"Cathedral" Cathedral Tip by Aitana

Cathedral, Sevilla: 145 reviews and 297 photos

The great Cathedral of Santa Maria de la Sede de Sevilla is the largest gothic cathedral in Europe. The construction began in 1401 and ended in 1506. The Almohad mosque that had been used as a church since 1248 was demolished, but the Almohad tower, the Giralda, was preserved.

The cathedral is the third largest church in the Christian world, after Saint Peter in Rome and Saint Paul in London, thus the second largest of the Catholic churches. When it was built, it was the largest cathedral, supplanting Saint Sophia in Istanbul, which had held the title for more than ten centuries.

Its first architect could be Charles Galter of Rouen and the design is influenced by French models. The seven naves, its high altitude (44 meters on the nave) and its nearly 100 windows are impressive. It is a building stepped outwardly supported in many buttresses topped by pinnacles.

The choir occupies the central portion of the nave. In front of it, there is a vast Gothic altarpiece of carved scenes from the life of Christ.

The Iglesia del Sagrario (Tabernacle church) is a temple integrated in the cathedral, on the left side. The Chapterhouse, the Main Sacristy or the Sacristy of Chalices keep some pieces of art worth to be seen. There are paintings of Murillo and Zurbarán, as well as works of gold and silver religious objects, reliquaries, and a magnificent Monstrance by Juan de Arfe.

The Tablas Alfonsíes are also kept in the cathedral: a book which contains a series of astronomic tables that provided data for computing the position of the Sun, Moon and planets relative to the fixed stars. They were prepared in Toledo around 1252 to 1270, based on observations by Islamic astronomers and on earlier astronomical works preserved by Islamic scholars. Alfonso X the Wise, son of Fernando III, ordered the elaboration of these tables.

The Seville Cathedral is the burial site of Chistopher Columbus, the famous navigator who discovered America in 1492, sponsored by the Spanish Catholic Monarchs. His mausoleum is on the right side of the crossing. The mausoleum is made in bronze and it represents Columbus? coffin borne by heralds of the four kingdoms that constituted Spain: Castile, Leon, Aragon and Navarre.

The remains of King Fernando III de Castilla (1199-1252) are in the Royal Chapel, in a silver coffin at the foot of the image of Virgen de los Reyes. Seville was conquered under the rule of Fernando III in 1248. In 1671 and the king was canonized by Pope Clement X, known from then on as San Fernando or Fernando III el Santo.

The west façade there are three porticoes: Portada del Bautismo, Portada de la Asunción and Portada de San Miguel o del Nacimiento. On the south façade is the Puerta de San Cristóbal o del Príncipe. In the north façade, Puerta del Perdón (Portico of Forgiveness) gives access to the Patio de los Naranjos. Puerta de la Concepción (Portico of Conception) and Puerta del Lagarto connect this patio with the nave. There are two porticoes on the east façade: Puerta de Campanillas and Puerta de Palos.

The Patio de los Naranjos and Giralda are the only remains of the old Mosque.

Opening hours: daily from 11:00 to 17:00 hours.
Sundays from 14:30 to 18:00 hours.
Entrance fee: 7,50 ?.

Address: Avenida de la Constitución
Phone: 95 421 49 71
Website: http://catedraldesevilla.es/

Review Helpfulness: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Dec 11, 2010
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