Carmona was, at one stage of its history, the capital of a Moorish Taifa kingdom, and the prolonged presence of the Moors on its soil can today be appreciated not only in the charming Patio de los Naranjos or Orange Tree Patio adjoining the Church of Santa María and in the horseshoe arches of the Almohad Puerta de Sevilla Alcazar, but also in the town's street plan and whitewashed buildings.
The Middle Ages made a significant contribution to present-day Carmona. It was much loved by King Peter I, who gave the town a renovated Mudéjar Alcazar, which stands in the upper part of the town, now refurbished as a Parador de Turismo, a state-run hotel.
The Mudéjar period also bequeathed some of Carmona's most beautiful, evocative churches, such as the Church of San Felipe, and a number of houses and palaces. The town flourished in the Gothic period, the finest example of which is Carmona's main church, Santa María, which is of cathedral - like proportions featuring high - ceiling naves and the inevitable presence of other styles: the altar, for example, is an impressive contribution from the Plateresque period.
The entire spectrum of styles and schools is represented in this town dotted with splendid palaces and convents. One of these, the Convent of Santa Catalina, is now a striking market square, an enormous porticoed patio, where the redness of the stone and the whiteness of whitewashed walls dominate, as they do throughout Carmona.
Another is the Convent of Santa Clara, whose tuns, remaining faithful to tradition, preserve the well-kept secret of medieval confectionary under niveous arches. San Bartolomé also dates from the Gothic period.