Cádiz (Sevilla), Spain 

                                                         Cathedral of St. Mary of the See

April 18, 2012

This was our second visit to Cádiz, and by the end of it we still had not explored the city.  On both visits we chose to go to other places while we were in port.  Our choice this time was to go to Seville.  Seville is Spain’s fourth largest city, with a population of approximately 1.5 million in the greater metropolitan area.  It is located in the region of Andalusia, about a 2-1/2 hour drive from Cádiz.  The city is about 3,000 years old, and bears the imprints of all the civilizations that have occupied it.  The prior civilizations included the Romans, Vandals, Visigoths, Moors and Castilians.  

The excursion we chose was called ‘Stunning Seville’, a walking tour of some of Seville’s greatest attractions.  Our tour had us first walking through the Jewish Quarter of the city, which is located inside the old walls.  This photo shows where the aqueduct ran through the walls.  

In the Jewish district we had a short stop for a rest break and souvenir shopping.

After leaving the Jewish district we were supposed to visit Real Alcázar, a palace built by the Moors, who were driven out of the area before they could occupy it.  However, the lines there were long, so we walked over to the nearby Cathedral of St. Mary of the See.  This cathedral (pictured at the top of the page and multiple photos in the album) is built on the footprint of a mosque, and some parts of the mosque remain:  the courtyard, the bell tower, and the dome on the top of the church, which does not go through to the inside.  The cathedral is huge,built on a monumental scale.  It is the largest gothic cathedral in the world as well as the largest Catholic cathedral in the world.  

It is also the third largest church in the world, after St. Peter’s in Rome and St. Paul’s in London.  The interior shape of the cathedral is unusual, and the columns are massive.

The coffin containing the urn with the remains of Christopher Columbus resides here, borne by four men, each of whom represents an area of Spain.  The grave of Columbus’ second son Hernando is also here (photo at right).  The photo below is of the mosque courtyard.

Once we left the cathedral it was just a short walk back to Real Alcázar, where there were now no lines.  This is another amazing building, very ornate, with elaborate tile designs and plenty of moorish style arches.  The tile work is everywhere: inside, outside, floors, walls, ceilings, arches.  Most of the tile work is very colorful.

As you can see, the designs are very beautiful.  The palace also has some very beautiful gardens, that we walked through after seeing some of the interior.

Once we had completed our visit to Real Alcázar, we walked back our bus and drove over to the Macarena Quarter, where we had a very nice buffet lunch at the Macarena Hotel.  Along the way we passed the Palacio de San Telma and the bull ring, among other notable buildings.

Once we finished lunch we thought we were done for the day, and braced ourselves for the long ride back to Cádiz.  But wait … there was one more stop …  

The last stop was at the Plaza España which was built for the 1929 Exposición Ibero-Americana.  The building is shaped like a horseshoe, with four entrances and four of everything there, to represent the four regions of Spain.  Once again one can see the Moorish influence with all the tile work.

From the Plaza España, we drove back to Cádiz.  While there was still daylight, we walked over to the nearby pier area where we saw an old-style ship moored.  We checked it out and found out it was called ‘Galeon de Pepa’.  She was built to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the Spanish-American war, and is a replica of the wooden ships used in the 19th century.

Some of our friends spent the day in Cádiz, and based on their reports, if we return to the city, we will spend time there instead of going out of town.  The final two photos in the album are views of Cádiz from our ship.

We really enjoyed our visit to Seville.  It is an interesting city with much to see and do.  See it all in the photo album.

© Susan L. Stone 2015                   rovingstones@me.com