The Giralda is the bell tower of the Cathedral of Seville. In its heyday, it was the tallest tower in the world, standing at the height of 97.5 m, next to one of the most famous images of the city and Andalusia.

 

The tower exists of up of two distinct but perfectly unified pieces, a perfect example of the melting pot of cultures that exist in the city.

History

The oldest part is The Muslim body. This part started as the minaret of the Almohad Mosque of Seville. A curious fact is that the Giralda has no stairs, but instead has 35 slopes, wide enough to allow the sultan to ride up on horseback to see the beautiful view.

Architect Hernán Ruiz added the current Christian part, the bell tower above the tower in the 17th century. The top of the tower is called the “Lily section” with four pots of bronze lilies, one on each corner.

The minaret of the central mosque of Seville, which is today, was built in 1184. The name comes from the weathervane on the top of the tower and is known as the Giraldillo. The original name is ‘the triumph of the victorious faith’, it was once the most significant bronze statue of the European Renaissance.

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Construction

Construction closed in 1568 with the addition of Renaissance clock tower. Just like the Giralda, the city of Marrakech has a twin tower.

The tower, due to its complex history, is made up of several perfectly interwoven sections, reflecting the city’s cultural melting pot. For the construction of the Moorish part, as seen in the base, the remains of the buildings and the stonework of Roman Hispalis were used, as they show different blocks of Latin epigraphs. The central part is square, and the top part shows a polished style, performed by Hernán Ruiz II.

The Giralda has 24 clocks, 18 of which are running and 6 of which are valves. It is, therefore, the cathedral with the most significant number of bells.

The graceful fountain defines the Moorish entrance, where worshipers wash their hands and feet before their daily prayers. Preserved pieces from different religions add to the overall splendour of this sight.

The splendour of the cathedral is enhanced by the influence of the Renaissance. Work was carried out in the royal chapel, the main sacristy and the chapter house. If time permits, you can walk around the Patio de Los Naranjos as soon as you leave the interior of the dimly lit cathedral. This area is easy to find once you are within the walls of the palace. For alternative views of the beautiful building, look at the temple from Plaza de Los Reyes and Mateos Gago Street to the Santa Cruz district.

 

Interior of the cathedral

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View from the Giralda

Enter the cathedral from Alemanes Street via Puerta del Perdón to the Patio de los Naranjos.

Brochures are available in many languages that suggest detailed itineraries depending on the length of your stay. These guides are valuable as they guarantee an efficient stay. We recommend taking one before immersing yourself in the vast cathedral. Stroll around and admire the incredible architecture, an extensive collection of artwork and the atmosphere of aliens. Don’t miss is the grave of Christopher Columbus, the High Altar and the golden choir.

The ascent of the bell tower Giralda

From the entrance of the cathedral, the access to the Giralda bell tower is on the far right. Climb thirty-four inclined slopes to reach the top, where you will be rewarded with a beautiful view of Seville.

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