Saturday, August 16, 2014

August 16, 2014 -- Seville, Spain

Today is the day that I finally got inside the Giralda, which is the enormous bell tower of the cathedral. I not only got inside, but I walked around and around the ascending ramp all the way to the top.

As you line up for tickets to get into the cathedral, you pass a restored version of the giant weather vane that tops the Giralda and gives the tower its name (the weather vane "gyrates" or turns). I had been inside the cathedral itself several times, but when the cathedral is open to the public cor free in the mornings, the museum areas are closed off, and the many side chapels are not illuminated.

However, I have written about the inside of the cathedral in previous entries, so this time I will comcentrate on the Giralda.

I took the following picture while ascending the ramp that leads to the top of the Giralda. The images of the boys coming down the ramp are blurred, because they were descending at a fast clip, and I took the picture using my primitive cell phone camera in low light. At the end of this section, the ramp turns to the left and continues ascending. I didn't count the number of left turns I made to continue ascending, but it was several dozen.

As I mentioned in an earlier entry, the way to the top of the tower is a ramp. because when the tower was the minaret of a mosque, a man would ride a horse to the top to call the faithful to prayer. I suppose making someone to ascend that high tower on foot five times a day was considered too onerous.

In case you doubt that I made it to the top, here is a selfie at the level of the bells. That's not the very top of the tower, bit it's as high as a tourist is allowed to go. There is a staircase leading higher, bit it is blocked off.

You are probably wondering what Seville looks like from up there. Here it is. Notice that eben the nigh roof of the cathedral in the foreground is quite a distance below.

Finally,here is the courtyard of orange trees. I have read that it has been considerably altered since the cathedral was built, but it is one of the remaining features of the old mosque and once served as the mosque's entrance.

No comments: