Every castle needs a princess to protect, because that’s what they’re for right? So I decided to do a little house hunting while in the outskirts of Sevilla.
I had two top contenders: an Arabic castle in Alcalá de Guadaíra, and one built by Christians in Utrera, which are suburbs/towns right outside of Sevilla. Both properties are beautiful, but unfortunately this princess is on a budget and had to pick one.
First, a little on the locations.
The Arabic castle is located on top of a hill, overlooking the town of Alcalá and its potential 80,000 new subjects of mine. The walk up the hill was tiring, and there was no escalator. Not ideal. But, the 360 degree views from the top may make up for the hike. It’s also located right next to a beautiful church, so I know I would have respectful neighbors.
The city itself was cute with lots of hillside houses. Apparently the city center isn’t very historic because most of it was destroyed in the civil war, so that’s a bummer. It’s only a fifteen minute commute by car to Sevilla though!
Utrera is bit smaller, with 50,000 citizens. Less subjects to keep track of, could be a positive or negative. The castle itself is located kind of in the center of town, which has a very antique feel to it. There aren’t great views from the location of the castle, but it is easy to access.
The city center had a huge plaza, filled with bakeries. A bakery in Spain means a store with bread, but mainly a store with baked goodies. Utrera is filled with cheap, delicious bakeries; definitely a plus in my book.
Now, about my prospective, humble dwellings.
The Alcalá castle was built during the Arabic rule, so therefore has stereotypical Arabic architecture. In my opinion, this style is by far the prettiest because it utilizes lots of archways and colors. And even though all the colors are faded away now, I’m always up for a little home improvement project.
I wasn’t able to go inside of the castle because it’s being restored, but I imagine that it’s beautiful. It’s a fixer-upper, but I see lots of potential in the original structure. This castle was constructed out of a local type of rock that gives it its yellow-orange color, so I would definitely want to keep this original feature.
The security system is fantastic because there’s a dragon that protects the castle. I’ve been told he’s well behaved and potty trained for the most part.
Also included are underground caves, some unexplored. The potential for adventure there is exciting. There’s a huge lawn and outdoor space, where I could host a yearly barbecue ball. I am an American princess after all, and we all need a good summer barbecue.
In contrast, the castle in Utrera is a turn-key property. It has already been restored, so less work for me! Inside, there are some historical displays and a tiny wooden model of the future kingdom.
This is a two bedroom, zero bathroom castle (this could be a problem), with an enormous roof-t0p terrace. That’s where the beautiful views are. I can picture myself sitting up there with a glass of wine, looking over my kingdom with my sixteen pet cats.
It’s not weird, all the royals have cats. The Alhambra has like 100 cats, so they’re super in right now.
Anyways, there are some small, beautiful gardens out front, and it would always be nice to have some green space in the middle of the city.
Like all house hunter shows, I took lots of time to dramatically weigh the pros and cons of each house.
Eventually I ended up choosing…
The Arabic castle in Alcalá!! The views were unbeatable, and I like the challenge of a fixer-upper. I’ve also always wanted a dragon, and I shall name him Steve. Steve the dragon.
That’s all for this week’s House Hunters: Castles in the ‘Burbs!