Therefore all seasons shall be sweet to thee,
Whether summer clothe the general earth
With greeness, or the redbreast sit and sing
Betwixt the tufts of snow on the bare branch
Of mossy apple-tree, while the nigh thatch
Smokes in the sun-thaw; whether the eave-drops fall
Heard only in the trances of the blast,
Or if the secret ministry of frost
Shall hang them up in silent icicles,
Quietly shining to the quiet Moon.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Seville - Casa de Pilatos

On our final day in Seville we followed the advice of the lady who owned the hotel where we were staying and went to visit the Casa de Pilatos. As usual we took the local bus into the centre of the city and then decided to walk there using a combination of a local map and Juliette's GPS. This proved to be easier said than done, the morning was hot and sunny and not only was it quite a long way but we definitely took the scenic route rather than the direct one. A warren of narrow streets didn't make life any easier but it did have its compensations such as this beautiful little courtyard garden glimpsed through tiled archway with its lovely wrought iron gate. By this stage I'd have given a good deal to go in there and sit in the shade with a long cool drink! The frequency with which the word 'walk' occurs in these posts will probably have told you that we walked miles and miles and miles while we were in Spain:) You see a lot more by walking than driving or taking buses though.

This is what was on the other side of the gate - taken through the bars of the gate of course, I didn't trespass any further than that.

One of the narrow streets, many of them are really attractive. We passed this church several times in our attempts to reach Casa de Pilatos! The Iglesia de San Isidoro was engraved upon my mind after our circumnavigation of the area, we passed it several times approaching from various directions - it seemed to be round every corner!! However eventually we succeeded in finding the Casa which is hidden away on one side of a small plaza and not especially well signposted so you aren't immediately aware that you've arrived at your goal.

Casa de Pilatos was built in the early 16th century and it is still the residence of the Dukes de Medinaceli. It's built around a central courtyard with a lovely fountain in the centre. I haven't included a photo as the central area was roped off and there was a man on a ladder who was doubtless doing something essential but he didn't add much to the beauty of the scene:) Our entry ticket included a guided tour of some of the rooms on the upper floor but no photography was allowed of the interior as these are the private apartments of the family. There was only a limited time to take photographs outside as well. Originally the family lived in the lower part of the house in the hot summer months - the walls and floors downstairs are all tiled to help keep it cool. In winter the family moved to the upper floor where there were tapestries on the walls and fireplaces in the rooms.

There are some wonderful frescos on the walls of the upper gallery though they are very faded now compared to how they must have looked originally. I love the effect of the roof tiles in this photo as well.

This is one of the frescos in close up - I have no idea what it represents but my guess would be that it is a saint.

Once back through the locked gate that led to the upper gallery we were free to wander as we liked. The walls are covered with the most beautiful Azulejos tiles in many colours and designs. I'm afraid I couldn't resist having my photo taken in this lovely setting.

A close up of one of the tile pictures - a coat of arms but I have no idea which family it belongs to - probably an early Duke of Medinaceli.

The staircase which connects the upper and lower floors - it's just fabulous. so many different designs in the tiled panels.

There are two lovely gardens called, with a distinct lack of imagination, the large garden and the small garden. The large garden is a courtyard garden which is laid out like a parterre with a central fountain and has two Italianate loggias with triple arcades set along the surrounding walls. The loggias have several niches containing classical statues.

There was some really beautiful stucco work all around the courtyards and archways in the Casa.

The small garden is divided into four areas on different levels one of which contains this rectangular pool with a statue of the young Bacchus. I love the pots of geraniums that stand round the edges of the pool.

Bacchus isn't very clear in the previous photo so here's a closer view of him.

This is the final courtyard as we made our way to the exit. I love the fabulous terracotta colour of the archways here. Juliette and I both thought that Casa de Pilatos was the best thing we saw in Seville. It was beautiful and peaceful and there were very few people there apart from us. Maybe we were just lucky or maybe the fact that it's a little way out of the centre puts some people off. It's well worth the effort of finding it though so if you are ever in Seville don't miss it.


Lynda (Granny K) said...

A very beautiful place, looks as if you had it all to yourselves too!

JoAnn ( Scene Through My Eyes) said...

What a fabulous tour - the buildings are amazing. Love the photo of you with the tiles - they are amazing.

Jane said...

Stunning Rowan! Like you, I love the rows of geraniums in pots. The stucco work is so intricate. We went to Seville, oh gosh it must be at least 25 years ago. There was a fiesta going on and it was all so colourful.

Weekend-Windup said...

Beautiful to look at the works done on them. Beautiful garden!

Rosie said...

It all looks very beautiful, I think I'd have liked a sit down and a cool drink in that courtyard too. Glad you finally found the Casa de Pilatos, it is stunning and I can imagine the cool of the lower floor with all those beautiful tiles:)

Mac n' Janet said...

It is a beautiful place, had never heard of it before. I'm addicted to Spanish tiles and always bring back a load of them when we go there.

Barb @ Bella Vista said...

Oh my goodness, the pictures are splendid. What a beautiful place and the courtyard took my breath. I know you must have loved it. Thanks for sharing with us.


The History Anorak said...

It looks amazing! Those blue tiles are beautiful. I've never been to Spain. Maybe I should.

Sheila da Silva said...

I'm always envious of the smaller private court yards. I'm not familiar with this looks well worth the visit. Very nice photo of you by the way.

Mike @ A Bit About Britain said...

Simply beautiful. Those tiles are astonishing.