Museo de Bellas Artes (Museum of Fine Arts)#10 in Best Things To Do in Seville
Seville has a rich history that is well-represented in its sites and monuments, yet one of the best ways to uncover the city's past is through its extensive collection of artwork. Founded in 1835, Seville's Museo de Bellas Artes – which occupies a former 17th-century convent built around three tiled patios – houses pieces dating from the Middle Ages through the 20th century. The galleries include works by some of Spain's most notable artists, such as Bartolomé Esteban Murillo and Francisco de Zurbarán. Many visitors do note, however, that despite the beauty of the paintings, the works lack much variety. Much of the collection consists of religious art which some reviewers found monotonous.
From September through July, the Museum of Fine Arts is open Tuesday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sundays from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. For the month of August, the museum is open 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday. The Museo de Bellas Artes, which sits roughly on the border of El Arenal and El Centro neighborhoods, is closed on Mondays year-round. Tickets cost 1.50 euros (about $2) per person. For more information, visit the museum's website.
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#1 Real Alcázar
The Spanish monarchy doesn't quite boast the worldwide clout of the British monarchy, but royalty is royalty, right? Take the chance to step into sovereignty when you enter the Real Alcázar palace and gardens. The palace was built in the seventh century and it still occasionally hosts the royal family when they visit Seville. While the original structure dates back to the Middle Ages, the entire palace has been heavily influenced by different architectural and cultural styles, ranging from Gothic to Baroque. The intricate architectural design is known as mudéjar – a Muslim and Christian artistic fusion unique to Andalusia. Explore on your own or use an audio tour to guide you through the luxurious rooms of the palace like the Salón de Embajadores (Hall of Ambassadors) and the Patio de las Doncellas (Patio of the Maidens). But to gain access to the Cuarto Real Alto (the Upper Royal Quarters), you'll need to pay for a guided tour.
Make sure to budget enough time to admire the details. Past visitors recommended examining every aspect of this grand residence of kings – even the architecture on the ceiling is striking. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is surrounded by gardens that are also worth seeing.
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