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Architecture of the Alcazar Castle

The most prominent part of the castle is Torre de Juan II tower which owes its name to the king who reigned at the time of construction. (Juan II was the Castilian king who was considered to be the clumsiest ruler in whole dynasty). The function of the tower was to defend the fortress from attacks, and later it was used as a jail. In the middle of the façade there are semicircular towers, and on the sides there are several towers which are said to be an inspiration for Disney’s Cinderella Castle. The tower is topped with battlements with noble arms composed. In front of the castle there is the second tower (Torre del Homenaje) built on the rectangle plan. On its four corners there are little “Disney’s” towers and in the middle of the façade one big tower with observation deck and a well (La Terraza del Pozo).

The central point of the Alcazar is a rectangular weapon courtyard (Patio de Armas). Three sides have arcades. In the courtyard architecture one may notice elements of Romanesque, Gothic and Renaissance architecture because it was built within four centuries (12th – 16th). There is also a second courtyard with irregular, lengthened shape Patio del Reloj, which is closed with sundial tower on the top of the building.

From one side of the courtyard you can go to the residential part called royal salons (Salones Regios). Those are chambers which formerly were residence for kings and rooms used to admit prominent guests. Interior remains its royal splendor and is magnificently furnished. There is a throne hall (Sala del Trono), chimney room (Sala de la Chimenea), royal salon (Salón de los Reyes), beauty room for the queen (Tocador de la Reina), royal bedroom (Cámara Regia), castle chapel (Capilla del Alcázar) and others. Ceilings are made in mudejar style with gold polichromy, on walls there are Gobelin tapestry, paintings and murals picturing medieval lives of Castilian rulers. Many of those decorations were truly reconstructed in 19th century from prints and descriptions because original ones burnt in the great fire.

In the former treasury there is a press used to emboss the coins and medals. Of course, there has to be an armory (Sala de Armas) where you can see soldier’s equipment (armor, swords, rapiers, halberds, crossbows).