Built for the Christian king Pedro I (1334-1469) by Muslim workmen -- whose artistic talent I'm absolutely in awe of -- on the site of a 10th century Abbadid Muslim fortress, the oldest royal palace still in use in Europe was added to and enlarged over the centuries and consists today of a number of palatial buildings and also has sprawling gardens within its expansive grounds. The Real Alcazar was the Spanish attraction that I queued the longest to get into (more than one and a half hours!) but I have to say that it was totally worth the wait and I loved the place so much that I ended only leaving at a few minutes after its official closing time (and am grateful that the Spanish aren't the best of timekeepers!)!
Behold! The entrance to King Pedro I's Palace!
Stairway leading up to the Upper Royal Apartments
Seemingly every bit of the Real Alcazar,
including its ceiling space, is a work of art
See what I mean?
And again... this in the Salon de Embajaroders
(Hall of Ambassadors) that was King Pedro I's throne room
The Patio de las Doncellas (Courtyard of the Maidens)
with its long, rectangular reflecting pool
Puppet Ponyo wishes it to be known that even the doors
of the Real Alcazar are beautifully decorated
in the complex, is a thing of dizzyingly gasp-inducing artistry :)