Splendid palaces and gardens in the centre of Seville.
For me, the palace and gardens of the Real Alcázar are Seville's premier must-see monuments. From outside, the impressive walls remind us that this was once a working fortress, but inside it's the beauty of the patios and fountains, with their intricate mudejar decorations that takes your breath away. Despite the Moorish splendour, the main palace was actually built by Pedro the Cruel in the 14th century. Highlights include the Patio de las Doncellas, and the "Baths of Lady María de Padilla", which are actually rainwater tanks in the palace cellars. The extensive gardens are in several different styles, and include pavilions, fountains, including the famous pool of Mercury, and a maze. If it's hot there are plenty of delightful shady spots.
The audio tours, available in several languages, are excellent, and handsets can be rented for 3 euros. They provide plenty of interesting information without bogging you down with dry facts and historical dates. You can also book a guided tour to see the Royal Apartments, which are still used by the Royal Family when they are in town. Check times and prices once inside the Alcazar.