"Sevilla's Cathedral and La Giralda tower" Top 5 Page for this destination Andalucía Things to Do Tip by Bwana_Brown
Andalucía Things to Do: 228 reviews and 367 photos
Our explorations of Sevilla began at its famous downtown cathedral, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that is the 3rd largest church in Europe after St. Paul's in London and St. Peter's in Rome. It is so hemmed in by the streets of Sevilla that it is difficult to appreciate it's full size in a single glance, but even the parts of it we saw from the square were very impressive. These views show the back-end of the Cathedral (at the 'top end' of it's cross-like layout when viewed from above) with its main chapel, the Capilla Mayor, located inside close to this domed area.
In addition to being an important place of worship for this new Christian country, the grandeur of the cathedral was meant to be a statement to show the world how powerful and rich the country had become. Statements like this don't come easily, in this case it took 104 years (1402-1506) to complete the work which was done in Gothic-style. However, an earthquake in 1511 collapsed the central dome, resulting in a decision to have it reconstructed in Renaissance style. I also liked the looks of those exterior stone 'flying buttresses' that provide stability for the main portions of the cathedral.
Standing next door to the Cathedral is it's bell-tower and also one of Sevilla's most famous landmarks, La Giralda tower (2nd photo). With its construction first completed in 1196 after twelve years of hard work, only three Moorish minarets of that era remain in the world today - with the other two both located in Morocco at Marrakesh and Rabat. Originally, the two functions of this minaret were to call the believers to prayer at the mosque that stood at its feet and to serve as a watch-tower for the city. One of the amazing things about La Giralda is that access to it's highest reaches is not by stairs but instead by means of a series of 35 ramps inclined gently enough to allow two guards on horseback to pass each other (I guess walking up would be tough while loaded down with weaponry)! As far as the exterior goes, each of the four sides of the tower has a different pattern of intricate brick work. The line-up of horses and carriages ready to take tourists for a ride (3rd photo) was a nice parting view for us as we continued onward.
Address: Avenida de la Constitución
Directions: Beside it's bell-tower, La Giralda
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