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La Giralda: The Majestic Tower of Seville

Ever seen a tower so tall that its shadow obscures your vision?

Yes, that’s La Giralda for you: a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Seville, Spain.

This iconic bell tower of Seville Cathedral has captured the imagination of locals and visitors alike for centuries.

Originally built by the Almohad dynasty in the 12th century, it was repurposed as a bell tower after the Reconquista.

Our comprehensive guide will reveal the secrets that make this tower a true gem and delve into its enchanting tale.

The History of La Giralda as a Place of Worship

La GIralda

La Giralda was originally built as a minaret for the Great Mosque of Seville.

The mosque was built in the 12th century by the Almohad dynasty, a Muslim dynasty that ruled much of Spain at the time.

The minaret was used to call the faithful to prayer and was also a symbol of the power of the Almohad.

After the Reconquista, the mosque was converted into a cathedral.

The minaret was preserved but converted into a bell tower used to summon the faithful to Mass.

Architecture of La Giralda

After the Reconquista, the mosque was converted into a cathedral, but La Giralda was preserved and transformed into a bell tower.

The minaret is a classic example of Almohad architecture, with a square base and a spiral staircase that winds its way up to the top.

💡Fun Facts

The staircase has 35 ramps, and it is said that the number of ramps represents the number of years that Jesus Christ lived.

The staircase is topped by a balcony with a weathervane, which is known as El Giraldillo.

The weathervane is a statue of a woman holding a cross, which symbolizes the Christian victory over the Muslims.

The fusion of Islamic and Christian elements in La Giralda is one of its most striking features.

The minaret’s design is clearly Islamic, but the addition of the Christian weathervane gives the tower a unique and captivating appearance.

You can climb the tower’s ramp for a unique experience since there are no stairs.

Be prepared for some physical challenges, as the narrow ramp can be steep in some sections.

The climb to the top of the tower takes approximately 30-40 minutes, but the sensational views from the top are well worth the effort.

The Views from the Top of La Giralda:

The views from the top of La Giralda are stunning.

On a clear day, you can see all the way to the Guadalquivir River and the Sierra Morena mountains.

The views are especially beautiful at sunset when the city is bathed in golden light.

💡La Giralda Bakery

Confiteria La Giralda is 230 meters (730 feet) away from Seville Cathedral.

La Giralda Bakery is well known for its pastries and delicious treats. It is also famous for polvorones, mentecados, and yemas. 

A dazzling 19th-century building on Calle Sierpes Street is its beautiful home, beckoning visitors with its stunning allure. 

It is worth checking out for a sweet treat.

La Giralda Hours

La Giralda is open to the public from 11 am to 5 pm from Monday to Saturday and from 2:30 pm to 6 pm on Sunday.

The Giralda Tower is closed on January 1, Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Easter Sunday, and December 25.

The Seville Cathedral Tower’s hours vary throughout the year as follows:

During the peak seasons (April to September): 

DaysTimings
Monday11 am to 3.30 pm
Tuesday to Saturday11 am to 5 pm
Sunday2.30 pm to 6 pm

During July and August, the tower is open from 9.30 am to 3.30 pm on Mondays, 9.30 am to 4 pm from Tuesday through Saturday, and 2.30 pm to 6 pm on Sundays.

During the off-season (November to March):

DaysTimings
Monday11 am to 3.30 pm
Tuesday to Saturday11 am to 5 pm
Sunday2.30 pm to 6 pm

The last admission is 30 minutes before closing time.

La Giralda Tickets

La Giralda tickets let you go to the top of the bell tower of the Seville Cathedral.

It’s 56 meters tall, and you have to climb 35 ramps, but the views from the top are amazing.

You can see the whole city of Seville and the countryside around it.

The tickets also let you skip the line to go into the Seville cathedral and the cloister.

The cloister is a beautiful courtyard that was built in the 12th century. It’s a peaceful place to relax and look at the architecture.

You can buy tickets online or at the ticket office in the cathedral. If you’re going during the busy season, it’s a good idea to buy your tickets in advance.

Ticket Price: €16 ($17)

FAQs

What is the significance of La Giralda?

La Giralda is a really tall tower in Seville, Spain. It’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the most famous landmarks in the city.

It used to be a minaret, which is a tower that Muslims use to call people to prayer. But now it’s a bell tower for the Seville Cathedral.

The name “Giralda” comes from the Spanish word “girar,” which means “to turn.” This is because the weather vane on top of the tower is a figure of a woman holding a flagpole, and it used to rotate to indicate the direction of the wind.

La Giralda is a symbol of Seville’s rich history and culture. It’s a reminder of the city’s Islamic past, and it’s also a testament to the city’s Christian heritage.

What does Giralda mean in Spanish?

The word “Giralda” in Spanish means “she who turns.” This is because the weather vane on top of the tower is a figure of a woman holding a flagpole, which used to rotate to indicate the direction of the wind.

The word “girar” in Spanish means “to turn.” So, the name “Giralda” refers to the fact that the weather vane on top of the tower used to rotate.

What religion is La Giralda?

La Giralda is a symbol of both Islam and Christianity.

It was originally built as a minaret for the Great Mosque of Seville, which was a Muslim place of worship.

After the Reconquista, the minaret was converted into a bell tower for the Seville Cathedral, which is a Christian church.

Who designed La Giralda?

The original architect of La Giralda is unknown. The minaret was believed to be built in the 12th century by the Almohad dynasty, which ruled Seville then.

The minaret was designed in the Moorish style, a type of Islamic architecture.

In the 16th century, the minaret was converted into a bell tower for the Seville Cathedral.

The architect who oversaw the conversion was Hernán Ruiz II.

Ruiz II added the Renaissance-style weather vane to the top of the tower and made other changes to the structure.

Why was La Giralda built?

La Giralda was initially built as a minaret for the Great Mosque of Seville.

The Great Mosque was built in the 12th century by the Almohad dynasty, which ruled Seville then.

The minaret was used to call people to prayer and was also a symbol of the power and authority of the Almohads.

When was La Giralda made?

La Giralda was built in several stages. The original minaret was built in the 12th century by the Almohad dynasty, which ruled Seville at the time

Featured Image: Tom Podmore on Unsplash

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