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Monday, May 06, 2013 (read 636 times)
The Cathedral in Sevilleby Lauren
Seville Cathedral is a World Heritage Site and the burial place of famous explorer, Christopher Columbus. Seville cathedral was built as a testament to the city’s affluence at a time when Seville was importing and exporting a great amount of goods after the Reconquista. The Reconquista was a period of time in which Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand forced all the Muslims in Spain to convert to Catholicism or be killed.
A former Muslim mosque
Pope John Paul II apologized for the thousands of Muslims killed during the Reconquista during a visit to Spain. In 1356, an earthquake severely damaged the Christian church which had been converted from a Muslim mosque. In 1401, it was decided that a new cathedral should be built. Building works began the following year and carried on until 1506. Churchpersons donated half their salary to pay for architects, artists, carvers, craftsman etc. Just 5 years after buildings works ceased, the dome caved in and construction commenced once again. In 1888, the dome caved in anew, destroying everything below. Seville Cathedral has the longest aisle of any Spanish cathedral. The most noticeable features are the choir stands which take up a significant portion of the space, and the scenes from Jesus’ life carved into the altar. These carvings were the lifeworks of an artisan named Pierre Dancart.
The workers involved with the construction of Seville Cathedral made use of some of the columns from the Muslim Mosque, including its minaret. A minaret is a distinctive feature of a Muslim mosque, typically a column with an onion shape at the top. The principal function of a minaret is to call people to pray. The minaret was turned into a bell tower known as the Giralda. A bell tower is a tower containing church bells. Church bells have two main functions: 1. to indicate the time and 2. to indicate the beginning of a wedding or a funeral. It may be argued that the Seville Giralda is the most famous monument in Seville. It towers 100 meters above the city and has inspired the construction of many skyscraper buildings, perhaps most notably, the headquarters of the Wrigley (chewing gum) company built in 1920 by the company's founder, William Wrigley Jr.
Seville Cathedral is the biggest gothic style cathedral in the world. It is open for public viewing between the hours of 11am and 5pm during the week and entry costs 8 Euros. Mass takes place several times a day, however it may be necessary to consult the website if you wish to attend given that times and locations change on a regular basis.
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