Seville’s Grand Cathedral

One of the highlights and must-see Seville sights is the Cathedral of Seville (Catedral de Santa María de la Sede).  The Cathedral is a big draw for many people just for its size alone – it’s the third largest cathedral in the world.  However, there’s much more to this place than just its size.

The Cathedral was another effort by the city of Seville to flaunt its re-conquest of the city over the Moors.  The church began construction in 1402 on the site of a former mosque.  It was finally finished in 1506 but had to have numerous work done after the dome collapsed in 1511 and 1888.

Some pieces of the mosque remained as part of it was used to build the cathedral.  The Giralda bell tower of the cathedral used to be the minaret used to call Muslims to prayer.  It was built wide enough for a man to ride up on a horse and makes for a great climb when making your way to the top for some of the best views of the city.

While Seville Cathedral is beautiful in many ways, size was a feature that is prominent throughout the grand church.  One of the features on the inside of the church is the altar piece.  At nearly 20 meters, it is the highest altar in the world.  Aside from the size, it’s beauty is seen in the 44 scenes of Christ depicted on the altar designed by Pierre Dancart.

With its grand size, the Cathedral features 80 chapels and numerous tombs.  The nave of the church is 42 meters long and is the longest in Spain.  Of the tombs, the most famous are that of Christopher Columbus and Ferdinand III.  A number of treasuries display some of the jewels, including a crown with 11,000 jewels.

The Cathedral takes at least a couple of hours to see with the altar piece, the Giralda bell tower, the tomb of Columbus, and the treasury.  A walk outside takes you into a court area with a number of trees giving you shade from the hot summer heat in Seville.

While the size and the wealth of Seville’s Cathedral alone is worth seeing, there is so much more to it.  It’s another example of the blend of Moorish and Christian architecture as the the Cathedral is the crown jewel and symbol of the city.  So make sure it’s on your Seville sightseeing itinerary, along with Alcazar and the Bascilica de la Macarena.

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