Sunday, November 2, 2014

Seville part 2 - the Cathedral

The Cathedral of Saint Mary of the See (the Seville Cathedral) continues the pattern of Spanish obsession with all things Mary (the virgin). And they REALLY do it right in Seville. The Seville Cathedral is the largest cathedral in the world, as well as the third largest church and is absolutely magnificent!
The bell tower, called the Giralda, was converted from the Muslim mosque that was on the site, and was finished in 1198.
We got to go up in the bell tower, which was exciting because there were fantastic views all around, as well as some cool bells. And we didn't have to climb stairs to get there - we just went around and around the perimeter of the tower gradually getting higher, and there were small interior rooms with assorted relics (like VERY old vestments - that is pieces of them - hundreds of years old) to break things up, and outside windows to get different perspectives from.  Pretty cool.

The rest of the cathedral was built between 1402 and 1506 - over a hundred years, and before our country even got its start. It is amazingly huge, with very high ceilings and 80 chapels. Part of it is closed off to the tourists (with "please be quiet" signs) that are still used for worship services.

This picture shows the huge vaulted ceilings and I believe one of the alters with lots of art work (there were many altars and lots of art work and other treasures). The beautiful stained glass windows you can see made colorful light patterns on the wall, but the pictures I took that showed them weren't all that great. Ah well. Trust me, it was beautiful!

This is another alter (to the right), which consists of carved scenes from the life of Christ. It was the lifetime work of one man,  Pierre Dancart.

These life-sized statues carry a coffin with the actual remains of Christopher Colombus (his "tomb"). Spain is pretty proud of the fact that they financed the explorer that "discovered" the Americas.

The cathedral had at least two (that I could see) huge organs decorated with elaborate carvings. They were among my favorites there.

There was also a group of rooms containing various "treasures", like this cool piece of art (I can't remember what it was exactly)

And this "picture" of Mary and the Savior carved out of ivory. It was pretty good sized, too (maybe a foot and a half by two feet).

The  Sala Capitular (Renaissance Vault) - a beautiful ceiling. Much of my time in Seville was spent looking up!

There were courtyards also - this one planted with trees that were irrigated using waterways cut out of the paving stones - a form of flood irrigation I guess. And finally - a demonstration in support of schools we hit on the way out. Ah, Spain!

It is a Land of many contrasts, and much beauty.  I am so blessed to be here!
(An olive grove we saw on the way home.)


  1. I am so impressed with the historic details you include in your posts. You obviously study up on the things we see much more than I do. Thank you for furthering my education. You are just Amazing!!!

    1. Haha - it'd be more impressive if I actually looked stuff up BEFORE I went to it, instead of waiting until I'm wondering what the heck all that cool stuff I took pictures of was!