Seville Cathedral

The Cathedral of Seville, also known as Catedral de Santa María de la Sede (Cathedral of Saint Mary of the See) is the cathedral of the city of Seville in Andalucia. It is claimed by some to be the largest Gothic cathedral and the fourth largest Christian church in the world.

Description

Construction of the cathedral began in 1402 and continued into the 16th century. Its central nave rises to a height of 42 metres.

The interior, with the longest nave in Spain, is lavishly decorated, with a large quantity of gold evident. In the main body of the cathedral only the great boxlike structure of the choir stands out, filling the central portion of the nave. It is also dominated by a vast Gothic retablo of carved scenes from the life of Christ. The altarpiece was the lifetime work of a single craftsman, Pierre Dancart.

The builders used some columns and elements from the mosque, and most famously the Giralda, was converted into a bell tower. The Giralda is the city's most famous symbol.

This cathedral was built to demonstrate Seville's wealth, as it had become a major trading center in the years after the Reconquista.

During the planning of the cathedral's construction, a member of the chapter was recorded to have commented "we shall have a church [so great and] of such a kind that those who see it built will think we were mad."

Timeline

  • 1184 - La Giralda begun (Harvey 260)
  • 1198 - Completion of Almohad Mosque (Montiel 12) (Harvey 260)
  • 1248 - Conquest of Seville by Ferdinand III, mosque Christianized (Montiel 14)
  • 1376 - Earthquake destroys minaret, replaced by bell gable (Montiel 12)
  • 1401 - (8 July- Harvey 230) Decision made to replace former mosque (Montiel 15)
  • 1402 - Nave begun- SW corner (Harvey 260)
  • 1432 - Nave completed, east end started (Harvey 260)
  • 1466 - Demolition of Royal Chapel authorized by Juan II (Montiel 15)
  • 1467 - East end completed, vaults begun. Anchors added. (Harvey 260)
  • 1475 - Stalls begun (Harvey 260)
  • 1478 - Stalls completed (Harvey 260)
  • 1481 - Doorways in high altar completed (Montiel 16)
  • 1482 - Retablo Mayor begun (ALTARPIECE) (Harvey 260)
  • 1498 - Vaults completed, lantern begun (Harvey 260)*
  • 1506 - Main dome (lantern) completed (Montiel 16) (Harvey 260)
  • 1511 - Lantern collapses, rebuilding begins (Montiel 16) (Harvey 260)
  • 1515 - New choir vaults completed (Montiel 16)*
  • 1517 - New transept vaults completed (Montiel 16)*
  • 1519 - Lantern rebuilding completed (Harvey 260)
  • 1526 - Retablo Mayor completed (Harvey 260)
  • 1551 - Capilla Real begun (Harvey 260)
  • 1558 - Belfry replaces bell gable (Montiel 12)
  • 1568 - Giralda, top stages (Harvey 260)
  • 1575 - Capilla Real completed (Harvey 260)
  • 1888 - Main dome and vaults collapse (Montiel 16)

Burials

  • Ferdinand III of Castile
  • Elisabeth of Hohenstaufen

References

  • References are to John Harvey's "The Cathedrals of Spain" and Luis Martinez Montiel's "The Cathedral of Seville"

External links

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Tips & Hints
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Richard Revilla
30 October 2014
"They will think us mad" refering to what the builders thought people would say. Cathedral is an amazing site and size. Make sure to walk up the tower. Beautiful views of the city.
Alexandra Previdi
30 November 2014
Was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed visiting Catedral de Sevilla. Would definitely recommend getting the audio guide. There are few informational signs otherwise and you'll miss a lot.
Rewan Parti
5 July 2017
Come early to book the rooftop tour! You can also climb up a tower without any fee to get an eagles eye view of Seville! Notice the lights creating a cross on the chapel.Notice the gothic architecture
Alexandra Previdi
30 November 2014
Catedral de Sevilla is home to the world's largest alter piece - all gold and absolutely magnificent. Also had many other interesting features, including a thorn said to be from Christ's crown.
Sameer Raut
25 August 2019
Biggest gothic cathedral in the world. Started as a mosque, visible in the architecture.
Alexandra Previdi
28 November 2014
The view of Sevilla from the Giraldo tower is beautiful, but be warned that it is a 34 flight climb. Also loved seeing the world's second largest pearl in the "Tesoro" room.
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