It is about 104 meters high, making it the tallest cathedral tower in Spain and was the tallest building in the country for centuries.
The lower two thirds of the tower are from the Islamic period, Almohads from the 12th century. It began to be built using reused ashlars from Roman, Visigoth and Abbasid monuments, but it was soon decided to continue it in brick.
Each of its sides is decorated with sebka, which form a kind of rhomboid geometric interlacing. In the central axis of each side there are a series of openings with a central mullion framed by arches with different shapes.
Around 1198, four large bronze spheres, superimposed and of unequal size, were placed at the top, which were placed by order of the Caliph Abu Yaacub al-Mansur, to commemorate the victory over the Christians in the Battle of Alarcos. They finished the tower until 1356, when they collapsed due to a great earthquake. By then, the city had already been in Christian hands for more than a century.
The Giralda has two clear stylistic references in Morocco: the minaret of the Koutoubia mosque in Marrakech and the Hasan Tower in Rabat, both also built in the 12th century.
The upper third is in the Renaissance style and was built in the 16th century under the direction of Hernán Ruíz el Joven. It also has several bodies, the first of which houses 24 bells and is topped by the so-called terrace of the lilies, by the four large jars of lilies made of bronze placed in each of its corners. A little higher up is the bell of San Miguel de las Victorias. Dated in 1400, it is the oldest that the cathedral has and is in charge of giving the hours of the clock.
Topping the body that houses it, there is a frieze that reads TURRIS - FORTISSIMA - NOMEN DNI - PROVERB 18 (The strongest tower is the Name of the Lord, Proverbs 18).
The whole of the tower owes its name to the weather vane that culminates it and that today we know as Giraldillo. It was made in 1568 and is an allegory of the Christian victory over the Arabs, although throughout history it has been called in descriptions in various ways, such as the Victorious Faith or the Triumph of the Church.