On the Hunt for Moorish Architecture in Sevilla
The charming city of Sevilla lies in the southern most region of Spain, in Andalucia. Andalucia, like the rest of Spain, has a tumultuous history and for a long time (about five centuries), the Moors lived and ruled here.
Visiting Sevilla is a unique experience – because of the Moorish influence, you will quickly forget you are in Europe and instead feel like you have been transported to the likes of Morocco what with all of the colourful and intricate tile work, indoor gardens, domes and inviting arches.
Be on the hunt for Moorish architecture – original and more modern – in Sevilla by visiting:
A UNESCO World Heritage site, the Alcázar was built by the Moors as a palace for their kings. The grounds are grand – with open courtyards and dozens of rooms to explore, tiles for miles (that rhymed!) and the most specular garden you’ve ever seen (which used to even provide food to the inhabitants). You could easily spend hours taking in the details of the carvings, the colours and designs of the tiles and appreciating the flowers and greenery throughout the grounds.
Also a UNESCO World Heritage site (yes, the city of Sevilla is that awesome), the Giralda is the bell tower in the center of the city. Google tells me that the Moors originally built the Giralda as a sort of turret. Later, it was changed to resemble a tower of the Renaissance style. So, the Giralda might not seem distinguishingly Moorish but it is. You can walk up the 100-meter tower for sweeping views of the city.
Torre del Oro
For those of you familiar with Latin languages, oro might sound familiar – oro means gold in Spanish. But this Moorish watchtower isn’t made of gold. Because of its location along the waterfront on Paseo de Cristóbal Colón, Torre del Oro’s water reflection is said to resemble gold (especially at night). You can visit the inside of the military tower or just admire the exterior details and its golden reflection on the water.
Casa da Pilatos
Despite being constructed in the 16th century, well after Moorish rule, Casa da Pilatos was designed with colourful tiles, intricate arches and calligraphy. The beautiful and unique Moorish style remained popular and was still appreciated by many in Sevilla, so much so that it influenced future construction and design. Visit Casa da Pilatos for an interesting take on Moorish architecture (and some hints of Italian Renaissance).
Image by Fabio Alessandro Locati via Tripomatic
The Baños Árabes is a modern spa in an ancient space. At the Aire de Sevilla, experience an Arabic spa and hammam in a luxurious, calming space all the while admiring the Moorish architecture and atmosphere. While I was in Sevilla, I didn’t indulge in this experience so if you want an idea of a day at the spa, read on here. This experience is on my bucket list for my next visit.
Have you been to Sevilla?
Have you found Moorish architecture elsewhere in the city?