La Giralda

La Giralda Tower seen from the Patio de los Naranjos of the Cathedral of Santa María in Sevilla, Spain.

I am currently designing a residence in the Spanish Revival style, and as I move through the creative process I have drawn inspiration from my own experience living in a traditional courtyard house in Nicaragua, and more importantly, I keep going back to the source through my travels to Spain, which have provided me with a wealth of photographic and drawing materials from which to get inspired. And then I realized that in all the excitement and time constraints that accompany a new project, I forgot to report, here on the blog, my latest trip to Sevilla; this post then is the beginning on a series about this amazing city.

Sevilla's Cathedral seen through the windows of the Giralda.  Sevilla, Spain.

The Giralda is a remnant of the mosque that once stood at the center of the Moorish city of Ishbiliya, it was built from 1184-1196 by the Almohade monarchs as a minaret for the mosque. In 1248 Sevilla was conquered for the Spanish by king Fernando III of Castilla, the Moorish population was expelled from the city and their mosque was reconsecrated as a cathedral. The Mosque was razed in the early 1400's to make way for the new Cathedral de Santa Maria, this time in the Gothic style, but the minaret was spared and turned into a bell tower.

The Giralda bells: industry and antiquity.  Sevilla, Spain.

No visit to Sevilla is complete without a stop at the cathedral and her Giralda, and no journey of mine is ever complete without climbing some sort of mountain or hiking a good 400 steps; this trip was not different, and John and I made our way to the top of the 318 foot tower, which afforded us glorious views of Sevilla in the setting sun:

The Patio de los Naranjos of Sevilla's Cathedral.  The remnant of the Moorish arches of the ancient mosque can be seen on the right.  Sevilla, Spain.

From atop the Giralda we could truly appreciate the intricacy of Sevilla's urban fabric, and peek into the shaded courtyards and hidden gardens:

we could also catch a glimpse of monuments farther afield, and admire their imposing silhouettes in the golden horizon:
The "Plaza de Toros" or Bull Ring of Sevilla, Spain.

Francisco Calatrava's bridge of the Alamillo in Sevilla, Spain.

We stayed in the tower for what felt like hours, but then time seems to be of no consequence in this city.  We finally descended to the plaza and crossed the Patio de los Naranjos towards the streets, and in the twilight La Giralda had turned to gold.

Sevilla through John's eyes. 

"Puerta del Perdón" the Gate of Forgiveness, in the Patio de los Naranjos of Sevilla's Cathedral.  Sevilla, Spain.

The Giralda of Sevilla, Spain.

All images by Nadia Palacios Lauterbach.



pranogajec said...

Stanford White based his Madison Square Garden pretty closely on the Giralda tower (though he Renaissanced it more)

Nadia Palacios Lauterbach said...

Paul, it's true. Stanford White built his own Giralda at Madison Square Garden, which sadly was demolished and replaced by something much less stellar.

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