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SEVILLE CATHEDRAL

 

ALCAZAR REAL, SEVILLE

 

HOTELS IN SEVILLE

The Cathedral - third biggest in Europe but in Dom P's view not worth the hassle of the crowds inside unless you really want to see the third rate tomb built for Columbus at the beginning of the 1900s after his bones had wandered the world for 400 years  Outside is a different story - the orange tree courtyard survives from the mosque, as does a lot of the minaret (Giralda).

The Giralda in Sevilla is probably the most outstanding of the three remaining Almohad minarets (the others being in Marrakesh and Rabat).  It was begun in 1184 and finished before the end of the century.  The way to the top is a gently sloping ramp - there are no stairs.   The tower structure beneath the bells is that of the original minaret, but the lower windows have been changed.  The bell sections were added only as a result of the collapse of the Muslim upper tower / dome in the earthquake of 1356 and the eventual second rebuild of this section in parallel with the construction of the cathedral in the 1550s.

And inside, at least the Sepulcro de Cardinal Don Juan de Cervantes, sculpted in 1453-58, is stunning.

Columbus died in Valladolid (Spain) on May 20 1506.  His body was excarnated (the flesh removed) and his bones were interred in Valladolid, then later moved to the Carthusian monastery in Seville.  In 1542 the bones made their way to Santo Domingo where his son had been governor, but then were moved again in 1795 to Havana as a result of the French taking over Santo Domingo.  Cuba became independent in 1898 after the Spanish American War, and the bones came back to Seville and their present ugly tomb.  But were they the right bones?  In Santo Domingo Cathedral there is of another box of remains, discovered in 1877,  labelled   "Don Christopher Columbus".....

 

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