My father-in-law Ken McColl described visiting Europe as going on an ABC tour. By which he meant “Another bleeping castle and another bleeping cathedral.”
I am sure happy his son feels more positive about those kinds of tourist attractions than he did.
The Seville Cathedral was consecrated in 1507 and to this day it remains the largest cathedral in the world.Both St. Peter’s basilica in Italy and Our Lady of Aparecida basilica in Brazil are larger Catholic churches, but by definition they are not cathedrals. Apparently that is a meaningful distinction in certain circles.
That said, well before it was a Catholic place of worship it was a mosque, completed in 1198.
In a classic case of cultural appropriation, the cathedral tower started off as a 35-ramp minaret. The ramp permitted the muezzins to ride a donkey or horse up for their task of chanting out the five-times-a-day call to prayer.
The catholic conquerors demolished the mosque but kept the orange grove/patio and added 17 steps and 24 bells to the top of the minaret, renaming it the Giralda.
It took 500 years to built the incredible gothic cathedral seen today, a breathtaking construction where engineering meets artistic expression.
As fascinating as the architecture is, to me it is the human interest stories that enrich the visit most.
For example, Christopher Columbus is entombed here, as is one of his two sons. This son bought his way in by donating his father’s paper and his own documentation of his dad’s expeditions to the church. In doing so, he enabled modern DNA testing to definitively prove the remains in Spain were authentic, as this was much disputed.
Currently, the cathedral is undergoing extensive restoration, consolidation cleaning & protection projects. The results of removing centuries of grime are evident/.