The Catedral de Santa María de la Sede

In May 2016 my family and I visited the beautiful town of Seville in  Spain. Everyday we walked past the cathedral, however not once we went in. That was because the queue was so long it circled the whole cathedral. However this did not mean we did not want to go in. My family and I heard that Christoffer Columbus was buried there and that he has his own memorial and altar, we were interested that and also the architectural features of the Cathedral of Seville.  So we decided to buy tickets before hand. Thats how we avoided the queue and how we ended up seeing it from the inside. It was magnificent, huge and beautiful. It better be because it is the largest Gothic cathedral and the third largest  church in the world. In 1987 it was registered by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.

The Catedral de Santa María de la Sede, which was finished in 1528, was built by four different architects. Alonso Martínez, Pedro Dancart, Charles Galtés de Ruan and Alonso Rodríguez. It took those four architects 127 years to build the cathedral, however the newest part is the dome it had collapsed again in 1888 . The cathedral is located along side a square with shops, with carriage stands and other old buildings with green patches all around. When you walk on the square its hard to miss the cathedral it’s enormous compared to the other buildings. The color od the stones are the same like the other buildings non the less with a length of 135 metres it towers above most everything and can be spotted from miles away. My first impression of it was that it looked preserved as if it was new, it was overwhelming to say the least.


The cathedral is completely made of yellow brownish bricks, which are bigger than our normal standard used to build houses. The few round windows are made with stained glass in lots of colours. The plan of the cathedral is a square, or more like a rectangle but the garden right next to it which is also a part of the Catedral de Santa María de la Sede which makes it a box. The front of the cathedral is richly and beautifully decorated with arches lines which look like mandalas, peaks looking like Christmas trees, borders to keep people safe are made to be spikes looking utterly perfect when put on top. These decorations in the same colour but very eye-catching are placed on all the walls. There isn’t a single spot not covered with pretty triangles, circles or stripes. The facade fits well with the rest of the building. All the structures look like one. That makes the building look completed, because the Gothic style is not only seen outside but also on the inside.

The building has 15 doors, the main door also known as the Door of Assumptions is emphasised on through the many arches and heavily decorated details. Also the scene above the big steel door with an eye-catching colour make peoples heads turn to stay and watch. The other less important doors are made less special, they are not mad broad like the main door, the style is pretty much the same just turned down a notch or two. Inside the building you can see pillars which hold the roof and keep it in place. On the roof there are pointed ribbed faults which increase stability as well. And some parts of the walls have flying buttresses which help the strength too. The walls are thick to carry the weight partially as well. That is all that is able for the eye to see. Probably that is all there is, that could be the reason the dome collapsed multiple times.

The building is built in different stages with different styles:

  • -almohade (1172-1248)
  • -mudéjar (1248-1433)
  • -gotisch (1433-1528)
  • -renaissance (1528-1593)
  • -barok (1618-1758)
  • -neo-klassiek (1758-1823)
  • -neo-gotisch (1825-1928)

The Catedral de Santa María de la Sede looks very traditional gothic with  pointed arches and ribbed vault. Also the Giralda tower   is one of the characteristics of gothic style. Furthermore the church has spires on the roof, it is intended to be very large. Structure wise the solid walls clustered columns, pointed ribbed vaults and flying buttresses give it the gothic touch. The Giralda tower has a clock and bell in it to serve as a clocktower and to call people to go to church.

When I see the church I think of power and status of the religion and the pope or church leader. Secondly I think of extravaganza because it looks very decorated and made pretty and extra bescially. The building looks very closed because of the bricks, little usage of windows and tough steel doors.