Last Updated on 02/06/2022 by Alfred
With this guide to visiting the Cathedral of Seville, we want to help you organize your visit to one of the must-sees of the city, which we are sure will leave you speechless.
Known for being the largest cathedral in the world in its style, it was declared a World Heritage Site in 1987 along with the Alcazar and the Archivo de Indias and an Asset of Outstanding Universal Value in 2010.
After the many visits we have made to this incredible place, considered one of the must-see places in Seville, we leave you all the information so you can visit the Cathedral of Seville. Let’s start!
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Ultimate Guide To Visit The Cathedral Of Seville
Although there are no written documents to confirm it, it is believed that the Cathedral of Seville began to be built in 1401 after the demolition of the Aljama Mosque of Seville, made by order of the Almohad Caliph Abu Yacub Jusuf, of which today remains the minaret, which is the current Giralda and the courtyard. It is the Patio de los Naranjos.
As curiosities, it is important to know that one of the first architects of the Cathedral of Seville was Charles Galter of Normandy. This is because, at that time in Spain, there were no recognized master builders.
The building’s stone was obtained from an array of more than 20 quarries, among them the main quarry in Puerto de Santa Maria, San Cristobal, which is not particularly durable or strong. Therefore the cathedral has undergone and is undergoing continuous rehabilitation.
In addition to this, another relevant fact, besides all the fantastic works found inside, is that in the temple rest the mortal remains of Christopher Columbus, something confirmed after studying the remains found in the tomb, as well as some kings of Castile as Pedro I the Cruel, Ferdinand III the Saint and Alfonso X the Wise.
Something important to keep in mind is that the Cathedral of Seville, along with the Alcazar, is one of the most visited places in Spain. So, we highly recommend you book your tickets in advance on the official website to ensure entrance on the day you intend to visit the Cathedral of Seville.
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What to see in Seville Cathedral?
Our first point of emphasis is that this is a fairly comprehensive tour of the Cathedral of Seville. Therefore, we recommend that you give yourself at least two to three days to explore the wonders of this unique place.
Exteriors of the Cathedral
We recommend that you first go around the Cathedral of Seville to see its exterior architecture, including the two doors at the header, two at each transept, and the two doors leading to the Patio de los Naranjos and the Church of the Sagrario.
The west façade of the feet includes the Baptismal Doorway, the Assumption Doorway, and the Nativity Doorway.
South façade: Door of San Cristóbal or the Prince.
North facade: Door of the Lizard, Door of the Conception, Door of the Forgiveness, and Door of the Tabernacle.
East façade of the chancel: Puerta de Campanillas and Puerta de Palos.
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Interior of the Cathedral of Seville
With 116 meters long and 76 meters wide, the Cathedral of Seville has the particularity of not having a typical Gothic chevet since its 5 naves occupy the place that once occupied the Almohad mosque. These were used in the transformation of the temple.
Central Nave – One of the places to see in the Cathedral of Seville
Inside the central nave, we find the Choir, where you can see several organs and spectacular choir stalls, and the Main Chapel highlights the Renaissance grilles that can be seen in the front and the vaults that are the highest in the Cathedral with 37 meters.
In addition to the previous elements, in the Central Nave, we find the Alabaster Chapels, built-in 1515, and owe their name to the material they were built with. The Chapel of the Immaculate Conception forms them, the Virgin of the Star, the Chapel of the Incarnation, and the Chapel of St. Gregory.
In addition to the places mentioned above, another of the main architectural features of the Cathedral of Seville is its chapels, spread throughout the temple.
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Altar of the Magdalena: This chapel was built thanks to Pedro García de Villadiego and his wife, Catalina Rodríguez. They ordered in 1537 the beautiful altarpiece that can be seen today with paintings by an anonymous pupil of Alejo Fernández.
Altar of the Assumption: One of this chapel’s highlights is its altarpiece, which you can see in the center relief of the Assumption of the Virgin.
Chapel of San Pedro: This chapel rests the mortal remains of Diego de Deza, bishop of Seville, who defended Columbus against the Catholic Monarchs.
Royal Chapel: This is one of the most revered chapels of the Cathedral of Seville, where the Gothic style image of the Virgin of the Kings, the patron saint of the city, is located.
Also in the chapel are the pantheon with the silver urn of King San Fernando, the tombs of Alfonso X of Castile, and Queen Beatriz of Swabia, mother of Alfonso X of Castile. In the crypt, we can also see other royalty members in the tomb of King Pedro I of Castile and Queen Maria de Padilla, his wife, and those of other members of royalty.
Chapel of the Concepción Grande: Curiously, this chapel was once used as a resting place for the lifeless bodies of the men who accompanied Saint Ferdinand in the conquest of Seville.
In addition to this, the chapel features a baroque altarpiece, the tomb of the Archbishop of Seville, Francisco Javier Cienfuegos Jovellanos, and the place where Murillo’s brilliant work The Birth of the Virgin was located before it was stolen.
Altar of Santa Barbara: This chapel is remarkable with the painting depicting Saints Justa and Rufina.
Altar of Santa Justa and Rufina: This chapel was built thanks to the Bécquer brothers, and it contains a sculpture dedicated to the saints.
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Chapel of the Marshal: Diego Caballero, Marshal of the Island of Hispaniola since 1536, built this chapel and thus gave it the same name.
He also commissioned the impressive pictorial altarpiece that can be seen today and is one of the Renaissance jewels of the Cathedral of Seville.
Chapel of Los Dolores: Here you can see an image of the Virgen de los Dolores and the painting by Valdés Leal, Los Desposorios de la Virgen y San José.
Chapel of San Andrés: Here, you can see the unique baroque image of the Cristo de la Clemencia, also known as El Cristo de los Cálices, because of its location in the Cathedral.
Altar de la Piedad: The main work of this chapel is the altarpiece, which highlights its central painting by Alejo Fernandez.
Altar of the Conception: Impressive altarpiece by Luis de Vargas, highlighting its main painting, known as The Genealogy of Christ.
Chapel of the Virgen de la Antigua: This chapel is best known for its altarpiece, depicting the Virgin de la Antigua, which according to legend, see other members appeared to King Ferdinand when he was led the mosque’s interior by an angel before the conquest of Seville.
Chapel of San Hermenegildo: Here is the tomb of Cardinal Cervantes and an altarpiece by Manuel García de Santiago.
Chapel of San Jose: This chapel contains the tomb of Cardinal Manuel Joaquin Tarancón y Morón II, archbishop of Seville. Among its paintings is one by Frans Francken the Younger, The Supper of King Balthazar.
The Chapel of San Laureano was the first built in the Cathedral of Seville, where we can find the tomb of archbishop Alonso de Egea.
Altar of the Nativity: This chapel is notable for its central painting, The Adoration of the Shepherds.
Altar of Our Lady of the Ribbon: Here is a sculpture of the Virgin of the Ribbon, known for wearing a ribbon around her waist related to protection.
San Isidoro Chapel: This chapel is important for its altarpiece, which depicts San Isidoro and the grille that is visible in front.
Altar of the Virgin of the Madroño: This chapel is dedicated to the Virgin of the Madroño, and in it, you can see a sculpture of the virgin with the child.
Chapel of San Leandro: The first thing that stands out in this chapel is the picturesque façade and, inside, the altarpiece by Manuel de Escobar.
Altar of Nuestra Señora de la Alcobilla: Here you can see, in the main altarpiece, the sculpture of La Piedad.
Chapel of the Jácomes: This chapel of the Cathedral of Seville stands out for the altarpiece of Francisco Dionisio de Ribas, in which in the central part you can see La Piedad.
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Chapel of San Antonio: Known as the Baptismal Chapel of the Cathedral of Seville, it stands out for the Renaissance baptismal font and Murillo’s painting La Visión de San Antonio, undoubtedly one of the jewels of the cathedral.
Chapel of Scalas: This chapel is the tomb of Baltasar del Rio, bishop of Scalas.
Chapel of Santiago: Here, we find the tomb of Archbishop Gonzalo de Mena, in Gothic style and made of alabaster, and a canvas of Juan de Roelas, which is in the main altarpiece.
Chapel of San Francisco: In this chapel, you can see the painting The Apotheosis of San Francisco.
Chapel of the Evangelists: This is a funerary chapel, and there are several works by Hernando de Esturmio.
Chapel of the Virgen del Pilar: In it, you can see two altars, one of them being the place where you can see the valuable sculpture of the Virgen del Pilar by Pedro Millán.
Visiting the Cubiertas – One of the most recommended things to do in the Cathedral of Seville.
Another fascinating feature of the Cathedral of Seville is its roofs, which close off the upper part of the temple.
You can view them and the interior parts of the Cathedral if you book a guided tour through the Cathedral’s official website, which will also allow you to enjoy unique views of the city and the Giralda.
Features of the visit to the roofs of the Cathedral of Seville:
- Duration: 90 minutes
- Schedule: Monday to Sunday: 9:30h – 10h and 21h, 21:30h and 22:30h
- Language: Spanish
- Price: 16 euros
We visited on our last visit to the city, and the truth is that it is one of the most incredible experiences we have had and one of the most recommended things to do in the Cathedral of Seville.
Aside from the detailed information the guide gives you, the views of the city from the roofs and the perspective of the Giralda are breathtaking.
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Another place to see in the Cathedral of Seville is the Giralda, undoubtedly one of the city’s symbols.
It was built in 1184 on the model of the Minaret of the Koutoubia mosque in Marrakech and stands 104 meters high. Despite this, the current bell tower is Renaissance-style, and the inside of the tower has a ramp-up, which once allowed horses to climb to the top and is now the route up and down the tower.
In 1198, the Giralda was completed by placing four bronze spheres at the top, lost during the earthquake in 1365. Later, in the 16th century, the bells and a sculpture representing Faith were added, which over time has become known as the Giraldillo.
Patio of the Orange Trees
This is another of the places to see in the Cathedral of Seville. It was initially used as a place for ablutions.
Rectangular in plan, it is accessible from the outside through the door of forgiveness. After the conquest of the city by the Christians, the place came to have other uses as a cemetery and even a place for celebrations.
Subsequently, in 1618 the west side was destroyed to build the Church of the Sagrario, the most significant modification of the Patio de los Naranjos since its construction.
Church of the Sagrario
In baroque style, this church was built after eliminating part of the Patio de los Naranjos and integrated into the Cathedral of Seville. Inside, the main altarpiece and several carvings by Pedro Roldán stand out.
How to get to the Cathedral
The Cathedral of Seville is located on Avenida de la Constitución, s/n and you can reach it in different ways:
Metro: Line 1. Puerta de Jerez Station
Bus: Lines C4, C3, 5, 41, 42, C1 and C2. Jardines del Cristina Station
Car: You can leave your car in the nearest public parking lot in Jardines de Murillo, Puerta de Jerez, Mercado del Arenal or Plaza Nueva.
Tickets, prices, and schedules of Cathedral of Seville
We leave you the essential details to visit the Cathedral of Seville: schedules, rates, and how to buy tickets.
The opening hours of the Seville Cathedral are from 8 am to 2 pm and from 4 pm to 7 pm. Remember to check the official website to confirm the opening hours or call by phone.
The entrance fee to the Cathedral is 16 euros, and the entrance fee to the Giralda is 10 euros. Audioguide 4 euros.
Tickets can be purchased on the official website.
Tips for visiting the Cathedral of Seville
Here are some practical tips to visit the Cathedral of Seville:
- Generally, it is recommended to give yourself extra time when you visit. It is recommended you have at least 75 minutes, although we advise you to devote 2-3 hours to the visit.
- Entry into the Cathedral, Church of El Salvador, and Giralda is subject to the possession of an entrance ticket.
- If you do not want to miss anything of this visit, we recommend you book a tour of the Alcazar, the cathedral, and the Giralda, or a guided tour of the cathedral of Seville.
- Once you have entered the temple, you can not leave and re-enter with the same ticket.
- Pets are not allowed inside, except for assistance dogs.
- You can take photos and videos but for commercial purposes, and the use of tripods is prohibited.
- You cannot climb the Giralda with reduced mobility for security reasons.
Is the Cathedral of Seville accessible to everyone?
The Cathedral of Seville is fully accessible to anyone and also offers:
- Free admission to the cultural visit for people with disabilities over 65%.
- Adapted toilets located in the area of “Permanent Exhibition” and the Patio de los Naranjos.
- Free wheelchair service for people with reduced mobility.
- Brochures in Braille language are available for the visually impaired.
- There is a free sign-guide service for the deaf and hearing impaired.
- It is essential to know that access to the Giralda is restricted to people with reduced mobility for security reasons.
Where to stay near the Cathedral of Seville?
The Cathedral is located in the city’s heart, so staying in Seville is the best option to visit. However, as we mentioned in the previous section of entries, you can visit other cities for free or organized tours.
We leave you with a selection of excellent accommodations in the city and some links so you can use them as a guide to visit all the important places.
Among the best areas to stay in Seville is the Barrio de Santa Cruz, as it is close to most places of interest and has a great offer in restoration.
The Hotel Doña Lina and the Hotel Doña Manuela are among the most desirable options. Both are located a few meters from the Alcazar gardens.
If you have a higher budget, you can opt for the Hotel Rey Alfonso X, located near the Giralda, which has the best quality/price ratios and is one of the city’s icons.