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La Giralda, Seville, Spain Top-Rated Tourist Attractions & Top sights

La Giralda

Tower in Seville, Spain

Spain's Top-Rated Tourist Attractions and Top sights

La Giralda, Seville, Spain Top-Rated Tourist Attractions & Top sights

The Giralda is the bell tower of Seville Cathedral in Spain. Built as a minaret for the Great Mosque of Seville in Al-Andalus, Moorish Spain during the Almohad dynasty, a Renaissance-style belfry was added by the Catholics after the expulsion of the Muslims from the area. The Giralda was registered as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1987, along with the Alcázar and the General Archives of the Indies. The tower is 104.1 meters high and remains one of the most important symbols of the city, as it has been since the Middle Ages.


Initial construction of La Giralda

The mosque was built in the 9th century to replace the old mosque of Ibn Addabas, built under the Umayyad rule, as the congregation outgrew that typical mosque. It was launched in 1171 by Caliph Abu Yaqub Yusuf. The Sevillian architect Ahmad Ibn Basso, who had led other construction projects for the Caliph, was in charge of designing the mosque. Construction was slowed by the redirection of an existing city sewer that needed to be relocated to accommodate the building's expansive foundations, an engineering hurdle that slowed progress by four years.

Building of the Minaret - La Giralda

After returning to al-Andalus for a new military campaign in 1184, Abi Ya'qub Yusuf ordered the construction of the Minaret. However, construction stopped with the death of the architect that same year, and a month and a half later, the Caliph, who was commanding the siege of Santarem, died. His son, Abu Yusuf Yaqub al-Mansur, ordered the construction of the minaret upon his accession to the throne in 1184, but work soon stalled again and was not resumed until 1188.

Structure and decoration of La Giralda

Before its partial destruction in the 1356 earthquake, the mosque was comparable in size to the Great Mosque of Córdoba, and its walls faced cardinal directions with mathematical precision. It had a rectangular floor plan measuring approximately 113 by 135 meters. The prayer room was symmetrical and airy, in a still-existing courtyard, the Patio de los Naranjos, or "Courtyard of the Orange Trees." Above the arched doorway.

The tower of La Giralda

The minaret of the mosque still stands like the Giralda. At street level the foundation is a square 13.6 meters on a side and sits on a solid foundation that is slightly wider, 15~16 meters and about 5 meters deep. The foundation is built of solid, rectangular stones, some of the former Abbasid palaces near the walls and Taken and reused from Roman city walls.

Location: Seville, Spain


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