Monthly Archives: August 2013

An afternoon spent at Seville’s cathedral

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After spending the better part of some days walking around the cathedral, spending time in the square near it (marvelling at the statue of Pope John Paul II !!) and seeing the silhouette of the cathedral everywhere we went, we joined the queue and went inside.

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The architecture is massive. The ceiling seems so far above your head that you almost feel like you’re outside except that it’s cool and dark whereas outside it is neither of those things.

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The stained glass windows are really cool, continuing the tradition of ‘presenting’ the church in the window to a higher power with clear references to the reconquest of Spain where the Moors and Islam was chased out of Christian Spain.

However, I’m really just assuming that this is the case based on the history behind similar windows. The audio guide would have probably confirmed or denied this, but I consistently refuse to buy or to listen to audio guides. (They really annoy me and make other people walk around like zombies.)

 

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One of the coolest things was the grave of Christopher Colombus. Well, in theory, they’re not totally sure where he is actually buried, but I think Seville won the argument on the basis of a really cool tomb.

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After viewing the gorgeous architecture, it was time to climb the Giralda.

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Seville’s Alcazar

During our 5 days in Seville, we spent a very hot afternoon exploring the Royal Alcazar. Rivalling the more famous Alhambra in Granada, the preservation of the Moorish architecture, tiles, and gardens is (and I don’t use this word often) stunning.

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At one time, it was part of the defensive structure protecting Seville. The walls are formed of huge stones that would dwarf everything around it except that the cathedral is just in front of it.

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A rather unassuming entrance to the glamour found within the defensive walls.

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The tiles are one of the defining features of the Alcazar and form the basis for some amazing (and tacky) souvenirs all over the city. The tiles and the water features also keep the rooms surprisingly cool.

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I love that the plasterwork that is found within and without the palace looks like lace. It is so delicate.

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The gold ceiling of the Hall of Ambassadors was my favourite room. The delicacy and richness of the gold and tile-work almost took my breath away.

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There is room after room both interior and exterior and each one is a little different. Each one is covered in beautiful tiles and plasterwork, balanced by the ideals and mathematics of Islamic architecture with a hearty dose of the dramatic, at times.

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There are also extensive gardens, but I was hot, hungry and tired so we only explored a little bit.

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