Thursday, May 4, 2023

Seville Cathedral and Giralda Tower


Seville Cathedral
One of the high points of my trip to Seville was the visit to Seville Cathedral and Giralda Tower, which are in the heart of the city. This gargantuan edifice's sheer magnificence and opulence act like a magnet for visitors. It is the third largest place of Christian worship after St Peter's Church in Rome and St Paul's Cathedral in London, The 105m tall Giralda is perhaps the tallest structure in the region and the surrounding cathedral with engraved arches, huge doors with carvings, and intricate work are spellbinding. The catholic monarchs Ferdinand and his family, Christopher Columbus and his son Diego lay buried in this cathedral.


Facade of the Cathedral

It was built as a mosque in 1172 AD and completed in 1198 AD. Soon after the conquest of Seville by King Ferdinand, it was converted into a cathedral in 1248 AD. The interiors were converted into huge chapels. According to the cathedral chapter, it was said that 'Let us build a church so beautiful and so grand that those who see it finished will take us for mad'. The construction of the Gothic cathedral continued till 1511.

Giralda Tower

Among the most noticeable features of the cathedral are its huge area of around 15000 square metres, a great boxlike choir loft, and vast carved scenes from the life of Jesus Christ, The builders preserved some parts of the mosque like the courtyard for ablutions, the huge minaret( converted to bell tower called Giralda) and patios with orange trees. The cathedral has 15 doors on its surrounding four facades. Each of these doors has unique carvings and scenes from Bible depicted on them. The cathedral has 80 chapels in its precincts. 

A View from Giralda Tower

A climb on the Girala Tower is a must to appreciate the beauty of not only the tower but also the views of the city from the windows and from the top. The decorated facades and the windows on the tower are stepped to match the ramps and maximise the light inside the chamber. After the conversion of the mosque to a church the minaret underwent a change as a bell tower. A cross and a bell were mounted in 1400. This iconic structure became an inspiration for several more buildings that were constructed using similar designs like the Country Club Plaza in Kansas City, The Freedom Tower in Miami, both in the USA and the clock tower at the University of Puerto Rico.

A view of the roofs of the Cathedral

Some tips for the people who would like to visit the cathedral when in Seville is to visit in the early hours of the day to avoid the rush and also book the tickets online in advance. The 35 sloping ramps take the visitor atop the viewing gallery on the Giralda Tower, The place is restricted so best avoid rush hour to soak the beauty of the city on reaching the top. Finally do not forget to see the final burial place of one of the greatest navigators Christopher Columbus!

PS: All pictures are mine


  1. What fantastic architecture. And the city behind looks gorgeous too...

    1. So glad you enjoyed reading this post! The views of the city from the Giralda Tower are stupendous.