CATHEDRAL OF SEVILLE

The Cathedral of Seville is probably the most emblematic monument of the city. Unesco declared it a World Heritage Site in 1987, along with the Alcázar and the Archivo de Indias. It is considered the largest Gothic temple in the world.

Most of its work was done in the late Gothic style during the 15th century, although it retains elements of the 12th-century Almohad mosque on which it sits, such as the Patio de los Naranjos or the Giralda. In addition, in the 16th century the Royal Chapel, the Chapter House and the Greater Sacristy were added in the Renaissance style. Later, during the Baroque period and practically up to the present day, various elements of the cathedral would be added and remodeled, until it became a true compendium of the history of art in the city.

Its floor plan is one of the hall calls, with a flat head and five naves, the central one being taller and wider than the rest. It has numerous side chapels located between the buttresses.

The supports are enormous pillars with a rhomboid section, made of brick and masonry and covered with ashlars. Rib vaults sit on them, so characteristic of Gothic. They are sexpartite in the chapels, quadripartite in the naves, and those corresponding to the transept, in the central part of the temple, are star-shaped.

On the side chapels and on the main axes there is a narrow gallery in the form of a clerestory.

Its construction was approved by the cathedral chapter in 1401. Legend has it that the project would be inspired by the phrase "Let's make a church so beautiful and so great that those who see it carved will consider us crazy" and according to the capitular act of that day the new work should be "one such and so good, that there is no other like it."

In detail: Cathedral of Seville

 

 

OLD CASTLE OF SAN JORGE

In the place where the Triana Market is located today, a castle was built in the Almohad period (XIII) that would later be known as the castle of San Jorge. It may have been built on previous constructions, even Roman or Visigothic, and that it was refortified after the Muslim defeat in the battle of Las Navas de Tolosa (1212).

‘Annales d'Espagne et du Portugal’, 1741

It had ten towers that articulated a robust fortified space with a rectangular plan. The Christians would establish the headquarters of the Inquisition in Seville there in 1480, so it is certain that it was the scene of numerous episodes of imprisonment and torture throughout its history. Some of the events that occurred there have been narrated as brilliant as the one offered by Beethoven in his opera "Fidelio", which is set in this castle.

It continued to be the seat of the Inquisition until the end of the 18th century, when it was abandoned. Already at the beginning of the 19th century it was demolished and a market was built on its site. At the end of the current market, in the part that faces Castilla street, some of the great walls that belonged to the primitive castle can still be seen today.

HOUSE OF EL REY MORO

The House of the Moorish King is a construction dating from the fifteenth century, which makes it one of the oldest houses that we can find in Seville. It is currently the headquarters of the Blas Infante Foundation.

Virtually nothing is known about the history of this house, so we do not know where the nickname by which it is known comes from. The researcher Celestino López Martínez pointed out in his day that it could refer to the 'King of Niebla and the Algarve D. Abenmafor, in the mid-13th century'. However, no remains can be found in the house from before the 15th century, so the most widespread hypothesis today is that the Mudejar, 'arabesque' decoration of the house caused the neighbors to spontaneously identify it as Casa del Moro. .

The house has a rectangular floor plan, with a main façade facing Sol street and a lateral one through which the orchard was originally accessed. The rooms are distributed around a patio, which is the best preserved and most interesting space. It is porticoed on two of its sides on the ground floor and on three on the top. The arches are made of exposed brick, peralted on the ground floor and lowered on the top, and rest on brick pillars. It should be noted that originally most of the houses of the Mudejar tradition in Seville used to use this type of pillars, but very few have reached our days. This is because, with the arrival of Renaissance taste in the city, most of these brick pillars were replaced by marble columns, often brought directly from Italy. In addition, the pillars of this house are especially interesting because they adopt a great variety of sections, including on the upper floor some of the 'Solomonic' type, with the body twisted in a spiral.

CAÑOS DE CARMONA

The 12th century aqueduct that carried water from the nearby town of Alcalá de Guadaira to the city is known as Caños de Carmona. The name 'de Carmona' comes from the fact that the aqueduct reached the city next to the Puerta de Carmona. From there, some clay pipes that ran inside the walls carried the water to the Alcázar.

It seems that the pipes were built reusing the layout of an ancient Roman aqueduct, in the Almohad period, during the reign of Yusuf. Originally they were about 17 kilometers long and would have around 400 arches, raised on robust brick pillars. Depending on the unevenness of the terrain, in some areas a simple arcade was arranged and in others a double one was necessary. Currently, only a few scattered fragments remain along the axis of Luis Montoto street. The remains are frequently misidentified with a Roman aqueduct.

BATHS OF THE MOORISH QUEEN

These are Almohad baths from the 13th century, which originally constituted one of the largest public baths built in Al Ándalus. After the Christian conquest of the city, they were ceded by Alfonso X to his stepmother, Queen Juana de Ponthieu. That would probably be the origin of the name. From 'Baños Moros de la Reina' would have derived 'Baños de la Reina Moor', since given the location of the complex, so far from the Alcázar, it is very unlikely that they were used by the wives of the kings or emirs of the city in Muslim era.

They continued to be used as baths after the Christian conquest of the city until the 16th century. Later a community of Augustinian nuns would settle there and in the 19th century it would become a headquarters of the Command of Engineers. The old barracks would be demolished in 1976 during the eighties the archaeological excavations began.

The baths are articulated around a large patio, surrounded by columns with muqarna capitals. This patio was originally covered by a vault and was probably the temperate room. The porticoed spaces that open around the patio are covered with barrel vaults, in which skylights open, with the starry shape so characteristic of Arab baths.

At the end of the patio two adjoining rectangular rooms open up, which would originally be the hot and cold rooms.

Currently, the Baths are annexed to the Brotherhood of Veracruz, which is co-owner of the property and manages its visits.

ARAB BATHS OF THE GIRALDA BAR

In the Bar Giralda Brewery, one of the many public baths that Isbiliya had has been preserved. In this case, it has the particularity that they were probably the closest to the great aljama mosque.

They have been dated to the beginning of the 12th century, in the Almoravid period and are probably the best preserved in Seville. They are built of brick and have a large central space, covered by a vaulted ceiling resting on tubes, which are supported by semicircular arches. The arches, in turn, rest on Tuscan columns, added later to replace the original support, which in all probability would be brick pillars.

On both sides of this central space there are two smaller ones, covered by a barrel vault. Most likely, the central space served as a warm room and those on the sides were the cold and hot rooms.

ARAB BATHS OF THE MESON DEL MORO

In this space currently occupied by a restaurant, the remains of one of the numerous public baths that Islamic Seville had have been preserved.

They date back to the 12th century and have preserved part of their original brick structure, with semicircular vaults resting on arches, some of which are horseshoe shaped. We can also see the original starry skylights, so characteristic of Arab baths.

The so-called Mesón del Moro was established in the building that the baths occupy, a lodging place whose origins some authors date back to the Middle Ages. Apparently, the name would derive from a concession of the Catholic Monarchs according to which all Muslims who stayed in the city had to do so in this establishment.

ROYAL SHIPYARDS

Las Atarazanas de Sevilla was an immense space dedicated to the manufacture, repair and storage of ships. Its construction began in the mid-13th century by order of Alfonso X the Wise, although it is known that there were already some shipyards in the area since Almohad times, ordered to be built by the Caliph Abu Yacub Yusuf. They were built taking advantage of the protection of the network of walls in that part of the city.

The building originally had seventeen naves, raised on enormous pointed brick arches and arranged perpendicular to the river. Each ship was 100 meters long by 12 meters wide, forming a total area of about 15,000 square meters.

Throughout history, the complex has undergone modifications in its layout and use, adapting to new ship models and the needs of the Navy at all times. Among the most important modifications we can mention the reconditioning of ships 13, 14 and 15 in the 16th century to be used as customs. In the 17th century, the naves between 8 and 12 were removed to install the Hospital de la Caridad.

Part of the Shipyards were used as a storage place for artillery since the 16th century and this purpose would be expanded in the 18th century, since in 1719 the seat of the Royal Artillery Maestranza was decreed in five of the ships.

At present, the Shipyards are undergoing extensive restoration and reform in order to turn them into an immense cultural space.

WALL OF THE JEWISH QUARTER

In Fabiola street we find a fragment of the wall barely ten meters long, which constitutes the only visible remains of the Jewish quarter wall that have come down to us. This wall was built in the 13th century to separate the Jewish community of Seville from the rest of the city, surrounding the current neighborhoods of Santa Cruz and San Bartolomé. This fence had a series of gates that were closed at night, trying to guarantee the safety of the Jewish community in the city. However, the monumentality of this wall did not prevent violent episodes, such as the dramatic assault in 1391 that killed hundreds of Seville Jews.

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The fragment that we see here is made of mud and at its base we can see the characteristic millstones inserted, so common in many of the buildings in the neighborhood. Its original purpose was to avoid possible damage caused by the axles of the wheels of the carts, especially on narrow roads like this one.

REAL DOOR OR GOLES DOOR

In this space was located one of the gates of the walled enclosure of the city. Today disappeared, only the canvas of the wall that had an annex has come down to us. It was called Puerta de Goles at least since the Christian conquest of the city until the 16th century. It became known as the Royal Gate after Philip II visited Seville in 1570, being the first king to enter the city through this gate. Until then, the monarchs entered the city through the Puerta de la Macarena.

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