Results 1-10of 14 Reviews
Moscow, Moskva, Russia
December 1, 2010
From journal Andalusia
Townsville, Queensland, Australia
January 4, 2009
From journal Seville Sightseeing
Queens, New York
November 21, 2007
From journal Sights of Seville
September 25, 2007
From journal Stopover in Seville
Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom
August 17, 2003
When you walk into the cathedral and your eyes have adjusted to the gloom the first feeling is one of scale -– you are expected to feel small in this monumental space and think about your maker. The roof is forty or fifty metres above you. At floor level there is little to interrupt your gaze as you try to make out the opposite side of the cavern. If it isn’t the largest religious building in Europe (there are various ways of measuring apparently) then it’s pretty close.
Once you’ve got over the daunted feeling the cathedral has a few treasures to reveal. The carved wooden altarpiece (the artist Dancart’s life’s work) is regarded as one of the finest and largest of its type – scenes of Christ’s life depicted with skill and artistry. The other big draw is the tomb of Christopher Columbus.
Climbing the Giralda, though, was our main reason for visiting. The tower is what remains of the mosque that originally stood on this site (built in the 12th century) and this can be detected from the architectural style and brickwork of the lower levels. The top of the tower is very clearly gothic (added in the 16th century to create a bell chamber) and more in keeping with the rest of the cathedral. From within the cathedral you are led up a fairly gentle and wide ramp that winds round and round the inside of the tower –- there are Roman numerals marking your ascent. At various points windows look out over the rooftops and the gothic architecture of the cathedral’s roof. A final climb up a short staircase takes you onto the balcony from which you can gaze across the whole city. I love staring down on cities; working out where you’ve been, catching glimpses of courtyards and buildings otherwise hidden from prying eyes and getting an idea of how the city was planned and grew. If you share this sentiment then you’ll like the top of the Giralda. It’s a great view.
I would recommend relaxing after your descent in the Patio de los Naranjos -– the courtyard dating back to Moorish times when worshippers would wash their hands and feet before entering. It is a fragrant and relatively peaceful place despite the crowds -– tourists tend to quieten down in cathedrals.
Admission fees are reasonable and should not be a barrier to you enjoying this place.
From journal Lose your heart to Seville
Cinnaminson, New Jersey
August 10, 2003
Being in Spain during Semana Santa (Holy Week) means that you will see processions with the large porcelain dolls of Mary and Jesus decorated in beautiful clothes carried from one end of the town to the other, as well as processions of various monk orders along the main street, women wearing the clothes that you can only see in Goya’s paintings of majas. It also means that all the opening hours are screwed up – some places are totally closed or close earlier, and you won’t know until you actually get there. This happened to me in Seville – the city mayor decided to close Seville cathedral couple of hours earlier for a concert – and I never got to see the inside of that cathedral.
Oh well, the cathedral from the outside is absolutely gorgeous and it is one of the largest cathedrals in the world. It is considered 3rd largest after St. Peter’s in Vatican and St. Paul’s in London, however recent 3-dimensional models make this cathedral the largest. You most certainly get that feeling when walking around it. It has very tall ceilings and gorgeous lace-like gothic spires seem to adorn the building. Part of the dome is in Renaissance style. Each of the gates has beautiful plaster rosettes and rose windows. The cathedral besides its architecture is well-known for its altar, Murillo’s and Zurbaran’s paintings and Christopher Columbus’ tomb. And attached to it is a red brick bell-tower called La Giralda [hiralda] which has become the symbol of Seville. Giralda used to be a minaret of a mosque that stood where the cathedral stands now. The tower is designed in Moorish style with horseshoe windows so typical for Andalusia. The top of the tower was added in the 16th century and is in Renaissance style that some think doesn’t go together with the rest of the tower, however I didn’t think that it was out of place. Giralda is very tall (295 ft) and if you climb it, you will be able to get a great view of the city and the inside of the gothic cathedral. The entrance to the cathedral is near La Giralda.
From journal Travels to Spain - Seville
New York, New York
July 3, 2003
The tomb of Christopher Columbus is here as well. Four beautifully crafted bronze statues of kings act as pall-bearers for the coffin believed to contain the remains of the explorer. The kings, of course, represent the four kingdoms of Spain with the Castilles and the Leonis up front. At this time, no one is certain if this tomb is indeed his or that of his son. DNA testing has begun in several independent laboratories around the world. This will determine if Christopher Colombus rests in Spain or in the Dominican Republic as he did when he was first buried.The Cathedral also contains many great paintings by well known artists. Among them, a painting by Goya illustrating two saints' profound devotion to God. These two women were killed for destroying statues and monuments dedicated to pagan gods. One woman was thrown to the lions while the other was burned at the stake. The keys to the old city wall are kept here as well.
After studying the many important sites within the church, I shuffled my way up 36 steep ramps to the grande finale: the very top of La Giralda and the cathedral's bell tower. The original medieval builders were very much ahead of their time when the plans were drawn up for this tower. The use of ramps made the long trip up easier, faster and safer than the usual staircase ever could. Once I finally reached the top, I had a perfect 360-degree view of Sevilla. A fabulous prize by any measure!
From journal Cultural Crossroads in Spain's Andalucia
January 9, 2003
The site of the Catedral has had a colorful history all its own. A 6th-century Visigothic cathedral formerly occupied this plot of land. This was demolished to make way for the great 12th-century "High Mosque" of the Almohads that includes the magnificent Giralda minaret. The Spanish conquerors demolished virtually the entire mosque, but they had enough sense to retain the Giralda because of its obvious beauty and symbolic value. The attractive Patio de los Naranjos (with a Moorish fountain at the center) was also retained, with a few Renaissance touches subsequently thrown in. As its name indicates, this courtyard is filled with fragrant orange trees irrigated by little canals. The Puerta del Perdon is the gateway to the Patio de los Naranjos.
The grandiose plans of the Catedral, credited to Alonso Martinez, Simon de Colonia, and Juan Gil de Ontanon, was completed in the relatively short time span (1402 to 1506) atop the huge rectangular footprint of the former mosque. The master architect of the Rouen Cathedral probably had some influence on the overall design. With this pedigree, the architects of the Catedral made a bold statement with its sheer scale, height, and mass along with its aesthetic qualities. The Catedral was not just a place of worship, but was and is a symbol of Christian might and glory.
Walk around the perimeter to glimpse at all the bold details of the exteriors, and look up to see some of the 70 domes sheltering the building. Informational signs are placed around the base of the Catedral for tourists, such as the one at the Puerto San Miguel on the west side.
The vast interiors contain the Plateresque-style Capilla Real, which is the main royal chapel. The treasury includes works by artists like Murillo, Zurburan, and Ribera. There is also the grandiose 1902 "tomb" of Christopher Columbus, which is interesting since about three other countries lay claim to the remains of the great discoverer. Take a peek into the gift shop for some standard souvenirs to take away.
Admission to the Catedral and the Giralda is on a single ticket, although there is free admission to both on Sunday afternoons. The main visitor entrance is through the Puerto de San Cristobal. The Puerta del Perdon is now the visitor exit, though it was formerly the original main gateway.
From journal Bill in Spain - SEVILLA
LOS ANGELES, California
December 3, 2002
From journal Seville, the most Spanish of cities
by Harry Potter
July 22, 2002
General adult admission is 6 Euros though students pay only 1.50 Euros. The Catedral is open to the public 7 days a week but only in the afternoon on Sundays. Detailed floor plans, available in several languages, are helpful in making your way around this enormous edifice.
The inside of the Catedral is as impressive as the outside and includes several chapels. The side chapels contain statues and tombs, though several of these chapels are blocked off by iron screens. The main chapel with its profusion of gold is exquisite and resides across from the enormous choir area. The high altar is adorned with huge silver religious relics. There are several remarkable treasures in the interior of the Catedral and side rooms contain works of arts by the great masters. Another famous item inside the Catedral is a grand tomb held up high by four pallbearers and in which, is claimed to be Christopher Columbus' remains. Supposedly his remains traveled around quite a bit before finally settling here in the Catedral.
On the northeastern side of the Catedral, is the entrance to La Giralda, which can be ascended by walking up 34 gradual, spiraling ramps then a small stairway. The long, but nonstrenuous climb is worth it for the magnificent view of the city. Stopping to look out the gated window at floor 16 will give you a good glimpse of the Catedral architecture from just above it. At the top, you will see the large bells above you, then move from gated window to gated window to observe the different sites below and afar. After descending from the miniaret, emerge into the light by walking into the Patio de los Naranjos, (courtyard of orange trees) to spend the final part of your visit reflecting on this landmark's beauty and grandeur.
From journal 3 Semanas in Sevilla