You can't miss it. The cathedral dominates the old town center, sitting on the site of a mosque dating from the 12th century. After the Christian reconquest of Seville, a Chapter member said "We will build a church so big that people who see it will consider us crazy." And, it is that. Big. Beautiful. And, filled with a few crazy surprises!
Not only is the cathedral the largest in Spain, it is the third largest in the world. It's 80 chapels reportedly held 500 daily masses at one time. One of the most famous sites inside the cathedral is the gold altar piece, Retablo Mayor. It took 44 years to complete the 36 gilded relief panels that depict scenes from the Old Testament and the lives of saints.
Another spectacular find in the cathedral is the Tomb of Christopher Columbus. It is believed that the bones of the famous explorer are in the raised casket. DNA testing is currently underway to find out if they really are. The suspense is killing me!
Outside is the famous La Giralda, the cathedral's bell tower. Originally built at the end of the 12th century as the minaret of the mosque, it stands as one of three remaining minarets in the world (the others are in Marrakesh and Rabat, Morocco). During the building of the cathedral, the Giralda was preserved, although Christian symbols were added to the top. Inside the tower, a 34-story ramp (wide enough for a person to ride a horse to the top) will take visitors to the top of the tower for spectacular views of Seville.
Fortunately, I passed by the cathedral daily in route to other sites, so I was able to get a look at it from all sides and angles. I have to say, each time I passed, I discovered something new in its architecture and carvings. I think it's safe to say, the Chapter did themselves proud!