Friday, 1 April 2016

Spain 2016 - Seville, Cathedral

Taking up from where I left off in the last post, after making my way down from the Giraldi Tower, I spent some time looking around the Cathedral. This was my third church in a day starting with the little chapel of San  Jose, then the much larger Salvador church and now the Cathedral. It is to be expected that as the building gets larger it becomes less personal but I was rather surprised by the Cathedral. There was no sense left of reverence, as a place of worship. In the chapel people came in while I was there, made the sign of the cross and settled in a pew. At the church, even though areas of pews were taken up by tour groups with the leader speaking loudly so all could hear, there were still people sitting alone on the pews in contemplation or prayer. In the Cathedral I couldn't even see where someone could do that if they wanted to. There were a few side galleries with pews but they were closed off.
There is no excuse for this; Sagrada Familia in Barcelona has an area for worship even though it is still under construction and the place is hushed and awe inspiring, Notre Dame in Paris has services going on at times and everyone is very quiet when visiting as some people are obviously there to pray.
The Cathedral is immense but so chopped up with ornately carved walls, altars, statues etc that there is no place to take a picture that will show that.
The centre is walled off and you can see the choir seats and font through wrought iron gates. A whole section is devoted to religious art, displayed on temporary white walls, like in a gallery. Areas where pews are set up are not in front of an altar area, they are solely for the use of the tour groups. It is quite loud with all those tour leaders speaking.
A mirror has been set up so that you can see the intricacies of the ceilings.

I specifically wanted to see the Christopher Columbus monument. There is some controversy around whether his bones are actually here or not but I think it is generally accepted that they were transferred here. He died in Spain, at about the age of 54, was buried, his remains were then moved to the Dominican Republic and then back to Seville. He was well traveled even after death.
The other area that remains from the time as a Mosque, is the courtyard, which was the main entrance and still has the fountains for washing before entering.
The Garaldi Tower from the courtyard area.

The courtyard floor has channels for the overflowing water to keep the area cool.
The exit, from the courtyard, shows its Moorish influence.
I was feeling a little "over churched" and went looking for a garden for some peace and quiet.
He watched me eat my lunch of fruit and cheese, never asking for any or making a noise, just with the usual cat attitude of "I am beautiful, I own this place and am letting you use it".
The rest of my day was spent walking around enjoying the weather.
Christopher Columbus column in one of the parks. The boat has Isabella, his patron, on it.
When Nicola and I were here a month ago, this fountain wasn't operating
and the line up for the Alcazar was not this long.
This is a bicycling city. There are bike lanes everywhere and they are usually 2 lanes and separated from the road with a short barricade.
There is a bike sharing system and it is well used.
It's just so photogenic
and I was up there with the bells.
And finally, because I haven't had a bird photo in a while:
There aren't as many parrots as in Barcelona but you do hear them up in the palm trees and get an occasional glance of one.
Supper was a salad and glass of wine back at Casa Carlos and, having walked all day, I was asleep by 10!

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