastic figures are typical of Mannerist art. Some are personifications of various characteristics--see "Imagination" on the far right--while others are figures from classical myth. The second from the left is labeled "Mitra"--Mithras? and the two central panels are signed at the very bottom with the name "Augusta."

Left: Detail of a central panel; right: the date 1577


The Sala Grande

"In this room the enormous and beautiful tapestries of the Conquest of Tunis by Carlos V can be admired. They were painted by Juan de Vermayen and woven by Guillermo Pannemaker (1535-1554)" (Fidalgo 50).


Patio del Crucero (Courtyard of the Crossing)

In Almohad times this courtyard had two levels, the lower of which was a sunken garden; the raised walkways intersected in the center--thus a cross shape.The Gateway (center) has a flat arch with broken pediment surmounted by a balcony with a curved pediment.

Works Cited:
Ana Marin Fidalgo. El Alcazar Seville. Spain: Guadalquivir, 1992 [official guidebook]

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© 2005 Mary Ann Sullivan. I have photographed (on site), scanned, and manipulated all the images on these pages. Please feel free to use them for personal or educational purposes. They are not available for commercial purposes.

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