La Giralda: Renaissance addition – Belfry and the figure of Faith

Giralda upper part - Renaissance addition to the Giralda - Belfry and the figure of Faith

Renaissance addition to the Giralda – Belfry and the figure of Faith

Giralda upper part
La Giralda is the campanile (bell tower) of the Seville Cathedral and a harmonious blend of two architectures – Moorish and Renaissance. The lower half is a Moorish minaret built in the 13th century, and the upper part is a campanile, i.e., the Christian bell tower built in the 16th century. The image shows the Christian half. As you can see, there are four stories overlaid on top of the original minaret, and a decorative sculpture representing the victory of Faith at the top. Although the new Renaissance-style structure was built 300 years later, the transition to the new addition appears smooth, and onlookers hardly notice the difference.

The size (includes width and height) of the stories decreases as you go higher. The bottom two floors are square-shaped, and the top two are circular.

The first story sits perfectly on top of the minaret and appears as though it is a continuation of it. Built with bricks, stones, and ceramics, it serves as the bell-chamber housing 24 bells, eight on each side. Its exterior is highly ornate with columns, round windows, and an arch in the middle of each side. The bells hang between the columns. Mounted above the corners are the bronze flower vases with lilies.

The second story has two levels. In 1765, a Franciscan Friar named José Cordero installed a beautiful bell in the upper level of this story, and it became the 25th bell of the Giralda.

The third story is circular, and the fourth looks like a jar and is named “La Tinaja” (The Jar). Sitting above the fourth floor is a dome which acts as a pedestal for a magnificent bronze sculpture of a young woman holding a cross, symbolizing the victory of Faith. This sculpture is known as El Giradillo because it rotates with the wind and acts as a weather vane.

Related Pages
La Giralda: A harmonious blend of Moorish and Renaissance architectural styles
Seville Cathedral: An awe-inspiring architectural marvel
Sala Capitular – The Chapter House of the Seville Cathedral
Sacristía Mayor – The Main Sacristy of the Seville Cathedral

Copyright © 2020 by Lawrence Rodrigues. All rights reserved.

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