Emotive Text: The Arabic & Latin Inscriptions of King Pedro's Alcazar Palace
This paper will focus on the inscriptions, both Latin and Arabic, found on the exterior façade, the Patio de las Doncellas, and the Salón de Embajadores of King Pedro's palace located within the Real Alcázar of Seville. These inscriptions, created during the reign of King Pedro I when renovations were being made at his palace, evoked different reactions from the different visitors during his reign. The inscriptions have proven to be more than just ornamental design. The addition of these inscriptions to the royal construction resulted in the architecture demanding interaction from its spectators. It is fact that inscriptions existed on the walls of the Real Alcázar long before as well as after King Pedro's inhabitance at the complex. However, given the political and religious movements during this monarch's reign, and most importantly, the flourishing of a cultural style known as Mudéjar, there is no better time period to examine how this architectural text could have demanded different interactions from the select audiences who regularly visited King Pedro's palace. The three inscribed areas of King Pedro's palace that have been selected for examination were chosen because they were and are still today, three of the most well known areas of the palace and the most likely to be visited or seen at the time of King Pedro. This thesis will concentrate on the Alcázar's audiences consisting of King Pedro, residents of the palace during his reign, and the King's elite Muslim and Christian visitors, as well as the Muslim artisans who created the inscriptions. How these audiences approached the palace's demand of interaction, and how these audiences interpreted the structure's messages as conveyed by them, is its primary focus.