After our orientation tour with Pepa, we knew what we had to do – the Cathedral and the Alcazar, so we got up early to beat the queues – except we didn’t. By the time we got to the Cathedral, the queue was rather long, which meant a half hour wait in the already hot morning sun. We could see that the queue for the Alcazar was of a similar length, so we just stood waiting, chatting to a couple of women from North Carolina – fierce anti-Trumpites!
Pepa had walked us through the free part of the Gothic Cathedral on the previous morning, so we knew we were in for a treat. The High altar, the Retablo Mayor, is simply spectacular. Set behind a high iron grill, it dazzles nonetheless – absolutely incredible.
The Cathedral has many side chapels, a huge choir stall and of course the wonderful Christopher Columbus tomb – well, the small coffin that carries some of his remains. It stands magnificent within the Cathedral and is a drawcard for many.
I always find the side chapels in these large cathedrals fascinating as they contain wonderful religious icons and Seville Cathedral is no exception
During our visit there was an exhibition within the cathedral which offered the chance to see some more icons and some of the stunning robes worn by priests – such fabulous needlework.
The interior of the church overwhelms like many other of the fabulous churches we have seen on this journey and it will remain memorable.
The Giralda, the bell tower of the Cathedral, was previously a minaret when it was a C12th mosque (the Cathedral having been constructed a couple of centuries later, where the Mosque once stood). We decided to climb the 35 floors to the top to view the city. The climb up was easy enough, as no stairs are involved. The way up is via a ramp, making the five trips per day to call the faithful to prayer easier for the Muezzin…. The vista the tower provides makes the climb worthwhile and we were glad we were there early, because the descent was somewhat of a crush with many more people ascending at the same time.
After lunch we set off for the Royal Alcazar (a World Heritage site)- the line was much shorter than it had been in the morning for which we were grateful, as the sun was incredibly hot. The Alcazar is beautiful and peaceful and somewhat reminiscent of the Alhambra. It has a tranquil appeal to it and the stunning Maidens’ Courtyard will linger in my memories of the Palace along with the beautifully kept gardens. The architecture is a mix of Moorish and Gothic styles, called Mudejar. I will let the photos tell the story.
We loved our time in Seville – for me it ranks with Valencia for its ambience, colour and vitality. I loved every minute of it – our accommodation, the food and the glorious sunshine – it was a real highlight for me.
Next post – Cordoba.