Santa Maria of the Sede Cathedral, Seville (Catedral de Santa María de la Sede in Sevilla)
Situated in the heart of Seville, near Guadaquivil river, the Gothic Santa María Cathedral in Seville is the largest Cathedral in Spain, and the largest Gothic Christian Cathedral in the world. In fact, the imposing Cathedral measures 116 metres in length and 76 metres in width, being together with the Zaragoza and the Toledo Cathedrals the three unique Gothic Cathedrals with five naves in Spain.
This outstanding Cathedral was built between 1433 and 1519 on the site of the Great Mosque aljama demolished when the Almohad Mosque aljama (dating in 12th century) started being in ruins, but fortunately, the minaret (currently known as the Giralda), El Patio de los Naranjos (the Orange trees Courtyard), and the Puerta del Perdón (the Pardon Door) were not demolished and have remained in the place for more than eight centuries.
Being one of the buildings more visited by tourists in Spain, the Cathedral has more than enough interesting thing to spend several hours seeing its 138 Gothic stained glass windows, its unbelievable sculptures, its beautiful paintings by Murillo, Zurbarán, Valdés, Goya and others. Moreover, visitors can see the tomb of Christopher Columbus. Its artworks can be stared inside and outside the Cathedral. Therefore, it is said that 99 per cent of tourists who arrive in Seville do not miss out on the Cathedral.
The Giralda (La Giralda de Sevilla)
Next to cathedral is its bell tower, the world renowned Giralda with its 24 bells is one of the most remarkable towers in Seville, it measures 13,61 m in width and the same in length (square) and 94,70 metres in height without the Giraldillo (the statue on its top).
It was constructed in two stages:
– The first stage was between 1184 and 1198 of Almohad architecture and was the minaret of the Great Mosque aljama of Isbiliya until 1248 when the king Fernando III of Castilla (1199-1252) conquered Sevilla and the Great Mosque and its minaret were converted into The Cathedral of Sevilla.
– The second stage was added from the bells to the Giraldillo between 1557 and 1568.
Do not leave without going up the Giralda there is a breathtaking view of Guadalquivir river, Santa Cruz neighbourhood, Patio de los Naranjos and the city.
To add, the Cathedral and its bell tower the Giralda together with The Alcazar, and Archive of Indias were declared World of Heritage sites by UNESCO in 1987.
More places to visit in Seville
– Plaza de España: Plaza de España is located in the middle of Maria Luisa Park, in the city center. The square has a fountain in the middle, rounded for a small lake and a building behind it that gives a traditional style to all the place.
– Torre del Oro: This ancient tower is by the river, near to San Telmo Bridge. The first part of its structure was constructed in the 13th century when the Muslims lived in Andalusia, one century later it was improved and finished by Pedro I.
– Plaza de toros de la Maestranza.
– Metropol Parasol: Metropol Parasol is the official name of this construction placed in Plaza de la Encarnación, near the city centre of Sevilla. Popularly, the structure is known as “Setas de la Encarnación” because of its similarity to a big-scale mushrooms.