The Cathedral in Seville Andalucia

There were three principal architects: Alonso Martinez, Simon de Colonia and Juan Gil de Ontanon. Fans of history might recognize the names, but we need not go down the route here. Construction began with the nave. It took about 65 years. The Retablo Mayor was started in 1482 and was only completed in 1526. The main dome had to be built twice as it collapsed in 1511. The Capilla Real was started in 1551 and finished in 1575. Sadly, in 1888, the main dome collapsed again. The main style was Gothic, but 125 years is a long time, so its architectural fashions and ideas changed as well. A good example is the 9 doors. Each one has a name, looks differently and opens onto a street except one, which unsurprisingly is the only remaining door of the Almohad Mosque.


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A lovely corner of the Cathedral is the Patio de los Naranjos or Orange Tree Patio designed in 1522 by Bartolome Lopez and accessible via the Pardon Door decorated in bronze. Prior to 1248, Muslim penitents came here to wash their hands and feet before prayers. In 1618, part of it was torn down to make way for the Sagrario Church, which functions as a chapel. It is here where the aforementioned door known as the East, Orange Tree or Conception Door is located.


Picture of the Orange Tree Patio from the minarette

Every major cathedral has numerous chapels either added by future generations or built for a famous person. Good examples are the Chapel of the Virgin of Granada and the Royal Chapel where Fernando III is buried. Cathedrals are great repositories of wealth. People of all classes donate items to them, but the clergy have been historically wealthy in Europe. Let us move into the library on the east side via the Lizard Door. Religious buildings were the few places where books and manuscripts were available as literacy was often restricted to monks and bishops. There are simply thousands of them here. Part of the collection is in the Columbus Library. The tomb of the great man himself is near the Prince's Door overlooked by the Chapel of the Virgin de la Antigua based on Colombian influences.


The Retablo Mayor is a measures 19 by 13 metres (65 by 43 feet). Just as the Cathedral of Seville is the largest of its kind in the Roman Catholic world, the Retablo Mayor claims the same distinction for altarpieces. It is made up of 45 scenes from the life of Jesus Christ. Divided into 5 levels, there are 9 pieces to each one. The middle column of 5 vertical scenes is the largest ones. Carefully placed in the top centre is a silver image of the Virgin Mary of the Holy See. More than 200 figures have been drawn into the pillars.

The magnificent organ that is not in fact an organ at all, is a good sight to take in while you are inside, but, to see the most important pieces, you have to go to the Sacrista Mayor or Main Sacristy. Pass through the Chapel of Saint Andrew. It is in this room were you will find the keys to city with their engraved Arabic script given to Fernando III. Beside it is the Capitular with its domed ceiling. Move slowly here else you will miss the fact that the decoration in the ceiling matches that of the floor. Many of the rooms are made in the Plateresque style, which reached its peak in Spain and is about decorative features being added to any structural style.
A look at the detail in the woodwork will have any whittler messmerized


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