The Cathedral of Seville is the largest Gothic temple in the world and the third largest in Christendom after St. Peter's in the Vatican and St. Paul's in London. Building works began in 1403 on the former Great Mosque of Seville, an Almohad work of which the Patio de los Naranjos and the Giralda have been preserved.
After the Reconquest, the temple was built as we see it today, mixing different architectural styles: Gothic, Romanesque, Renaissance, Mozarabic... although the Gothic style is over all.
The courtyard can be accessed through the Perdón door, which is decorated with Renaissance plasterwork and Almohad kufic inscriptions. The courtyard kept this structure complete until 1618, when the Tabernacle Chapel was built on the west side.
The Cathedral is made up of five naves, the highest of which is 36 metres high, with the side naves reaching 26 metres high. The maximum height is reached on the cruise and is 40 metres. The transept was built in the 15th century and sank in 1511, being restored between 1888-1893, together with the execution of the new dome.
The Cathedral of Seville, with its sober beauty and mystical atmosphere, captivates thousands of tourists every year. Among the most impressive features of the Cathedral, it must be noted the stained glass windows and the high vaulted ceilings that can be visited (covers), full of drawings and Gothic architecture; the imposing Gothic vaults; the charming courtyard with orange trees (Patio de los Naranjos); the unique Columbian library; the bell tower; the chapels full of works of art, together with an excellent iconography that includes paintings, sculptures, stained glass windows and delicate goldsmiths make a visit to the Cathedral a must in Seville.
The Giralda is one of the most exceptional watchtowers in Seville, it is one of its symbols par excellence. Recognisable throughout the world, its silhouette has inspired many works of art and even very similar monuments, being almost twins, making it quickly recognisable to anyone, even if they have never been to Seville. It is also one of the best known Arab monuments in the world.
The Giralda deserves a quiet and contemplative tour to enjoy both its exterior and interior. It is part of the cathedral, embellishing and complementing it, becoming one of the most beautiful bell towers in the world.
It has the classic structure of Almohad minarets that was still used for centuries in most Mudejar bell towers.
It consists of a central prism with a square base, surrounded by the four outer walls. Between the two structures, the climbing ramps can be found. These ramps, considering this tower and its large size, even allowed access on horseback.
The exterior decoration is based on biforous or mullioned spans, either with semi-circular or poly-lobed horseshoe arches, surrounded by a rectangular frame and sheltered by another large pointed lobed arch (tumulus). In the side streets there are wall arches which, seen from a distance, look like a network of lozenges. The great height of this minaret makes it stand out from all the others, its decoration in vertical stripes giving it a special look.
In the body of bells, it can be noted the magnificent work of its windows, where the arches and capitals of caliphal origin stand out. The last body of the Almohad tower was replaced in the 16th century by Hernán Ruiz due to its deterioration. It has a Renaissance finish on which a bronze female statue, about four metres high, revolves, representing "the victorious faith" called the Giraldillo that gives the tower its name.
Monday to Saturday: 10:45 - 18:15
Sundays: 14:30 - 18:15
Optional visits: 16 € (single price)
(access through Puerta de San Miguel)
- Guided cathedral: Monday to Saturday
- Rooftop: Daily