Thought I’d return to my ‘things to do’ posts this week with a recommendation to visit the Cathedral in Sevilla. Having now visited twice (once back in October at night time and once when Louise came to visit in March during the day), I feel ‘done’ enough of the Cathedral to give it a decent-ish write up.
Now, let me kick things off by saying that the Cathedral in Sevilla is absolutely massive! I’m talking largest gothic cathedral and third largest church in the world massive! That combined with the climb up to the top of La Giralda means I would strongly recommend wearing comfy shoes if you do decide to visit…it’s a lot of walking. Both times I visited I made climbing the Giralda a priority and did it before exploring the rest of the Cathedral so as not to tire myself out too much, so I would suggest you do similar unless you’re part of a guided tour, in which case you’re going to have to follow your guide. Either way, the views from the top (and even part way up) are more than worth the effort of climbing it. There are no stairs inside, only ramps, because the tower is the minaret of a former mosque and the muezzin had to climb to the top on the back of a donkey to give the prayer call.
Aside from the Giralda, there are lots of interesting things to see inside the Cathedral – and not just the beautiful architecture; although if you’re in to that kind of thing, it will more than satisfy! In the main chamber of the Cathedral (for lack of a better word) you’ll find lots of chapels, the choir, altar, and the tomb of Christopher Columbus which is held up by four statues representing the four kingdoms of Spain that existed while he was alive: Castilla, León, Aragón, and Navarra. Now the tomb is quite interesting because there’s some controversy as to whether the main himself is actually buried there. It’s a bit long and complicated, but in short: Columbus died in Valladolid in 1506 and was laid to rest there, his remains moved around a bit over the years, and now two sights claim to be his final resting place: the Cathedral in Sevilla and the Cathedral of Santa María la Menor in the Dominican Republic. Intriguing, no?! Why not visit the Cathedral in Sevilla for yourself and see if it sheds some light on the mystery?
After having walked miles inside the Cathedral, before leaving you’ll have to pass through the Patio de los Naranjos, or Orange Tree Courtyard, which is quite striking and offers a fantastic view of the Giralda from below. Walking through the courtyard in the spring with the wonderful smell of the orange trees is rather special (if you can dodge the other tourists, that is) and I’d imagine it’s just as impressive at other times of the year too.
So there you go, a wee suggestion to visit the Cathedral if you ever find yourself in Sevilla. Even if you’re not really into churches, I’d recommend a visit to this one!
Where: You’ll find the Cathedral on one of the main streets in Sevilla, Avenida de la Constitución. It’s in between Plaza Nueva and Puerta de Jerez and also very close to Santa Cruz.
When: The Cathedral is open 11:00-15:30 on Mondays, 11:00-17:00 Tuesday-Saturday, and 14:30-18:00 on Sundays.
Price: The general entrance fee is €9, but pensioners and students under 25 have a reduced fee of €4.
How to get there: Sevilla has an international airport with flights to many different destinations. You can also fly in to Málaga or Madrid and take the high speed train to Sevilla itself. Once in the city, make your way to Avenida de la Constitución and you can’t miss it. The nearest metro stop is Puerta de Jerez and the nearest stop on the tram is Archivo de Indias.