This month I finally made it to the Casa Palacio de Las Dueñas Sevilla.
…the favourite home of Cayetana, the late Duquesa de Alba.
A flamboyant, boho yet glamorous member of Spain’s aristocracy, said to be one of the wealthiest and most titled people in Europe, and much loved by Spaniards. She loved to walk barefoot, dance in the street and enjoy the good life.
Last year, (following the death of the Duquesa in 2014) her son Carlos Fitz-James Stuart, 19th Duke of Alba, opened the palace to the public.
One enters the city-centre estate through a garden, with paths of the typical yellow and ochre sand (quarried locally) called albero. It’s the iconic colour of bullrings too.
Click on my instagram video and gallery below:
The first space is the Apeadero, where in the era, guests would dismount before entering the palace. This leads in to the magical patio, with its stunning Mudejar design; it has such a romantic feel.
One doesn’t get to see much of an insiders’ view of the Duquesa’s life – only the public salons on the ground floor are open, including the small chapel, cards room, the ‘Salon Cuadrado’…
…reading room and the main ‘Salón e La Gitana’. However, there is a small box room, called the Tablao where may personal items have been displayed in an attempt to convey some of her passions, interests and personality.
As well as the ground floor of the splendid 15th century house (and the stairs going up to the first floor offering a glimpse of the magnificent Mudejar wooden ceiling) the gardens are also open to the public.
In typical Andalusian style, the gardens are a series of patios, or courtyards.
There is the intimate, more exotic Jardin Sta. Justa; and the charming Patio del Aceite with its four palms; the main courtyard; and the lovely Patio de Los Limones.
Full details are available at: www.LasDuenas.es
Price at time of writing is 8 euro.
Opens at 10 am, closes at 6pm off season, 8pm in the summer.
Guided tours can be arranged with notice. There is a rather good gift shop, with quality branded products reflecting Andalucian crafts.