I will keep it brief: here is the largest religious monument in Seville!
The Seville Cathedral (full name: Cathedral of Our Lady of Seville) was built in 1506 on the site of the former mosque that stood on this site during the reign of the Almohad dynasty.
The enormous architectural craftsmanship that we will see even before entering the cathedral is not a coincidence. Its creators had one goal – to create a church so large and so beautiful that anyone who will see it will think that it was built by madmen. Has this goal been achieved? We can say that it definitely has, once we realize that the Seville Cathedral is one of the largest Gothic temples in the world.
The beauty and grandeur of this building have also been appreciated internationally. In 1987, the Cathedral of Seville, along with the Alcazar and the Archives of the Indies were inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
Visiting the cathedral
The Seville Cathedral is impressive not only from the outside, but also from the inside. We can enter several different spaces here, and in each of them we can find a lot of treasures. Some of them are related to the religious sphere, while others – can be treated as relics of the past. What is definitely worth seeing is:
- Silver monstrance from the 16th century – this is the largest exhibit in the cathedral. The monstrance is nearly 4 meters high and weighs about half a ton, and it only leaves the temple during the Corpus Christi procession.
- Sculpture of the crucified Jesus from the 17th century – this Baroque work is located in the chapel of St. Andrew (Capilla de San Andrés). This sculpture was designed by Juan Martínez Montañés, and what is particularly interesting about it is the extraordinary perfectionism of its author and a huge number of details.
- The main altar in the Main Chapel (Capilla Mayor) – it was being built for over a hundred years, but the end result is so beautiful that even if two hundred years were needed to complete it, it would be justified. The altar retable was made in the form of a triptych, which presents 45 scenes from the life of Jesus and Mary. Each of them is about one meter high and is made of gold, larch, walnut and chestnut wood.
- The tomb of Christopher Columbus – Until the end of the 20th century, it was uncertain whether the remains that are in the Seville Cathedral were truly Christopher Columbus’s. It wasn’t until 2006 that a study at the Institute of Genetics of the University of Granada confirmed that this was the real grave of Christopher Columbus. We can find it in the cathedral passing through the Puerta de Cristóbal Colón.
- Royal Chapel (Capilla Real) – here the remains of King Ferdinand III are kept in a silver urn from the 18 th century.
- Capitular Hall – a Renaissance hall in the shape of an ellipse.
La Giralda Tower
There are only two parts that have survived from the former mosque that stood on the site of the Seville Cathedral. The first of them are fragments of the courtyard of Patio de los Naranjos (translate: Courtyard of Orange Trees). Its name comes from the orange trees that grow there.
The second, more impressive monument from Arab times is the La Giralda tower, which can be found in the immediate vicinity of the cathedral. In fact, it was once a minaret from which the muezzin called the faithful to prayer. To make it easier for the clergyman to reach the top, the stairs were replaced here with more than thirty cobbled ramps that allowed people to move around on horseback. It is assumed that if they were replaced with stairs, there would be more than half a thousand of them.
In its original version, La Giralda was decorated with brass spheres at the top. Legend has it that their glow was seen from a distance of up to 40 km! Unfortunately, the earthquake that hit Seville in the 14th century destroyed the bullets for good. They were never rebuilt afterwards.
In the 16th century, La Giralda slightly changed its appearance. Christian architects added five storeys to it and transformed the entire tower into a belfry. Today it is one of the tallest buildings in Seville and also a great place where you can see the panorama of the whole city.
Why wasn’t La Giralda destroyed?
Some of you may be surprised that when building the cathedral, the Christians destroyed the mosque but left the minaret. The explanation of this fact is even more intriguing when we consider that the destruction of La Giralda was demanded by the Muslims themselves. They did not want this architectural miracle to fall into the hands of heretics.
Ironically, it was because of the beauty of this building that the Christians decided to save it. What’s more, Alfonso X the Wise (later king) even declared that if even one brick disappears from La Giralda, all Muslims in Seville will be murdered. As you can see, the threat turned out to be effective enough.
- It’s best to buy tickets to the Seville Cathedral in advance. You will then avoid standing in a long queue and avoid the risk that all tickets have been sold out, which happens very often in the case of this monument.
- Opening hours: on Mondays from 11: 00 am-3: 30 pm. From Tuesday to Saturday from 11: 00 am-5:00 pm. On Sundays from 2:30 pm-6:00 pm. In July and August, the cathedral opening hours are extended by approximately half an hour.
- Address: Av. de la Constitución, s/n, 41004 Sevilla, Spain
- Buy Tickets on GetYourGuide
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- Buy Tickets on Musement
Hotels in Seville
Discover AndalusiaEach region of Spain is divided into provinces. Their names often coincide with the names of their main cities. Catalonia is divided into eight provinces, each of which has different tourist attractions and interesting places to offer:
|Province||Tourist attractions and interesting places|
|Almería||Tabernas Desert (Desierto de Tabernas), Oasys MiniHollywood Amusement Park, Fort Bravo Amusement Park, Castillo de Tabernas (castle), Cabo de Gata Natural Park, Sierra Alhamilla Mountains. Popular cities: Almería|
|Cádiz||Doñana National Park. Popular cities: Cádiz, Setenil de las bodegas, Jerez de la Frontera, Arcos de la Frontera|
|Córdoba||La Mezquita. Popular cities: Córdoba|
|Granada||Alhambra. Popular cities and regions: Granada, Sierra Nevada|
|Huelva||Doñana National Park. Popular cities: Huelva|
|Jaén||Popular cities: Jaén|
|Málaga||Gibralfaro Castle, La Alcazaba, Cathedral in Malaga, Roman Theatre, Picasso Museum, Caminito del Rey, Palacio Episcopal, Museo Carmen Thyssen Málaga, Sierra de las Nieves Natural Park, Serranía de Ronda Mountains, La Ciudad Romana de Acinipo (ancient ruins), Cueva de la Pileta Cave, Bioparc Fuengirola, Orchidarium Estepona, Parque Acuático Mijas, Reservatauro Ronda Natural Park, Aquarium Sea Life Benalmádena, Selwo Aventura, Castillo de San Luís (castle ruins), Plaza de Toros in Ronda, Museo Lara in Ronda, Alameda del Tajo, Iglesia de Santa María la Mayor in Ronda (church), Iglesia del Espíritu Santo in Ronda (church), Puente Nuevo (New Bridge) i Puente Viejo (Old Bridge), El Tajo abyss in Ronda, Mondragón Palace, Water Mine and Casa del Rey Moro, La Ermita de la Virgen de la Cabeza, Bandits' Museum (Museo del Bandolero), Beaches in Benalmadena. Popular cities: Málaga, Ronda, Marbella, Torremolinos, Fuengirola, Benalmádena, Estepona, Cuevas del Becerro, Jimera de Líbar, Mijas, Villanueva de Tapia, La Línea de la Concepción, Bahía Dorada Coast, San Pedro de Alcántara|
|Seville||Cathedral in Seville (Catedral de Santa María de la Sede de Sevilla), Alcazar de Sevilla, India Archive, Gold Tower, Barrio de Santa Cruz district, Casa de Pilatos, Museum of Fine Arts, Maria Luisa Park (Parque de María Luisa), Plac Hiszpański (Plaza de España), Metropol Parasol, Itálica (archeological site), Doñana National Park. Amusement Parks: Isla Mágica, Aquopolis Sevilla, Aventura Sevilla. Popular cities: Seville|