The Giralda of Seville uncovered | Everything you need to know

Who has not heard about La Giralda in Seville? This monument is one of the most important in the city. There are countless stories about it, making it an icon worthy of admiration.

As a general description, it is the tower of the Cathedral of Seville, where its imposing bell tower is located. Its construction is gothic and attractive, which makes more and more people from all continents who come to know it.

In fact, many architectural constructions are inspired by La Giralda, which is why it has been catalogued as an important monument not only for the city, but for the whole world. But what is behind La Giralda of Seville, what is its fame and what is its history? This and more you can find out below.

History and origin of the Giralda of Seville

The Giralda of Seville was built almost 840 years ago and was known as an Almohad tower. Its Arabic origin makes it an exact replica of two other towers of great importance of the time.

The first of these is the Hassan Tower of the Rabat Mosque and the one belonging to the Kutubia Mosque in Marrakech. Both are still standing there. The architects responsible for their construction were Ibn Basso and Ali de Gomara.

Those who added decorative details typically to the Muslim culture to its exterior. Over the years, Christian conquest came and it was there between 1558 and 1568, another architect expanded the original structure.

In this sense, Hernán Ruiz was in charge of building the part that would constitute the bell tower of the Cathedral of Seville. Giving a Renaissance look to the tower and of course, increased its original height. It went from measuring 97.5 meters to 104 meters.

In the highest part of the Giralda of Seville, was placed a sculpture called Giraldillo. It is a weathervane that measures approximately 4 meters and is also an icon of great importance for the city.

On the other hand, La Giralda received the dignification of National Heritage in 1928, while in 1987, UNESCO granted it the recognition of World Heritage. In short, a monument that is representing Seville, shows the influence of different cultures that predominated the region.

Curiosities about the Giralda of Seville

The Giralda of Seville is attractive in every way, but behind it there are some curious facts that you may not know. Do you want to know what they are? Here we present them to you.

1. It has inspired works of art of all kinds.

One of the curiosities about La Giralda of Seville that we found is that it has been a fundamental part in the elaboration of great works of art. Many of them are appreciated all over the world.

For example, the writers Miguel de Cervantes and Agustín de Rojas dedicated a few lines to La Giralda in the texts El Viaje Entretenido and Don Quijote de la Mancha.

These are joined by authors such as Juan Ramón Jiménez, Serafín and Joaquín Álvarez Quintero. Together with great paintings such as Santa Justa and Rufina, the View of Seville by Santiago Martinez, among others.

2. It was red at the beginning

The color given to La Giralda in Seville at the time of its inauguration in 1182 was red. For this reason, it was compared for centuries with the tower of the mosque of Marrakech. The sebka on its exterior, together with the Arab ornamental forms, make them very similar to each other.

3. Each bell has its own name

In case you didn’t know, there are 24 campaigns in the Giralda of Seville elaborated in different years, with different weights, but above all, each one has its own name. These are:

  • Santa María la Mayor: 5,362 kg.
  • San Miguel: 3,548 kg.
  • Omnium Sanctorum: 1,658 kg.
  • San Cristobal: 1,600 kg.
  • Santa Catalina: 1,362 kg.
  • Santiago: 1,332 kg.
  • San Juan Bautista: 1,051 kg.
  • Santa Cruz de los cuartos: 951 kg.
  • San Fernando: 951 kg.
  • San Pedro: 881 kg.
  • San Pablo: 753 kg.
  • John the Evangelist: 771 kg.
  • San Hermenegildo: 729 kg.
  • San Isidro: 709 kg.
  • San Laureano: 481 kg.
  • Santa Inés: 320 kg.
  • Santa Barbara: 430 kg.
  • Santa Florentina: 395 kg.
  • San Sebastian: 381 kg.
  • San José: 319 kg.
  • Lucia: 298 kg.
  • Santa Rufina: 235 kg.
  • Santa Justa: 145 kg.
  • Santa Cecilia: 138 kg.

4. The tower has no steps

A tower without stairs? It seems strange, but its structure was built with ramps. Apparently, the original tower was used as a lookout or watchtower and the ramps were designed for horses to climb.

These ramps are preserved in their original state and it is through them that you can visit the interior of La Giralda of Seville.

5. The Cathedral of Seville has two Giraldillos

Although it is true, at the top of the bell tower you can see the weathervane of La Giralda, called Giraldillo. But, in addition, an exact replica has been installed at the entrance of the Cathedral so that everyone can appreciate it.

6. The Giralda of Seville has been replicated in some countries around the world.

Its imposing architecture has inspired some buildings around the world. However, there are three that have been recognized for their resemblance. The first one was located in New York City and was demolished to erect another building.

This is followed by the one located in Kansas City and finally, the one in Badajoz. As can be expected, each one is much smaller than the original.

Recommendations, prices and schedules to visit La Giralda in Seville

If you want to enter and visit every corner of La Giralda of Seville, you should know that its facilities are open every day of the year. Of course, depending on the season there is a stipulated schedule for this and the entrance has a cost.

In case you take a summer getaway to the city, you can visit the tower on the following schedule:

  • Monday from 9:30 am to 3:30 pm.
  • From Tuesdays to Saturdays you can enter from 9:30 am to 4 pm.
  • On Sundays the entrance is from 14:30 to 18 hrs.

However, if you visit during the months of September and June, the schedules are as follows:

  • Monday from 11:00 am to 3:30 pm.
  • Tuesdays through Saturdays from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm.
  • Daylight saving time is maintained on Sundays.

Finally, you can enter the facilities of La Giralda de Sevilla paying an entrance fee of only 9 euros. If you are a pensioner, disabled or student, the price is 4 euros. You are now ready to make your tour of the most important monument of Seville. We are sure that your experience will be unforgettable.