“Following the light of the sun, we left the Old World”

The front exterior of the Cathedral
The front exterior of the Cathedral

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.

Detail of one of the columns on the front exterior - you don't see many dragons in Spain
Detail of one of the columns on the front exterior – you don’t see many dragons in Spain. The creature on the right looks like a badger to me.
This column has two dragons!
This column has two dragons!
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.
This little guy is my favorite
This little guy is my favorite
This super subtle installation is Columbus' tomb.
This super subtle installation is Columbus’ tomb.
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
It's hard not to feel small in spaces like this
It’s hard not to feel small in spaces like this
The main altar has a literal ton of gold on it - 2,000 pounds of the stuff from the New World
The main altar has a literal ton of gold on it – 2,000 pounds of the stuff from the New World
The interior of the Cathedral is relatively dark, but it adds to the solemn atmosphere of the place
The interior of the Cathedral is relatively dark, but it adds to the solemn atmosphere of the place
It's easy to see how the designers of the Cathedral wanted parishioners to think of heaven when inside - the vaulted ceilings draw your eyes upward
It’s easy to see how the designers of the Cathedral wanted parishioners to think of heaven when inside – the vaulted ceilings draw your eyes upward
One of the many vaulted ceilings inside the Cathedral
One of the many vaulted ceilings inside the Cathedral
The Bell Tower is the minaret from the original mosque on this site
The Bell Tower is the minaret from the original mosque on this site
Madonna and child on one of the chapel altars in the Cathedral
Madonna and child on one of the chapel altars in the Cathedral
The exterior of the Cathedral from the Orange Court in the rear of the building
The exterior of the Cathedral from the Orange Court in the rear of the building
The Orange Court is also part of the original mosque complex
The Orange Court is also part of the original mosque complex
The Orange Court is a relaxing spot in the midst of crowds there to see the Cathedral
The Orange Court is a relaxing spot in the midst of crowds there to see the Cathedral

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