Sevilla was an important city in the discovery of the New World. Small ships called caravels used to sail down the Guadalquivir river into the Atlantic. Columbus and Magellan set sail from the Sevilla docks. It was also the point that all the gold and other riches from around the world returned to, so it was a very important city for many years, and hence it contained a royal palace.

The Reales Alcázares de Sevilla or “Royal Alcazars of Seville” was built for Peter of Castile in the 14th century on the site of a former Muslim fortress. Although Peter was Christian, Sevilla had a strong Islamic history and he referred to himself as a Sultan. He had a palace created that was mudejar in style. This didn’t go down entirely well with the noble classes of the time, particularly as they would be eliminated in the caliphate system he wanted to adopt…

However, when ships grew in size and became galleons, they could no longer make it up the river, so they sailed from Cádiz instead and Sevilla went into decline. After 500 years, a surprising amount remains and is in remarkable condition. Good enough, in fact, to be used as the backdrops for a certain TV show called Game of Thrones. Much of the scenes in Dorne were filmed in the Alcazar and its gardens.

We then took a couple of hours to enjoy some more of Sevilla.

The bikes come into their own for exploring landmarks across the city in an afternoon.

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