El Alcázar--page 5 (of nine pages): Salón de Embajadores (Ambassadors' Hall or Throne Room)

12th century and following centuries



This is the main room of a complex of rooms used for public events and affairs of state. (For example, it was the setting for the marriage in 1526 of Charles V and Isabel of Portugal.) According to Núñez and Morales, "the room follows the architectural scheme of a qubba (Islamic mausoleum), and is one of the areas of the palace that remained from the time of Abbad al-Mutamid, when it was known as the al-Turayya (Pleiades) room. The walls thus date from the eleventh century; the triple horseshoe arcades are framed by an alfiz and supported by pink marble columns with Moorish capitals, following a style that was used for the first time in the Hall of Abdul Rahman III, at Madinat al-Zahra" (58). Barrucand and Bednorz add that "the hall is one of the best known examples of Seville's mudéjar art" (166).

The dados have tiles mosaics in a star pattern with geometrical interlace. The horseshoe arches are framed by a large arch within are three "windows" with stucco lattice work designs.
 

Center: the wrought-iron balcony and blind arches filled with tracery

This important metal work was made by the craftsman Francisco López (1592-97). Stucco decoration with plant and geometric motifs covers the walls. Above the large arches centered in each side of the square room is a frieze composed of blind arches filled with multi-colored tracery decoration.

 

The magnificent dome

The dome, with interlaced tracery designs, is also gilded. The frieze below depicts alternating castles and lions. Below that is a border of decorative Kufic inscriptions and 32 female busts. Below that Gothic niches contain portraits of Spanish kings.
 

Ceiling of an adjoining room;
a tile floor with heraldic patterned tiles



Continue to page 6 for views of Patio de las Doncellas and the Bedroom of the Moorish Kings.

Return to Alcázar Index.

Works Cited:
Marianne Barrucand and Achim Bednorz. Moorish Architecture. Cologne: Taschen, 2002.
Juan Carlos Hernández Núñez and Alfredo J. Morales. The Royal Palace of Seville. London, Scala, 1999.

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