Sevilla is home to the third largest cathedral in the world, the largest Gothic style cathedral. The Catedral de Sevilla is truly magnificent, and is a must see when in the city.
I took a guided tour of the cathedral, because what better way to learn the history? If I hadn’t taken a tour, I probably would have walked in, been amazed for five minutes, taken a couple pictures, and then I would have walked out with not nearly the same sense of wonderment. That’s why I like guided tours. The more you learn, the more you appreciate the history behind the site.
The Catedral actually used to be a mosque, but that was torn down when Christians took over the city a super long time ago. The floors of the outdoor courtyard are original to the mosque, but the cathedral was built by the Christians.
From the outside, the cathedral looks more like a fortress than a church to me. I thought it was a castle until my guide told me it was a church. It’s pretty obvious when you walk in, you know with crosses and Virgin Mary statues everywhere.
Home to some of the highest ceilings I’ve ever seen, the Catedral is very spacious, but also has no room at the same time. I mean that the building itself is huge, but the actual space designated for people, like seating, is very small. My guide said that it was built for the elites, so they didn’t need room for lots of peasants like myself.
Fun fact: When you walk on the cathedral floors, you’re actually walking on top of a bunch of dead people! In the old days, rich people paid a lot of money to be buried underneath the church in tombs. It must have smelled great on 120 degree summer days…
Continuing with the dead people theme, Christopher Columbus’s tomb is inside of the Catedral. He wasn’t originally buried here though. He died somewhere north of Sevilla, and his son had his body brought here. But then his will said that he wanted to be entombed elsewhere, so his body traveled to the Dominican Rebuplic. But the DR gained independence from Spain, so Chris was sent to Cuba. Then the Americans won Cuba from Spain, so Columbus’s body was sent back to the Catedral de Sevilla.
Christopher Columbus’s body was a more successful traveler than the alive version of himself. He would be so proud of his crumbling bones, which are now located in this elevated box.
Columbus’s son is buried underneath the cathedral too, and here you can see some workers restoring his tomb. After years of getting walked on, I can see how it might need some touch-ups.
The Catedral would be a stellar wedding destination, but apparently the waiting list to be married here is about three years long. That’s enough time to find a new fiance before the wedding if you’re getting tired of the old one. Maybe I’ll put my name down. Any takers?
My personal favorite part of the Catedral was the Giralda, a tower with 34 ramps. I tried to hide my heavy breathing on the way up, but by the top I was shamelessly panting. 34 ramps is a long way, don’t judge. From the top of the tower, you can see all of Sevilla. It was breathtaking.