Why do we recommend Giralda and Cathedral in Seville?
A lot has been herd, said and written about the Sevilla Cathedral, Santa Maria de la Sede, and the Giralda, which was minaret of the old mosque on which it was built in the XV century, as Seville Spain was the capital of the Iberian Peninsula during the Almohad domination, it was its biggest mosque three centuries earlier.
La Giralda, is named after the vane on top of the bell tower, called giraldillo, symbolizing the triumph of Christianity over the Muslim. The Giralda is almohad from its base to the belfry. From there the Mujahideen called to pray five times a day, that is why it has ramps instead of stairs to ease the climb that was done by horse. It is advisable to wear comfortable and non-slip shoes if you want to climb to the top to enjoy magnificent views of the Sevilla Center.
La Giralda has two distinct styles, Muslim and Christian. In 1355, in Christian times, was when the minaret and its 4 golden balls that crowned the Giralda were demolished. They decided to put in its place a small minaret that remained so until the sixteenth century when it was remodeled to its actual state, with the belfry and crowned with bronze statue of the giraldillo.
As an anecdote, we can say that the Giralda of Seville Spin has been conserved until today thanks to the fact that Alfonso X el Sabio, son of Fernando III el Santo who conquered Seville from the Almohad, and was the one who threatened to kill every Muslim of Seville if a single stone was thrown to the minaret.
Measurements of the Giralda made it the tallest building for many centuries, seeing as the the original part minaret is almost 51 meters high, and the whole of the tower, with the Christian top section measures 98.5 meters. Its total height, including the Giraldillo reaches 104 meters.
The Sevilla Cathedral, where the Giralda can be found, is one of the biggest of the world in terms of gothic style, and the third Christian one. On top of the beautiful stained glass windows of the XVI century, you can find work by Murillo like the Santa Teresa, the Choir chairs situated in the central aisle, different chapels and altars built in honor of the Virgin Mary.
Concerning the various styles, we can find different ones added like the Baroque, the neoclassical and even the neo-gothic left their mark on this open book of history. All of these styles were added to the Muslim base that can be seen on the door of Forgiveness where you can read in Arabic calligraphy “Power belongs to Allah” and “Eternity is from Allah”. Both la Giralda and Cathedral in Seville are masterpieces with visiting. They are however normally crowded and we recommend a pre-booking or, even better, a guided tour.
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More interesting things about Giralda and Cathedral
Inside, you can find a royal pantheon where dell kings such as Fernando III el Santo, Alfonso X el Sabio, Beatrice of Suabia or Pedro I, also famous illustrious such as Christopher Columbus (father and son) and Cardinal Cervantes or even an uncorrupted saint, San Fernando, preserved in a silver urn.
Finally, outside the Sevilla Cathedral is the courtyard of the oranges, serving as another reminder of Muslim culture that perfumes all of the surroundings.