One of the most picturesque places in Seville are the Baths of Doña Maria de Padilla. It is a magical place and an obligatory stop within the visit to the Royal Alcazar Palace of Seville. Its atmosphere, its fresh air, its infinite arches and the reflections in the water make this place an authentic trip to the Almohad past of the Alcazar. If you are visiting Seville, you cannot miss our guided tours, especially the one which combines the Alcazar and the Seville Cathedral. What is more, we can also offer Free Tours and a Night Tour.
The Baths of Doña María de Padilla were built around the 12th century and owe their structure to an ancient Almohad garden. They served as a recreational area to take refuge from the summer heat, as well as a food storage area.
They receive this name because it is believed that Doña María de Padilla, the lover of King Pedro I the Cruel, walked naked through the palace and bathed in this beautiful stone cistern coated in lime. Legend also has it that Pedro I made all those who visited him drink from the water in which Doña María bathed. Once they drank, the audience began.
The most curious thing about the romance between Pedro I and Doña María is that they never married. They had extramarital relations while Pedro married other women. Although it is true that it was Doña María de Padilla who gave him more offspring. Pedro I got the archbishop of Toledo to annul all their previous marriages and declared Doña María queen posthumously. The remains of both rest together in the Royal Chapel of the Cathedral of Seville.
The Baths of Doña María de Padilla are a vaulted crypt with a cistern, divided into three naves: the lateral ones are smaller than the central one. The vaults are Gothic ribbed, as they were a later contribution by Alfonso X in the thirteenth century.
In the arches of the lateral galleries there is a great variety of Renaissance paintings by authors such as Juan Chacón, Juan Díaz, Juan de Saucedo and Gonzalo Pérez. They are currently being restored and therefore closed to the public.
The temperature inside the crypt is about 15 °C lower than outside, which together with the little natural light that seeps inside and the reflections of the arches in the water make this site a dreamlike landscape.
To access the Baths, you start from the Patio del Crucero and go through the Salón de los Tapices y Capilla to the Sala de las Bóvedas. All these places are part of the Gothic Palace of the Alcázar of Seville. Behind the Baths is the Jardín de la Danza.
Lovers of the series Game of Thrones will surely recognize that the Royal Alcazar of Seville and specifically the Baths of Doña Maria de Padilla appeared in the sixth season of the series as the residence of House Martell. In addition, the Baths have also been reproduced in hundreds of photographs, books and films. There has been no visitor who has not been dazzled by its atmosphere.