History

Seville Cathedral was built to cover the land previously occupied by an Almohad Mosque in the XII Century. From this Mosque, only its minaret, the Giralda, has arrived to our days.

The building was built in instead of an Almohad mosque in Seville, in order to symbolize, by a prestigious monument, the prosperity of the Andalusian capital became a great shopping city after the Reconquista. Friday, July 8, 1401, the meeting of the chapter which was to decide the construction of the monument, Alonso Martínez, the architect of this Cathedral uttered this sentence that describes the State of mind of the Sevillanas authorities: “Build a temple so great that those who see finished will take us to madmen!” Its first architect was master Pug, a native of Normandy. Builders réutilisèrent elements and columns of the mosque and transformed into campanile its minaret, the famous Giralda tower, today a symbol of the city.

Interior

Seville Cathedral interior

Inside, with the longest nave in Spain, is decorated with lavish way, with profusion of gold. In the main body of the building stands the chorus, which occupies the center of the nave, with two large organs. It opens in the Capilla Mayor, which is dominated by the colossal Gothic altarpiece, including 45 panels carved representing scenes from the life of Christ. This unique and truly extraordinary of the sculptor Pierre Dancart masterpiece is the book of a lifetime: it’s the table altar the largest and richest in the world and one of the most sumptuous pieces carved Gothic art.

At the end of the main body is the royal chapel, built by the architect Hernán Ruiz. In this Chapel, Kings Ferdinad III the Saint and Alfonso X the wise and Queen Élisabeth of Swabia are buried.

The Cathedral also has a large collection of silver, painted paintings and statues, as well as the tomb of Christophe Colomb. It houses over a monumental monstrance which is the largest in the world.

Timeline

  • 1184 – Construction of the Almohad Mosque begun 
  • 1198 – Completion of the Mosque
  • 1248 – Conquest of Seville by Ferdinand III, the mosque Christianized
  • 1356 and 1362 – Two earthquakes destroy minaret, replaced by bell gable 
  • 1401 – (8 July- Harvey 230) Decision made to replace former mosque 
  • 1402 – Nave begun- SW corner 
  • 1432 – Nave completed, east end started 
  • 1466 – Demolition of Royal Chapel authorized by Juan II of Castile 
  • 1467 – East end completed, vaults begun. Anchors added. 
  • 1475 – Stalls begun
  • 1478 – Stalls completed
  • 1481 – Doorways in high altar completed
  • 1482 – Retablo begun (ALTARPIECE) 
  • 1498 – Vaults completed, lantern begun 
  • 1506 – Main dome (lantern) completed (Montiel 16) 
  • 1511 – Lantern collapses, rebuilding begins 
  • 1515 – New choir vaults completed 
  • 1517 – New transept vaults completed 
  • 1519 – Lantern rebuilding completed
  • 1526 – Retablo Mayor completed 
  • 1551 – Capilla Real begun 
  • 1558 – Belfry replaces bell gable
  • 1568 – Giralda, top stages
  • 1575 – Capilla Real completed 
  • 1888 – Main dome and vaults collapse 
  • 1934 – Eduard Torres, priest and long-time choirmaster, dies
  • 1995 – Infanta Elena of Spain, the elder daughter of King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofía, married Jaime de Maricharlar in the Cathedral.