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Patio de la Casa de Contratación, Alcázar of Seville

Andalusian Gardens
ca. 1180 15th century
Antonio Almagro;
Luis Ramón-Laca


This palace was one of the residences built by the Almohad caliphs in the Alcázar of Seville in the second half of the twelfth century. The first structure built by the Almohads is only visible at the two ends of the courtyard. Like the Patio del Crucero, its layout is a cross-shaped courtyard with a fountain in the middle, four acequias, and four flowerbeds with interlaced arches two meters below them. The palynological analysis performed during the excavations of the 1970s showed remains of citrus and palm trees. In the light of the recent findings made in the Patio de Doncellas, this cross-shaped courtyard should perhaps be reinterpreted as a non-Muslim creation. It was probably renovated during the reign of Peter I, while the first structure (still visible) was built by the Almohads.

In 1503, Ferdinand and Isabella created the Casa de Contratación (contracting house) for controlling the trade with the New World in the so called “cuarto de los cuatro palacios” segregated from the Alcázar.



  • Archaeological Analysis, 1972