Now this one is really special. I can explain why this is down the list on TripAdvisor and worth the effort to go and see. Firstly, some 'reviewers' didn't actually locate the Palace and have marked it down without seeing it. Others noted difficulty entering re opening hours, or tour hours, or the gloomy upstairs display. Let me clear those issues up and explain why this is a must see in Seville and should rank well ahead of the very popular Casa de Pilatos.
Is it difficult to find? That part of Seville can be a little maze-like, even if you have a trusty map. We didn't find it difficult, but we did go one extra block and come from the other side. A little preparation will fix that (or online maps nowadays!). While it's not on a main arterial road, that's part of the charm of the place, it is very quiet inside. We also enjoyed the stroll through that part of Seville.
Opening hours and set tour times. We did our research so we knew when to arrive, and how frequently english language tours of the top floor departed. In fact we arrived a little early, and this allowed us to explore downstairs, before the upstairs tour. Group sizes for tours are limited which is a very good thing because it is not the Louvre, but a former stately home so the rooms aren't meant for 30 people. Our group had about 10 I think which was about the maximum, and the guide would explain a room, then allow enough time for each of the group to have a good look before moving on. We rated the guide very highly for being considerate of the group.
Is it gloomy or in poor condition? We didn't have that view at all. I can't remember but there is one famous painting in the house (Titian or Tintoretto maybe?) but the house is displayed as it truly was lived in. So that means natural lighting, and back in the day it would have been candles or low-level electric. It's not dark, but it's not lit up like a gaudy Christmas tree just so some tourists can get a better photo!
OK, so why is it so special. The former owner of this home took a real interest in ancient Roman mosaics. However rather than collect, or squirrel away, she had them installed into her home in courtyards and floor and wall spaces. It's amazing the passion the Countess must have had to do this. It involved remodelling the house and knocking out walls just to house some of these mosaics. They are an absolute treat and in excellent condition, especially when compared to mosaics you will see in Rome or Pompeii.
If you want a high-volume pristine museum experience run by professional archivists and historians, then this isn't for you. If you want to see one of the most special collections of Roman mosaics integrated into a lived in stately home, cared for lovingly by a small group of staff, then you can't miss it. The choice is yours. It would be amongst the first places I would recommend to anyone visiting Seville.
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