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The Cathedral of Seville in Sevillemarker, Andaluciamarker is the largest Gothic cathedral and the third-largest church in the world. It is also known as Catedral de Santa María de la Sede (Cathedral of Saint Mary of the See)

At the time of its completion in the 1500s, it supplanted the Hagia Sophiamarker as the largest cathedral in the world. Previously, the Hagia Sophia had held the title for more than a thousand years. The cathedral also serves as the burial site of Christopher Columbus.


The cathedral was built to demonstrate Seville's wealth, as it had become a major trading center in the years after the Reconquista. The builders of the cathedral decided in July 1401 to build a new temple, as the ancient Muslim mosque was in bad shape after the 1356 earthquake. According to the oral tradition of Seville, the decision of members of the chapter was: "Let a church so beautiful and so great that those who see it built will think we were mad". According to the minutes of that day, the new church should be: "a work such as good, which like no other."

Construction began in 1402 on the site of a former mosque, following the capture of Seville from the Moors; it continued until 1506. Church workers gave half their salaries to pay for architects, builders and other expenses.

The Mayor dome.
Five years after construction ended, in 1511, the dome collapsed and work on the cathedral re-commenced. The dome again collapsed in 1888, and work was still being performed on the dome until at least 1903. The 1888 collapse occurred due to an earthquake and resulted in the destruction of "every precious object below" the dome at that time.

The interior has the longest nave in Spainmarker. Its central nave rises to a height of 42 metres and 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 Giraldamarker, a minaret converted into a bell tower. The Giralda is the city's most famous symbol. Its square base is 13.61 meters and a height of 105 meters. It was built as a minaret of the old mosque, although the bell tower and spire top, is Renaissance.
Interior of the cathedral


The cathedral has 80 chapels, in which 500 masses were said daily as reported in 1896. The north side Chapel of Saint Anthony contains the Murillo painting of The Vision of St. Anthony (1656).


  • 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 of Castile (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)



Image:Cathedral and Archivo de Indias - Seville.jpg|Seville Cathedral.Image:Sevilla_kathedrale.jpg|Exterior of the Cathedral (South view).File:View From Seville Cathedral 02.jpg|View from inside of La Giralda.Image:Seville_Massive_Se_Cathedral_Facade.jpg|Façade of the Cathedral.Image:La Giralda.jpg|Giraldamarker as seen from the outside wall of the Patio de los Naranjos.File:Torre de la Giralda - Plaza Virgen de los Reyes - Sevilla.jpg|Giralda from Plaza Virgen de Los Reyes .Image:Sevilla2005July 036.jpg|Cathedral roofs as seen from the Giralda.File:Naves 001jpg.jpg|Interior of the Cathedral.Image:Sevilla2005July 029.jpg|Inside the Cathedral.File:Bóveda crucero 001.jpg|Inside the Cathedral.File:Vidriera catedral Sevilla 001.jpg|Inside the CathedralFile:Sevilla cathedral - tomb of christopher columbus.jpg|Tomb of Christopher Columbus.Image:Sevilla2005July 034.jpg|Cathedral Treasure.Image:Patio of the Oranges Gate, Seville Cathedral.jpg|Gate to the Patio de los Naranjos, part of the old Almohad mosque, now annexed to the Cathedral.Image:Sevilla2005July 043.jpg|Cathedral from the Patio de los Naranjos.Image:Pierre Dancart Alterpiece Seville.jpg|Pierre Dancart's masterpiece, considered one of the finest altarpieces in the world.

Further reading

John Harvey, The Cathedrals of SpainLuis Martinez Montiel, The Cathedral of Seville


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