Guided visits to Seville Cathedral
The Seville Cathedral is the most grandiose monumental site in the city and is full of more than 500 years of Works, from the end of the medieval period until the 20th century.
Seville’s Catedral de Santa María de la Sede is the third-largest Christian church in the world, surpassed only by the Vatican’s Saint Peter and London’s Saint Paul. And it is the largest done in the gothic style, although the Seville Cathedral is based on several artistic styles, since its construction was prolonged through about five centuries, from its gothic origins in the early 15th century to the finishing touches made during the first years of the 20th century.
Therefore, in the Seville Cathedral, although predominantly of gothic architecture, an amalgam of forms from the history of art can be found. You can even trace the origins before this church, since this same site used to be the location of the Great Mosque of Isbiliya, the Muslim name of the city. However, after the conquest of Seville in 1248, it was immediately decided that the mosque would be converted into a cathedral, changing the orientation to the east and gradually filling it with catholic paintings and altarpieces. Nevertheless, the poor state of the original construction meant that around the year 1400 it was decided that the church would be demolished and at the same time the current gothic cathedral would be built.
However, a part of the Muslim building still remains. It is the Courtyard of the Orange Trees, which was kept as a cloister. Its open character has always made it a kind of public square in the heart of Seville. And also of Muslim origin is the Giralda, the bell tower of the Cathedral, whose base is from the Almohad era.
As for the Cathedral itself, it is an enormous complex of tiered rooms organized by five naves, with the centre being taller and wider than the rest. On the sides of those naves, with the passing of the centuries many chapels have been opened, some of which are great masterpieces that unite architecture, sculpture and painting.
It’s worth mentioning that the Main Chapel is covered with an ornate starry vault and houses a fine golden altarpiece by Pedro Dancart in the 15th century. There is also the extraordinary Royal Chapel where various portraits of the Spanish monarchs can be seen. In fact, different kings from the old Kingdom of Castile are interred there.
The vast majority of chapels are highly decorated with altars, sculptures, etchings and paintings, though mostly with paintings. Some were created by great masters, like the series of paintings by Zurbarán in the San Antonio chapel, or the different paintings that Murillo made in various chapels, although there were more paintings by this Sevillian artist in the cathedral at one time; most are currently in museums like the Louvre.
Finally, the Cathedral Treasure Museum must be mentioned, which is where most of the paintings by these and other first-rate artists can be found. In addition, there is the tomb and funerary monument of Christopher Columbus.