Sunday, November 17, 2013

The Cathedral of Seville, or where I took the perfect picture

Our first full day in Seville we accidentally slept in until 9:30 after planning to get up bright and early.

We headed to get breakfast. Adrienne and I got nutella crepes as usual. The waitress was extremely nice. She was from Brazil. We ordered a lot of water and she laughed at us and said, "I know it's so hot outside!" She also said it was lucky we were there in July, since she's seen it reach 122-131 degrees in August! Good heavens. If I go to Seville again, I'll definitely go in the Spring or Fall.

But seriously, I've never been more hot in my life than I was in Seville.

Well, except in Seoul when it's a million degrees with 100% humidity. Or the day I was on the island of Rhodes and it was 112.
We drank a ton of water and spent a lot of time going from air conditioner to air conditioner.

We headed to the Cathedral of St. Mary, also known as the Cathedral of Seville, also known as the Cathedral of Saint Mary of the See, also known as Catedral de Santa MarĂ­a de la Sede, also known as Seville Cathedral.

It's the third largest cathedral in Europe, after St. Paul's in London and St. Peter's in Vatican City.

It holds the Guiness world record for church with the largest area.

Like the Mezquita, it was built where a mosque was, but this time they tore down the mosque in 1401 and built the cathedral over it beginning in 1402. . They built it so large, as oral tradition says, "Let us build a church so beautiful and so great that those who see it built will think we were mad".

They finished the cathedral in 1506. In 1511, the dome collapsed and they had to start over. That happened again in 1888, which apparently destroyed everything below it.

Apparently the altar piece is fantastic and one of the grandest and finest in Europe. However, it was being being restored so we couldn't see it. I was mildly disappointed. Almost as disappointed as when the Hall of Mirrors was under construction when I went to Versailles.

The bell tower in the pictures above was originally the minaret of the mosque, but they converted it to a bell tower. It's 343 feet tall and, as we learned later, has 35 ramps leading to the top, which horses originally rode to the top of the tower. It was quite the climb, but definitely not as bad as stairs.

There were many buttresses holding everything up. Apparently they did not use the proper technology to hold up the dome successfully.

 Here are two giant angels guarding the bell twoer.
 The inside is quite grand.

This is Christopher Columbus' tomb. DNA evidence recently showed that it was him, even though he traveled around a lot after his death. Fitting considering his life.

He actually moved to a few countries before finally settling in Seville. He died in Valladolid, Spain, then was moved to the monastery of La Cartuja in Seville, then to the Dominican Republic, Havana, Cuba, then finally to the Cathedral of Seville 1898.
He looks like the albino from the Princess Bride.

This shows the scale of many of the paintings. His head is so small compared to the painting!

Look at the detail in that very small hole!

 The Renaissance vault.

Not to sound like a braggart or anything, but this is like, the perfect picture. I'm very proud of this picture. It looks professional. Like what you'd see in a book about this crown and pearl.

This crown has 11,000 precious stones. The pearl, which is the waist of that angel, is the largest pearl in the world.
 Here's the non-perfect picture of the crown.
 Hey look, it's almost my name! I have no idea why.
 Some reliquaries.

I love European cathedrals for all the tiny intricacies that you can find in them. All the little details in every piece.

I'm still so annoyed that the altar was being reconstructed.
 It's just so wonderful. I do not have the adjectives to describe it!

The organ has 7000 pipes. 7000!

 I love stained glass.

 Here we are in the cathedral!

This is the flag that King Ferdinand III flew over the mosque when he reconquered Spain from the Moors in 1248. The original flag. Very cool.

 Probably one of the men keeping the altar piece from me.
 I love medieval art and the plate halos.

There were a lot of people resting! Probably due to the extreme heat.
After wandering the interior cathedral, we walked up the 35 ramps to the bell tower. They were numbered.

 The view from the bell tower was fantastic, as usual.

You can see the bull fighting ring there in the distance. More on that later.
The grove of orange trees.

If you look closely, a lot of buildings have swimming pools on the roofs.

 Here's one of the many ramps.

 A close up of the buttresses.

The orange tree grove.

 Part of the irrigation system I believe.

 The door of conception hiding behind some trees.

 The buttresses!

I have no recollection of what this is. I think it might have something to do with the earth, but who knows.

 All those windows are look outs as you walk up the ramps.
 The outer walls.

 Heading to the square in front of the Cathedral.

 The beautiful square!

The horses and carriages. They were everywhere!

We walked straight ahead there to the palace afterwards, but that will have to be the next blog!

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