In Seville, located next to the Maria Luisa Park, there is a small castle that stands out a lot of attention, it is the Queen’s Sewing Room (Costurero de la Reina).
The Queen’s Sewing Room is considered the first neo-Mudejar building in Seville, Spain. The Arab style is not only seen through its large windows, but also through other beautiful details that are displayed on its facades. Of very typical Sevillian colors, are the bricks that form its stripes in shades of albero (a yellow, almost brown) and almagra (red ochre). It has two floors and towers at the ends, topped with very small battlements. It also has a small garden.
At the end of the 19th century, under the orders of the Dukes of Montpensier, this small castle was built. It was located in the area of the gardens of the Palace of Saint Peter Gonzalez “Elmo”, near the Guadalquivir River, being Juan Talavera y de la Vega its architect. It was built with the purpose of being the home of the guards of the palace gardens. Its architect conceived the project as a small and romantic castle, finishing it in 1893.
Although its official name is the Saint Elmo’s Pavillion (Pabellón de San Telmo), the fact that it is popularly called Queen’s Sewing Room generates a lot of curiosity. We learned that the name originates in a legend related to Queen Maria de las Mercedes de Orleans, daughter of the Duke of Montpensier, who married King Alfonso XII, becoming queen consort of Spain. Queen Maria de las Mercedes, who had a very fragile and weak health, spent a lot of time here sunbathing, resting, sewing with her ladies in waiting or reading the letters of her beloved Alfonso XII.
The reality is that at no time did Queen Maria de las Mercedes ever set foot in this beautiful building, as she did not even get to see it. She died very young, in 1878, shortly after marrying King Alfonso XII. In fact, the queen died fifteen years before the building was completed in 1893.
And, although the legend is a legend, it still has its charm. Besides, it is not that the guards of the gardens did not deserve a castle, it’s just nicer to imagine the queen sewing in a small room with her ladies in waiting.
Currently the Queen’s Sewing Room is used as the Tourist Information Office of the Seville City Hall.