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La Catedral de SevillaThe Cathedral

The construction of this gothic style cathedral was begun in 1433 by the architects Ysambret and Carlín on top of the ancient Almohad mosque. It took 65 years until in 1507 it was finished. It is a rectangular temple and is made up of 5 naves and 8 chapels and the transept. 28 pillars and 32 free standing supports hold up the 68 vaults staggered up to the central stretch. At its highest point it is 37 metres while the lowest stretch corresponds to that of the chapels (12.80 m). The central nave is formed by the major chapel and the choir. To enter into the major chapel you pass through the decorated iron railings made in the sixteenth century.Inside there is the biggest altarpiece of the cathedral.

La Catedral de Sevilla Between the choir and the main chapel there is the chapel of San Fernando, the transept and the retrochoir. In the years between 1528 and 1593 a series of plataresque (crafted with the skills of a silversmith) and mannerist rooms were built annexed to the temple on the south east side of the cathedral. In the baroque period of the cathedral, the construction was under the guidance of the parish of Sagrario (1618-1663) decorated inside with vegetable relief and sculptures on the tribunes. The pavilion of offices situated from the transept and running to the foot of the temple started out as a grain store in the eighteenth century but was transformed into offices in 1930. Today it is the reception pavilion for tourist visits. Its construction began in 1401 on the site of the major Almohad mosque. Private donations from the canons, prelates and some lay people financed it. There was also a tax on meat and the levies raised were destined to the work. The cathedral has 5 naves and chapels between the buttresses. It is 116 metres long and 76 meters wide. It has 93 windows. In 1660 the first Academy of Fine Arts in Seville was established here.

Tumba de ColonThe tomb of Cristóbal Colón, work of Arturo Mélida, is here, situated on the right side of the transept. In the tomb there lie the remains of the famous discoverer of America. The tomb is composed of four arms bearers in their gala uniforms carrying Columbus’ coffin on their shoulders. They correspond to the four historic kingdoms of Spain: Castilla, León, Aragón and Navarra “who in their voyage reach the high alter of the cathedral of Havana to lay to rest the bones of those who until then were in pilgrimage”. The symbolic significance the images were to represent “Spain waiting on American land for the ashes of Christopher Columbus. The current organ was constructed by Aquilino Amezua in the year 1901 and restored by Gerhard Grenzing in 1996. It substituted an older one by Jordi Bosch i Bernat that had been destroyed by a fall in 1888. It had been considered as one of the best organs ever constructed in Spain. The casing that holds it dates from 1724, the work of Luis de Vílches, who designed the case while Duque Cornejo was commissioned with the sculptured decoration. In reality they are two twin instruments facing each other and which together form a great unison, but in fact both are played simultaneously from the same keyboard. There are four manual keyboards, one pedal and around 7 000 pipes.





The Giralda

La Giralda de Sevilla The first stage was made in brick during the Almohad period as the minaret of the Aljama. The second stage was

during the mannerist epoch, and then brick and stone were mixed in. Finally it was finished in bronze alone. The construction of the Giralda began in the year 1184 under the management of Ben Basso, and during the mandate of the Sultan Abu Yacub Yusuf Ad-Almanzur. In its foundation and for the beginnings, ashlar from the monuments of the Romans and Abbasíes were used.

On the death of the sultan his son commissioned the work to the architect Alí de Gomara who used brick instead of ashlar, and constructed a minaret derived from the mosque of Cordoba. It was formed by two parallel-piped prisms imposed on top of each other. It was crowned by a dome and a yamur, a metal “thorn” into which four unequal bronze spheres were inserted and superimposed. However, an earthquake brought them down in 1356.

Under the supervision of the architect Hernán Ruiz the tower was renovated. This reformation consisted of crowning the second prism with a series of decreasing volumes: the body of the bells, the clock, the well, the stars and the carambolas, in addition to the dome, the amphora and the weather vane. Balconies were added to the first prism and all the wonderful beauty of tower was further enhanced by the enchanting red ochre colour. A series of cobalt blue tiles were fitted.

Four gable bells are integrated into the bell tower, each one has six bells and this was called the Major Tower, or the tower of Saint Mary at the beginning of the seventeenth century, though today it is known as the Giralda (all the tower) or "Giraldillo" (just for the weather vane). There are 26 bells, 19 turning and 4 tolled by striking. The dimensions are 13.61 metres on one side and its height is 104.06 metres. To finish off the new bell tower a four metre high (not including the pedestal) sculptured monument of the Christian faith was placed. It took ten years to complete the work and it was aimed at expressing Christianity’s triumph over Islam. The statue was probably designed by Luis de Vargas and modelled by Juan Bautista Vázquez el Viejo. Its smelting was by Bartolomé Morel, and it was painted blue by Antón Pérez. Recently the Instituto Andaluz del Patrimonio Histórico (world heritage) restored it.


Curiosities

After recently cleaning the walls of the cathedral, several inscriptions of red letters and numbers, made in times gone by, have come to light. They are known as “vítores” (“celebrations”) and it is thought they were made to commemorate important achievements or to celebrate determined acts. Historians cannot come to a consensus on their exact significance. These vitores appear on the façades of the Avenida de la Constitución and in calle Alemanes.

Another question, in reference to la Giralda it is worth pointing out to anyone who wants to go up to the bell tower that this climb is made up the original ramp from the Almohad epoch. There are no stairs. In those days the muezzin rode in on horse and went up to the top of the mosque from where he called out to prayer from the saddle of his horse, making use of his height over the city. This climb can be difficult for people with limited mobility, or unfit, as up to the bell tower it is 91 meters. This ramp can be appreciated in the photo on the right. Whatever the case it is worth going up to the bell tower as taking in the incredible views over Seville. Another curiosity is that la Giralda, before it had el Giraldillo, at the very top there were 4 cooper balconies, one of which fell off in a great earthquake which devastated Seville in 1365


MAP

To see the localization of the cathedral click on the map:

Opening hours

Winter: Monday-Saturday from 11:00 to 5:30 p.m. .; Sundays and holidays from 2:30 p.m. Religious. to 6:30 p.m.. Summer: Monday-Saturday from 09.30 to 4:30 p.m. .; Sundays and holidays from 2:30 p.m. Religious. to 6:30 p.m.. Note: You must be careful with the times, religious cults

Without Guided visit. Are priced at € 8.00 per person

. Price

Tickets for children under 16 years are priced at € 3.00 per person. Admission for pensioners, unemployed and disabled is free. Unemployed, Natural or disabled residents of Seville and a free companion * Pensioners and students under 26: 3,00 € * * Crediting an official document.

Purchasing your entrance

With the following link you will be able to buy your ticket for the visit with a professional guide to the cathedral and this cuts out having to wait in a long queue, which normally builds up at the entrance.


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