This door gives access to the Patio de los Naranjos (the orange trees). As such, its not really a door to the Cathedral at all. This gate is part of the original mosque structure. As you can see in the picture the original decoration is retained. Of course, the statues of the saints were added later and are the work of Bartolome Lopez, done in 1522.
The Cathedral of Seville is gigantic. If you have been to Spain you are no stranger to seeing large Cathedrals with elaborate ornamentation. The Cathedral of Seville (Catedral de Santa Maria de la Sede) is the largest Gothic church in the world and overall the third largest church in the world.
Before the Reconquista in 1248, what is now the Cathedral was the grand mosque. Today's belltower, the Giralda, was once the minaret for that mosque. The Cathedral itself was built in 1401 following a major earthquake that made the use of the existing structure too dangerous.
In some ways the Cathedral seems to have been snakebitten. Only a few years after completion of the structure, in 1506 the dome collapsed. Again it collapsed in 1888. Makes you wonder, doesn't it?
All in all though, The Cathedral of Seville is an amazing place. The interiors are somewhat dark so your photos may not come out too well. You have to look up and see the ceiling and the designs, it really is quite amazing. Off to one side, you will see the remains of Christopher Columbus. What is imposing about this Cathedral is its architecture, its enormous. That being so you don't get the same play of the light on the stained glass windows that you would get in a smaller place (like St Vitus in Prague, for example). Still, you should bear in mind that from the very beginning, the intent was to build one of the largest churches in Christendom.
Definitely see it, it's superb!
The Patio de los Naranjos (Courtyard of the orange trees) is the area just outside the actual Cathedral. As this was once a mosque, the function this patio once served was that of a place where worshipers could wash their feet before going in to pray. This under the sweet smell of orange trees.
Today it is a calm place, a good place to prepare yourself for a hike up to the top of the Giralda or a lot of walking around. The day I was there was really quiet, it was a beautiful little refuge from the hustle and bustle
The central cloister inside the Cathedral grounds is worth a look. The area was once the Patio De Los Naranjos where Muslims would come to wash their hands, feet, and face before praying. The cloister area contains some old fragrant orange trees. However the highlight of the Patio de los Naranjos is the unique irrigation system that runs through the cloister courtyard. An intricate system of little canals that looks like a huge tripping hazard when you first see it. The Moors were the first people to bring irrigation to the Iberian peninsula. There are a few benches to sit out and relax while you look at the Giralda Tower.
Easy to find right next to the Pilgrim's entrance to the Cathedral is the tomb of Christopher Columbus. The tomb consists of four large ball bearers carrying the tomb of Columbus in sadness. The tomb itself is impressive to see and the four ball bearers holding the coffin is somewhat unique. The pall bearers represent the four regions of Castille, Leon, Aragon and Navarre. Since Columbus's body was moved around so much after his death in 1506, DNA tests in 2006 confirmed that the body that lays in the cathedral actually is Columbus. The room also contains a large mural of Saint Christopher, the patron saint of all travelers.
Just as you walk out of the Antigua Chapel the next room is the Sacristy is where the priests go each morning to prepare mass. The main sacristy is a beautiful room with a stone carved ceiling. The ceiling was so gorgeous that it was hard to focus on the rest of the room. History wise, this room was constructed between 1528 and 1547. In the center of the room is the Custodia de Juan de Arfe, a gigantic silver monstrance mad by Juan de Arfe in 1580. IThere are also some beautiful Renaissance paintings in the room as well. We wondered how the priests can concentrate in the morning with so much beauty in this room.
When you first view the Sevilla Cathedral you get no idea of how large it really is. However as you walk around the outside of it you soon come to the conclusion that this thing is huge!
Cited as being the third largest cathedral in Europe and the largest Gothic cathedral, if someone had told me it was the largest I would have not doubted it for an instant. It measures an impressive 126 m long and 83 m wide.
The Sevilla Cathedral was built on the site of a 12th century mosque. The striking minaret the Giralda tower was part of that originial mosque. Beginning in 1401 a new church was started on the site. Building of the church continued for the next 120 years.
This is one of the biggest Cathedral's in the world. It was consecrated in 1248 being built over the site of a Muslim mosque from 1401.
The structure is mainly Gothic, although the interior has many differing styles and splendid stained glass windows. The adjoining tower, La Garalda, was the Mosque's minaret and dates from the 12th century. A climb up it (ramp not stairs), affords spectacular views over the city.
Inside the Cathedral are 5 Gothic naves plus a grand transept which houses the chancel and one of the most splendid altarpieces in Christendom. The tomb of Christopher Columbus is housed inside as are a number of priceless treasures stored in the sacristies. The Chapter and Library also contain documents and manuscripts of historic value. There are many other tombs other than Columbus and the Crypt contains the likes of Alfonso the Wise and King Saint Ferdinand. Many previous sculptures, paintings and metalworks adorn the very lavish interior.
Sevilla is a wonderful city, with a huge history and great activities. Did you know that the Sevilla's Cathedral is the Gothic biggest one in the world? And inside it's Cristobal Colon tomb?
I'm from Spain and know a couple of companies that can help you with the personal guide and other things like tickets, transportation, etc. If you need further information just send me your contact info and I'll tell them to write you an email.
This massive Cathedral, one of the largest in Europe, features a tower that uses a ramp to the top. There are about 15 steps on a stair at the top. There are plenty of places to stop and rest on the way up, this is not the usual crowded cathedral stairway. Included in the entrance price to this church is the tower and its view of Sevilla.
But better than all that is the Tomb of Cristoforo Columbo located inside and to the right of the entrance.
This is a real highlight to your visit.
Lots of gold items from the New World, and if you look carefully you will find relics in the treasure room.
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 €.
You aren’t allowed to go into the cathedral as a tourist during services, which when I was there effectively meant it was closed to tourists until – I think – about 11 o’clock. There’s a sign at the entrance giving the times.
I found the audio-guide thing that I'd hired (having left my passport as security) nothing but a blasted nuisance.
The Cathedral of Seville was built in the 15th and 16th century in Gothic style on the grounds of the former major Arab mosque. It is the largest place of worship in Spain, and the third largest cathedral in the Christian world.
While inside be sure to get a look at Christopher Columbus's tomb and venture up the Giralda tower. From the tower you will get several great views of the city and some ideas on where to visit next. For me it lead me to the Plaza de Toros!
I have a link below to one of my travelogues where you can see more pictures of the inside of this great cathedral.
The earliest part of the Cathedral preserved is the Orange Tree Courtyard. It is the only part that survived the change from a Muslim Mosque to a Christian Cathedral (1181 - 1198). Consecrated as a Cathedral in 1218. Such a fantastic history here in Spain!
These oranges are sour oranges still used today to make the marvelous Sevillian orange marmalade. According to the recorded guide they are also exported in large numbers to England for the same purpose.
The Gothic section was completed in 1517.
The Renaissance period saw renovations to the Royal Chapel and other parts of the Cathedral from 1558 - 1568.
The Baroque era added the Parish Church and more capillas (chapels) from 1618 - 1758.
Many of these chapels are beautiful. Worth spending some time walking around and reading the signs in front of them. The capilla Mayor is the largest in Spain.
Modern times have added new main doors and the southwest corner.
Because of the complexity of the structure that covers such a long period of time the AudoGuide is recommended. Cost in September 2009 was Euro 3.50. There are no numbers inside of the Cathedral but you get a map and a floor plan together with the audioguide so that it is easy enough to follow.
You can enter the Giralda tower here too. It is a long steep climb up many ramps to the top - no I didn't do it :)
Christopher Columbus's tomb is here although it is said that only half his body resides in it. The other half is supposed to be somewhere in South America.
Visits permitted Monday to Friday, in winter from 11 am to 5 pm; in summer from 9.30 am to 4 pm.
Those interested may attend Mass.
Named after the orange trees planted in its centre, Patio de los Naranjos was once the courtyard of the Great Mosque of Seville, where the faithful washed before praying in the Mosque. In its original form, the courtyard was surrounded on three sides by arched porticos in a distinctly Moorish-style. Only two sides have survived to this day, albeit much restored and modified. The third was destroyed to make way for the construction of the Iglesia del Sagrario. Still, the remaining two sides, with their pointed horseshoe arches, are sufficient for one to imagine the splendour of the non-extant Great Mosque of Seville. The courtyard was open to the interior of the mosque, but when the magnificent Gothic cathedral was built, it was closed off and access into the church became limited to the monumental Gothic gate, Puerta de la Concepción.