Heathens Come to TownPosted: June 27, 2016
Sometimes we forget that these beautiful cathedrals we are visiting are churches. Today we went to the Cathedral of Seville which towers over our little eleven room hotel. We have been here three days and have enjoyed the glorious peeling of the bells multiple times. Of course they ring on the hour, and sometimes the half and every once in a while on the quarter, but they are a little fickle and sometimes they ring and ring and ring and it’s 7:20. We can’t figure them out, but they do work as an alarm for Carter to get up.
The Cathedral is a major money making operation. We waited in a long line today to get in at 9 euros a head. They would not give Carter the student rate since she did not have a student ID, there is no explaining that her school does not issue ID’s. As we were waiting in the snake of a line through the gift shop, Russ looks over at a shelves of books and asks, “Carter, who is that cartoon character over there?” She glances at the shelf with her young eyes and says in her most droll tone, “Jesus.”
This Cathedral is filled with fantastic works of art, mostly of Jesus and his mom, but some lesser known Popesand randomness nuns are also featured. One other famous person has his crypt in the Cathedral, Christopher Columbus, since this was the most powerful maritime location in Spain and the place Isabella and Ferdinand ruled from, sending Christopher Columbus off to the new world from this place 50 miles inland.
We walked all around the main floor of the Cathedral that has just a little seating for actual worship. As Russ passed by a four year old Asian girl, sitting on a pew, who was holding a giant I-phone 6 swiping wildly, he heard her muttering, “Wifi, wifi, why can’t I get any wifi?” Seems like the Catholic Church could charge an extra euro per head if they made the whole inside of the Cathedral a hotspot. Might also do something to get butts in the pews for services, but then again they might need more actual seats.
After finishing looking at the main floor we climbed the tower, known as “la Giralda” the 35 story minaret, that was built for the original Muslim mosque and was engulfed into the Cathedral when the Christians drove the Muslims out. The tower has ramps instead of stairs so the climbing is easier. It was built that way so that soldiers could ride up to the top on their horses. I can not imagine a horse making the turns on the narrow corners on the way up, let alone not slipping on the stone ramps on the way down.
The climb to the top was worth it because we could see all of Seville and the surrounding countryside from that highest point in the city. Somehow we timed our visit perfectly because no bells rang while we were standing just feet below them.
After the climb down we needed liquid refreshment so we went to a cafe with our friend Shireen and sat under the mist spraying umbrellas and did what has become our favorite afternoon activity in the heat of Seville, to talk and tell stories.
Tonight is our last night in this beautiful town. We are going back to have dinner at our favorite restaurant, far from the tourist section of town. Hopefully the temperature will be below 100 when it is time to walk to dinner.