The immense Gothic Cathedral of Seville was built on the site of an ancient Muslim mosque. It was completed in the early 16th century and was designated a Roman Catholic cathedral.
Since 1987, this cathedral has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is said to be the third largest in Europe.
The Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Sea is also the final resting place of Christopher Columbus since 1898. His tomb is large and elaborate.
The beauty and size of the cathedral is simply amazing.
The exterior is ornate with extensive carvings, there are many doors, flying buttresses, and towers. There are several ornate doors to the cathedral. The one in the photo is the Puerta de Palos.
The interior is incredible with extensive gilding. The central nave is lavishly decorated and carved. The main altarpiece is a stunning golden work of art. The floors are polished marble, the columns and arches tall and imposing. There are intricate 15th century stained glass windows. There are 80 chapels in Saint Mary of the Sea Cathedral there in Seville.
The beauty and the sheer size of this historic, religious site was quite amazing.
I could have spent four or five hours in this incredible monument. The history lesson learned was that of the story of Seville from the 12th century until modern times.
You might want to tour with the audio guide. Plan at least two hours.
For info: www.travelinginspain.com
The journey is as worthwhile as the destination - trekking up Giralda Tower
I made the very silly mistake of thinking that the "17" on the sign above the entrance to the Giralda Tower in the Cathedral in Sevilla, Spain meant that there were 17 flights to the top. Little did I know it actually referred to the incline. As I continued up the tower (no steps, just ramps, which made things a little easier to deal with), I found plenty of places to stop, catch my breath and have a drink of water. I also found some incredible views when I stepped into the little nooks to take a look out of the windows - it's as if each window offer you a a glimpse into a completely different world.
La Giralda, the bell tower of the Seville Cathedral, as seen from a different angle. Seville is a city that seems to come to life at night when the patio cafes are fullest for a late night dinner. To happen upon this quiet street, with the light from the street lamp and a view of the tower, was a nice suprise.
As beautiful at night as it is exotic during the day. It is the largest Gothic Cathedral in the world and the third largest Church. Chrisopher Columbus is buried here. The Giralda, or bell tower, is built to resemble a minaret in Morocco. Kings and Queens are crowned here.
Sky Bacon is the translator's version for Tocino de Cielo, more aptly named Heavenly Bacon. It was invented in the 1300s by nuns at a convent in the Jerez region of Spain. They needed to use up the excess egg yolks after the whites had been used to clarify wine. The brownish "bacon" color comes from caramelized sugar. It must surely be the forerunner of Flan, Spain's world renowned dessert. Very popular in Andalucia, bakeries all over Seville feature little dishes of it along with beautifully decorated cookies and small cakes.
We were led to this incredible sight on our first night in Seville - admiring the grandeur of the Catedral de Seville, the third largest church in the world. The magnificent lighting at night, combined with the holiday decorations (not yet lit) gave us our first of many "wow" moments in the city. Turns out this is the side entrance to the cathedral - this was only the beginning.
The third largest cathedral in the world, Catedral de Seville, offers incredible views from its Giralda Tower, a former minaret that was converted into the cathedral's bell tower. It's a relatively easy climb as there are no steps, only slanted walkways, which were designed for those on horseback to be able to ascend to the bell tower. The views are well worth the climb, including this one of the Real Alcazar (Royal Palace) below, with the Guadalquivir River in the background.
Semana Santa, or Holy Week is a big deal in the city of Seville. Taking place each year before Easter, this dramatic procession is a must witness event for those wishing to take a glimpse into the deeply rooted Catholic culture of Spain.
The main event, the parade is intricately planned and performed for the adoring masses. Even the larger of the floats are still man powered, some requiring up to 40 men to carry antiquated wooden statues, idols of the Virgin Mary, and hundreds of candles dripping wax through the winding streets.
The processions are majestic, detailed and very well thought out, coming from various churches all over the area - each spectator has their favorites and you can expect more emotional responses when the crowd favorites pass by.
Women will be dressed in traditional black dresses with the stiff lace mantle on their heads, like proud Spanish peacocks.
Semana Santa in Seville captures the essence of Catholic Spain at its best and is a fiesta not to be missed!
Photo by MaloJavio El Saucejo/Flickr.