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Real Alcázar – Pedro I Palace: Patio de las Doncellas (Courtyard of the Maidens)

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Patio de las Doncellas
The Patio de las Doncellas (Courtyard of the Maidens) is a rectangular courtyard with ornate corridors on all four sides. In the middle of the courtyard is a pool flanked by sunken garden with trees that include the famous orange trees of Seville.

Legend has it that the sultan of Cordoba demanded 100 virgins every year as a tribute from the Christian kings of the Iberian Peninsula. This courtyard owns its name to the maidens in the legend.

This courtyard resembles many open courtyards in the Alhambra and Generalife in Granada. For example, Court of the Myrtles in the Nasrid Palaces, Patio de la Acequia (Court of the Irrigation Canal) in the Generalife. This is because King Pedro I loved Moorish architecture and decoration and had a cordial relationship with the Nasrids, who sent master craftsmen to help build and decorate the palace.

The courtyard was built by King Don Pedro (a.k.a Peter the Cruel) and the upper gallery was a later addition built by Charles V.

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