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Sevilla Cathedral: Patio De Los Naranjos
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.
Sevilla Cathedral: Columbus's Tomb
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.
Sevilla Cathedral: Sacristy
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.
Sevilla Cathedral: Outside Views
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.
Magnificent Cathedral & Giralda Tower
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.
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Sevilla Gothic Cathedral
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.
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Visit Cristopher Columbus inside
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.
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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.
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Cathedral of Seville
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.
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The Seville 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.
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Patio de los Naranjos
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.
Puerta del Perdón
One of the few surviving elements from the Great Mosque of Seville, la Puerta del Perdón is the main gateway to Patio de los Naranjos. The pointed horseshoe-arched Moorish-style gate was given its Catholic and Baroque adornments in 1520. The mix of Baroque and Moorish styles is quite a contrast to the Gothic Cathedral beyond the courtyard. Outside the gate is a row of Roman columns brought here from nearby Roman ruins.
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Sevilla's monumental Cathedral
Located next door to La Giralda is Sevilla's famous 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, with a glimpse of one of them in the 2nd photo!
Because Sue's sister had the Real Alcazar (located next-door) as our main objective for this part of our trip, we did not tour the inside of the Cathedral - but it is reported to be a wonder of the world with its extensive decorations in gold and hand carved wooden scenes from the Bible.
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Sevilla's cathedral is the largest gothic building in Europe, and you can certainly tell as soon as you walk into the vast gloom of the buiding. I'd recommend that the first thing you do is look up! The sheer height and vastness of the building takes your breath away. The cathedral is build on the site of the Almohad mosque.
Once you've got your breath back (or releived your neck pain!) wander round. There's the tomb of Christopher Colombus (Cristóbal Colón), who was originally buried in Havana, Cuba, but transferred to Sevilla during the Cuban revolutions in 1902. You can also climb the Giralda steps (the giralda used to be a minaret, but is now a bell tower). It's one of only three remaining Almohad minarets left in the world. You can gain access to the Giralda via the inside of the cathedral, near the Capilla Real.
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