The Seville Cathedral, the Cathedral of St. Mary of the See, is massive, so massive in fact that it’s been ranked the third largest cathedral in the world and the largest Gothic cathedral. It was built on the site of Seville’s main Mosque, and the bell tower is the converted minaret from that mosque. The mosque was begun in 1184, but the mosque was consecrated as a cathedral in 1248 during the Reconquista when Seville was captured by Christian Ferdinand III. Construction on the Gothic cathedral began in 1434 and continued until the early 16th century. Later Renaissance and Baroque sections would also be added throughout the 16th-18th centuries.
The Seville Cathedral is also one of the burial places of Christopher Columbus. His burial is a little complicated. When he died in Spain, he was initially buried where he died, in Valladolid. Columbus had wanted to be buried in the New World, but in 1506 there wasn’t any place impressive enough for that. But when he died, his son was governor of Santo Domingo in what would become the Dominican Republic, and his son requested the honor of his burial in that city. This would take place in 1537. But after Hispaniola was ceded to the French, Columbus’ remains were sent back to Spain so they wouldn’t fall into French possession. But Santo Domingo still claims a portion of the burial as a mysterious box was found labeled with his name.
DNA testing of the remains in Seville confirmed that the Seville Cathedral has Columbus’ remains, or 150 grams of him at any rate. Santo Domingo has refused DNA testing, so we may never know definitively where the rest of him went. Columbus is a controversial figure for his actions in life, no less so in his death.
Title quote: Christopher Columbus
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