Seville Catherdral’s Belltower, La Giralda, and its Weathervane, El Giraldillo:
La Giralda is the famous bell tower of the Cathedral of Seville and a legacy of Seville’s Moorish past. Built on the site of a Muslim mosque, it was once one of the tallest towers in the world. The height of the tower, 97 metres, is recorded on the north-east corner of the Patio de los Naranjos (Courtyard of the Orange Trees).
La Giralda was built between 1172-98 by the Emir Yaqub al Mansur. The base of the tower was constructed using stones from various Roman monuments, some of which can still be seen on the corner of Calle Placentines.
The Giralda tower is a symbol of the blend of Islamic and Christian cultures. It was formerly the minaret of a Muslim mosque but the original bronze spheres at the top were replaced by Christian symbols in the 14th century. It is topped by a Renaissance belfry and in the 16th century a set of bells was added.
This ancient minaret is actually two towers, one inside the other. A series of ramps fill the space between the two towers which allowed the Sultan to ride up the tower on horseback. Visitors can go to the terrace of La Giralda for a stunning view of Seville, but you’ll have to do this on foot as horses are no longer allowed. Unfortunately, we weren’t there at opening times so we missed the opportunity to climb up.
On top of the bell tower of La Giralda is a famous weathervane. It takes the form of a bronze woman dressed in traditional Roman attire. She is the representation of Christian Faith and carries a shield in one hand and a palm leaf in the other. As the bronze statue rotates, both the weathervane and tower were named Giralda, derived from the Spanish word ‘girar‘ meaning ‘to turn‘. These days the tower retains the name Giralda whereas the weather vane is called El Giraldillo.
July and August: 09:30 – 15:30 (Mon-Sat) and 14:30 – 18:00 (Sundays and public holidays)
September to June: 11:00 – 17:00 (Mon-Sat) and 14:30 – 18:00 (Sundays and public holidays)
Plaza de la Virgen de Los Reyes
Tel: +34 954 21 49 71
Map of Seville: