Name of Monument:

Seville Citadel


Seville, Spain

Date of Monument:

13th-15th centuries

Architect(s) / master-builder(s):

Master builders from Toledo, Granada and Seville were involved in its construction.

Period / Dynasty:



Alfonso X (r. 1252–84); Alfonso XI (r. 1312–50); Pedro I of Castile (r. 1350–69); Juan II (r. 1406–54); Isabel I of Castile (r. 1474–1504) and Fernando II of Aragon and V of Castile (r. 1474–1516).


The Mudéjar citadel of Seville rises beside the remains of other palaces of former ages. The site has been occupied since Roman times by successive Umayyad, Almohad and Almoravid buildings, many of which are known to us through archaeological excavations. Alterations were made by Alfonso X to the Almohad palace, consisting of extensions to existing spaces, all in the Gothic style. Following the battle of Salado (1340), Alfonso XI remodelled the Courtyard of the Plasterwork (Yeso), adding a square-plan qubba (dome) with triple plaster arches on each side covered with a moamar (paired beam) roof. This space is known as the Hall of Justice.
The Palace of Pedro I backs onto the Palace of Alfonso X and was built from scratch between 1364 and 1366. Its façade, opening onto the Courtyard of the Hunt (Montería), influenced the palaces at Tordesillas (Valladolid) and Comares (Granada) and the interior of the Tránsito Synagogue (Toledo). The inside is clearly divided into two areas, one private and one public. The area around the Courtyard of the Maidens (Doncellas) was used for representations along with the Ambassadors' Room, the Room of the Half Cane or the Room of the Ceiling of Felipe II.
It is said that King Muhammad IV, a political ally of Pedro I, sent craftsmen to decorate his palaces and that, following a visit to the Seville Citadel, he ordered the construction of the Comares Palace in Granada.
In 1427, during the reign of Juan II, Diego Ruiz completed the hemispherical cupola of the Ambassadors' Room. The Catholic Kings extended the upper storey and the Upper Royal Chamber was taken by the king. The antechamber, room and bedroom of the queen were built at the same time, along with the chapel and the anteroom to the banqueting hall. The gabled roofs in the lower storey were replaced with flat roofs.

View Short Description

A paradigm of the complexity of the Mudéjar style in the AH 8th / AD 14th century, and the palatial architecture of this style, the citadel was the result of the combined work of craftsmen from Toledo, Granada and Seville itself. It is a synthesis of Toledan Mudéjar tradition, earlier Almohad art in Seville and contemporary Nasrid art from Granada, and is considered to be the most important monument in Mudéjar art. Its imposing façade and the Courtyard of the Maidens (Doncellas) in the Palace of Pedro I are particularly noteworthy.

How Monument was dated:

Using the Arabic and Castillian inscriptions on the façade (1364) and on one of the gateways to the Courtyard of the Maidens (1366).

Selected bibliography:

Carriazo y Arroquia, J. de M., Alcázar de Sevilla, Barcelona 192(?)(trilingual edition in Spanish, French and English), pp.3–12.
Díez Jorge, M.ª E., El Arte Mudéjar: Expresión Estética de una Convivencia, Granada, 2001, pp.261–5.
López Guzmán, R., Arquitectura Mudéjar: Del Sincretismo Medieval a las Alternativas Hispanoamericanas, Madrid, pp.254–7.
Morales Martínez, A. J., “Arte Mudéjar en Andalucía”, El Arte Mudéjar, Saragossa, 1996, pp.132–5.
Torres Balbás, L., Arte Mudéjar, Ars Hispaniae, Vol. IV, Madrid, 1949, pp.315–9.
Mudéjar Art: Islamic Aesthetics in Christian Art, pp.252–5.

Citation of this web page:

M.ª del Carmen Alonso Rodríguez "Seville Citadel" in Discover Islamic Art, Museum With No Frontiers, 2020. 2020.;ISL;es;Mon01;26;en

Prepared by: M.ª Del Carmen Alonso Rodríguez
Copyedited by: Rosalía Aller
Translation by: Laurence Nunny
Translation copyedited by: Monica Allen

MWNF Working Number: SP 30