The Glory of Columbus: Seville Cathedral

Christopher Columbus was the greatest contributor to the Kingdom of Spain during the Great Age of Discovery of the 15th century. And Seville became a trading base with the New World after his discovery.

The Cathedral was still under construction at that time. The building used to be a mosque. This tower used to be an Islamic minaret. The sloped walkway inside shows traces of Islamic influence. The slope is connected to a flight of stairs in the extended part. The Tower was extended 26 meters in height and became the Catholic Church belfry. The Islamic base was left in its original state.

The church conference of Seville in 1401 decided that a huge cathedral should be built which people in the future would find amazing. The Cathedrals most notable feature is its Altarpiece, claimed to be the largest in the world. We can see the Sculpture of Jesus Christ on the Cross at the uppermost part – it almost reaches the ceiling. The altarpiece is 20 meters high and 13 meters wide. The surface is covered in gold to show Spains wealth and power. More than three tons of gold was used. It was probably brought over from the New World. The characteristic feature of this altarpiece is that the Virgin Mary is placed in the center, instead of Jesus Christ. From the 4th century Marianism prevailed in Spain and Seville became a leading city for this devotion. The great chambers ceiling also has a painting of the Virgin Mary. The Immaculate Conception by Seville painter Murillo depicts the Virgin Mary with her innocent beauty. The Cathedral was completed about 13 years after Christopher Columbuss death. His coffin is held by four giants inside the Cathedral. It is emblazoned with the Spanish Royal Coat of Arms. The Discovery of the New World had a significant meaning for Spain. The four giants represent the four Catholic Kingdoms which founded the Kingdom of Spain.

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