Once you visit, it will steal your heart and keep you wanting to come back for more.
Seville Cathedral, also known as the Cathedral of St Mary of the See, is a Roman Catholic church which has been part of UNESCO World Heritage sites since 1987. It is the largest Gothic church in the world, and fourth-largest church in the world.
The cathedral took nearly 500 years to complete and it features a mix of architectural styles which just underline its beauty.
It is known to be a burial place of Christopher Columbus (his son is also buried here) and part of the Cathedral serves as the Archbishop’s Palace.
If that’s not impressive enough, there is also a 105 m high bell tower which used to be a minaret that was part of the old mosque standing here.
Seville Cathedral Useful Information
Location & Access: Location marked on the map here, it’s a very short walk from the Real Alcazar of Seville. Access from Puerta de Lagarto for online ticket holders and Puerta del Principe where you get tickets on spot.
Entry Prices: individual tickets for Cathedral & Giralda tower are 10 eur (I believe I paid around 12 eur on spot, so cheaper to buy online). You need to select your entry time to the Giralda tower, to see the Cathedral there is no dedicated time slot. Guided tours & those with access to roof are a bit more expensive. Online ordering system is available here and also works in English language.
Access without Guide: Monday to Saturday, 10.45 am to 17.00 pm, and Sunday 2.30 pm to 18.00 pm.
Guided tours: Monday and Wednesday at 18.00 pm and 20.00 pm, Tuesday & Thursday at 19.30 pm.
Guided roofs of Cathedral tours: dedicated time slots marked on the website here.
Useful tips: no need to worry about climbing the Giralda tower, there are no stairs and the access is flat upward climb. My 6 year old managed just fine. I would not venture there with heels of flip flops, and take water with you to quench your thirst once you reach the top.
I started my visit by climbing the – what feels like never ending – flights of elevated ramps that lead you all the way to the top of the Giralda bell tower. There are 35 of these ramps and it took us roughly 10-15 mins to get to the top without breaks.
As you can judge from the photos below, the youngest member of the crew was less than impressed, but made it to the top in one piece.
If nothing else, it’s well worth climbing the tower to get the best views of Seville, even though you’re limited of looking at them through the safety rail guards.
What’s interesting is the fact that the tower used to be an old mosque minaret and was later converted. Instead of adding stairs as you would normally expect, they chose to use elevated ramps so two sets of guards can comfortably walk to the top without issues, and it also enabled access to the tower to donkeys and horses.
The ramps are very wide, so you easily fit two or three people walking next to each other, so even in busy season you don’t end up feeling claustrophobic.
The cathedral has an impressive number of small chapels – 80 in total!
There are detailed descriptions of the Cathedral’s main altarpiece, choir and side chapels and portals available on their website here, or you will hear a lot about it from your tour guide.
I won’t got into the details in here, but below are my favourite bits from the Cathedral tour.
The Tomb of Christopher Columbus
One of the main attractions in the Cathedral, this tomb draws a lot of attention. It’s situated close to the entrance of the Cathedral and you will see it very quickly as crowds gather around it.
The tomb was made in 1892 and is held by four bearers who represent the kingdoms of Castile, Leon, Aragon and Navarra.
There were some disputes of whether the tomb holds the true remains of the great explorer as other countries have claimed his remains are located elsewhere, but a commissioned DNA study finally confirmed that the Cathedral of Seville is really his last resting place.
The courtyard of the cathedral is lined by orange trees, in a true Sevillian style.
If you come here early in the spring when they bloom, you’re in for a real treat as you can immerse yourself in their intoxicating fragrance.
Hope you enjoyed this short virtual visit of the Cathedral and Giralda! If you’ve visited already, I would love to know what your favourite parts were – leave a comment below.
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