For your next holiday, let yourself be tempted by a trip to Seville, in the heart of Andalusia. Find out everything you need to know to visit Seville Cathedral and the Giralda!
Located in the southwest of Spain, on the banks of the Guadalquivir, Seville is in many ways a unique city. This quintessential Andalusian city spellbinds its visitors as soon as they experience its mild and sunny climate, and discover its magnificent historical remains, its rich cultural heritage, and its festive atmosphere. Seville offers an eyeful of majestic Mudéjar palaces, (don’t miss out on the Alcazar, make sure to book a tour in advance) lively squares, baroque churches, fascinating museums, and many other amazing attractions to choose from. Whether you are a history buff, an architect, or an art aficionado, a stay in Seville offers the intoxicating cultural cocktail you’ve been craving. Seville Cathedral and the Giralda are among the city’s treasures, not-to-be-missed under any circumstances when you visit Seville.
Also read : The 11 best things to do in Seville
Visit of Seville Cathedral and the Giralda: a little history
Home to 80 different chapels and extending over an area of 23,500 square meters, Seville Cathedral is the world’s third largest cathedral. Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1987, this awe-inspiring edifice is widely considered as the very symbol of Christianity’s victory over Islam in Andalusia.
Built on the site of an old Moorish mosque dating back to the 12th century, the cathedral incorporates the Giralda, the mosque’s original minaret, built between 1184 and 1198 at the height of Almohad power. The subtle outcome of different religious and historical influences, this exceptional monument boasts an incomparable beauty. While construction to transform the mosque into a cathedral began in 1248 – when Castilian king Fernando III captured Seville from its Almohad rulers – the church was officially completed in 1506. Over the next 500 years, the cathedral was gradually improved under the influence of five different architectural styles: Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque, Academic, and Neo-Gothic. The 340-feet high Giralda, the old minaret transformed into a bell tower, offers an eyeful of delicate brick-pattern decorations. Visitors can climb to the top of the Giralda to enjoy a breathtaking view of the city, notably of the nearby Plaza de Espana and its park, you can admire itrs symmetry and delicate design from above.
You can’t stay in the Andalusian capital without visiting Seville Cathedral and the Giralda! Here’s our essential guide featuring all the practical information you need to know.
What to see in Seville Cathedral and the Giralda?
The cathedral and the Giralda are astonishing architectural masterpieces, both inside and out. At the entrance to the cathedral, you’ll find brochures containing detailed itineraries to facilitate your visit. Here’s a word of advice: considering the size of the cathedral, make sure you have a map at hand, it will help you make your way through this staggering monument!
Here are the must-sees in Seville Cathedral:
- The Giralda and the Giraldillo : visit La Giralda and climb thirty-four ramps to reach the top of this bell tower containing none less than 24 bells! You will get a breathtaking view of Seville. The Giralda is surmounted by the El Giraldillo weather vane, a bronze statue of a female figure bearing a cross: a symbol of Faith.
- The Tomb of Christopher Columbus : visit Seville Cathedral and discover the beautiful tomb of the great explorer, Christopher Columbus, located under a bronze and marble mausoleum. You will find it near the main entrance of the cathedral, inside the Puerta del Príncipe (Door of the Prince).
- The Capilla Real is the lavishly adorned Royal Chapel, dedicated to the Virgin de Los Reyes (the Patron Saint of Seville). Admire its beautifully decorated Renaissance dome, which houses the royal tombs of Alfonso X, Ferdinand III, the Holy King, and the statue of Our Lady of Kings.
- The Capilla Mayor is the cathedral’s monumental Main Chapel. Its most striking feature is the breathtaking 65 feet high altarpiece, the retablo, a masterpiece of Gothic woodcarving, painted in 1482 by Pedro Dancart, and featuring 45 scenes from the Life of Christ and the Life of the Virgin.
- La Puerta de la Asunción : located opposite the Capilla Mayor, this impressive door is only open during Holy Week, to let the brotherhoods enter the cathedral.
- The Patio de Los Naranjos : don’t miss the magnificent Patio de Los Naranjos (Orange Tree Courtyard). It represents what remains of the inner courtyard of the old Moorish mosque. This 38,000 sq feet lovely patio features sixty orange trees and an octagonal Visigothic fountain, a remnant of the Islamic midha used for ritual ablutions before entering the mosque.
How to get to Seville Cathedral and the Giralda?
If you are staying in Seville, Seville Cathedral can be quickly reached, it is located in the center of the city, on Avenida de la Constitución, not far from the Alfonso XIII Canal.
- By foot: from the Plaza de Armas, the cathedral is 1 mile away by foot. Go to Calle Arjona, then turn left onto Calle Adriano and then Calle Arfe.
- By bus: from Plaza de Armas, take line C3, direction “Bellavista,” stop “Paseo Cristóbal Colón.”
- By train: 1,5 mile from the Santa Justa station to the Alcázar de Sevilla.
The Cathedral of Seville and the Giralda: rates and opening hours
OPENING DAYS AND HOURS
Throughout the year, the opening hours are as follows:
- Monday: from 11:00 am to 3.30 pm
- Tuesday to Saturday: from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm
- Sunday: from 02:30 pm to 06:00 pm
In July and August (except July 17th and 25th), the timetable changes:
- Monday to Saturday from 10:30 am to 6 pm (the ticket office closes at 5:00 pm)
- Sunday from 2:00 pm to 7:00 pm (the ticket office closes at 6:00 pm)
Note that the cathedral is closed on January 1st, January 6th, and December 25th. Also, opening hours may be modified on specific occasions such as religious ceremonies and cultural activities.
- General entrance rate for adults: €9
- Reduced rate (pensioners, students under 25 years old): €4
- Persons with disabilities : Free (with a free entry companion if the latter is essential for the person who has a disabilty)
- Children under 14 years of age accompanied by an adult : Free
Officially unemployed people : Free
- Mondays from 4:30 pm to 6:00 pm : Free
Tickets include access to the cathedral, the Giralda, the Orange Tree Courtyard, and the Church of El Salvador (600 meters from the cathedral)
You can also book a guided tour of the cathedral and the Giralda for €29.
GOOD TO KNOW
– Seville is famous for its blazing temperatures in summer. We recommend visiting Seville in spring and autumn, as the seasons offer mild, more pleasant temperatures.
– You will have to respect a particular dress code if you want to visit the Cathedral of Seville , a holy sanctuary. Women should cover their shoulders with a t-shirt or a scarf, for example, and wear trousers or a skirt that falls at least to the knees. Avoid wearing shorts.
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