In the southwest of the old part of our city we can see Seville Gate, leading to the traditional and historical neighbourhood of Alcázar Viejo, also called San Basilio, thanks to the old convent of Basilian monks, of which only the church remains, today Parish of Our Lady of Peace.
The neighbourhood, as we mentioned in the previous section, is a clear example of the new Early-Medieval Christian urban planning, in contrast with the narrow and winding streets typical of the Muslim Medina. On the other hand, this neighbourhood is surrounded by walled spaces, such as the Alcázar of the Christian Monarchs, the Castle of the Jewish Quarter or the walls built along the 14th century.
Ibn Baskuwal identified up to seven gates on the walled space of the Medina; among them he mentioned Seville Gate, known in Caliphal times as Gate of the Shopkeepers (Bab al-Ishbiliya or Bab al-Attarin). However, we have evidence that, during the first years after Christian reconquest, the gate was already known as Seville Gate. It was a meeting place for women, where they could access the Souk (the market), which could have been located in the Alcázar Viejo. ... [Read more...]
The truth is that the gate mentioned by Arab sources has little to do with the one we know today, as it must have been located along Caballerizas Reales Street (Street of the Royal Stables), where the wall was, on the other side of the neighbourhood of San Basilio. The gate we know today was reconstructed in the middle of the last century, after having been previously demolished.
It is made with sandstone blocks and it has a simple compositional scheme, with only one lintelled entrance opening, where the only decoration is based on simple granite plaques framing the opening. At the top of the ensemble, there is the emblem of the city carved in stone.
A few metres from the gate there is a structure consisting of a square turret, linked to the wall through two horseshoe arches, whose voussoirs are arranged in a way that shows the alternation between complete and parted pieces. The ensemble consists of blocks of stone arranged in headers and stretchers.
Both the chronology and the function of this strange building have been discussed by scholars. Basilio Pavón mentions the possibility that the arches could belong to an old aqueduct from Caliphal times. Nowadays, there is a more accepted theory according to which it is a defensive tower dating from the 14th century, as well as the wall.
Under the arches we can see a beautiful bronze sculpture made by Mateo Ruiz Olmos in 1963, commemorating the ninth centenary of the death of politician, theologist and jurist from Córdoba Ibn Hazm. He is represented standing and holding a roll with his most famous work “The Ring of the Dove”, where he reflects on the true essence of love.
On the way to the river, there are four towers, one octagonal and three square ones, annexed to the wall, which consists of blocks of stone arranged in headers and stretchers. As we mentioned earlier, behind the wall there is a historical neighbourhood, different to the rest of the city.