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Giralda Tower: Climb Seville's Iconic Landmark

Seville CathedralGiralda Tower

The Seville Cathedral Tower, also known as the Tower of Giralda is arguably one of the most popular attractions in Spain. Standing tall in all its glory, the Seville Cathedral Tower was originally a minaret of the Almohad Mosque during Caliph Abu Yaqub Yusuf’s reign. The tower not only represents Seville’s vast and eventful history but also serves as a timely reminder of Spain’s diverse culture. 

Read on to learn about the Seville Cathedral Tower’s history, architecture, and all the important information you need to know before visiting it. 

History

The Seville Cathedral Tower was one of the minarets of the Almohad Mosque and was built somewhere between 1184 and 1198. The tower’s design was inspired by the minaret of Koutoubia which is probably the most significant mosques in Morocco today. While the tower is a fine example of Arab architecture, it has served as an inspiration for many iconic buildings in and around Seville including the the Alcázar and the Torre del Oro. 

Built more than 800 years ago, the Seville Cathedral Tower is also considered the oldest building in Seville. There was a great sense of urgency to build a great mosque when Seville was declared the capital during the Almohad rule between 1121 and 1169. The Seville Cathedral was originally the great mosque of Seville and the tower was one of its minarets - a testament to the city’s intertwined history. 

The minaret became a bell tower when King Ferdinand captured Seville in 1248 and converted the great mosque into the magnificent cathedral we see today. 

Architecture

There have been significant additions to the original tower since it was built in the 12th century. While the tower’s structure was initially built in Arab or the typical Islamic style, the architecture changed gradually once the Arabs left Seville. The Seville Cathedral Tower which we see today is a confluence of Moorish and Renaissance architecture. 

The intricate geometry combined with bricks and stones showcases the tower’s Islamic heritage and architectural style. Legend has it that there was a copper sphere on top of the minaret which disappeared after an earthquake in 1365. Many elements from the Arab era were replaced with Christian symbols including the holy cross in the 14th century. The Seville Cathedral Tower which we see today was designed by Hernán Ruiz, a Spanish Renaissance architect. 

Highlights of Seville Cathedral

Sweeping Views of Seville

The Seville Cathedral Tower is over 100 meters in height and is the highest structure in Seville. You can get to the top of the tower from inside the Seville Cathedral. Enjoy the sweeping view of Seville and marvel at some of the iconic buildings in the region including Plaza de Toros de la Maestranza,  Royal Alcázar, and Plaza de Espana. 

Christopher Columbus’s Tomb

Do not miss Christopher Columbus’s tomb which is inside the Seville Cathedral when you visit the Seville Cathedral tower. It houses the remains of the renowned and brave explorer Christopher Columbus who is also credited for discovering the “New World”. 

Patio de los Naranjos

There aren’t many places in Seville that are as calm and tranquil as the Patio de los Naranjos, the Cathedral’s courtyard. The courtyard’s origin can be traced back to when the Cathedral was a mosque and it is safe to say that it was witness to different architectural styles and cultures. Capture the stunning rows of lush green and fragrant orange trees that serve as a sunshade and offer respite to tourists. 

Bells

It is hard to miss the giant bells at the top which were introduced by the Christians after capturing the Seville Cathedral Tower from the Arabs. The huge bells, evenly spaced from each other cover the tower’s periphery and also probably the first things you will see after reaching the top. 

Visitor information

Opening Hours
Accessibility
Tips
Dress Code
Photography Guidelines

Monday to Saturday: 11 AM to 5 PM

Sunday: 2 PM to 6 PM

Please note that the timings are subject to change in case there are any special events or ceremonies. Kindly check the opening hours on that specific day before visiting the Seville Cathedral Tower. 

  • The Seville Cathedral and the Giralda Tower can be accessed by visitors with disabilities without any difficulties. 
  • Adapted toilets are available at the Patio de los Naranjos and the Permanent Exhibition area. 
  • Wheelchairs are available free of cost for visitors with reduced mobility. 
  • Braille brochures are available for visitors with visual disabilities. 
  • Please note that although there are no elevators to reach the top of the Seville Cathedral Tower, there are around 35-36 wheelchair-friendly ramps.
  • Visit the Seville Cathedral Tower as soon as it opens to avoid the crowd that builds up later in the day. 
  • Book your tickets online to avoid waiting in line at the entrance. 
  • Consider booking a guided tour to make the most of your visit and understand the tower’s rich history, learn about its architecture and other interesting stories. 
  • While there is a bit of a climb, do not miss the mindblowing views of Seville from atop the Sevilla Cathedral Tower.
  • Please note that you need to enter the Seville Cathedral Tower from inside the main Cathedral. 
  • Since you are visiting a place of worship, visitors are required to follow a certain dress code to preserve the attraction’s character and maintain decorum. 
  • Men are not permitted to wear shorts, vests, hot pants, caps, flip-flops, casual sandals and hats. T-shirts, closed-toe shoes, shirts, trousers, and jeans are allowed. 
  • Women are not permitted to wear strapless dresses and tops, tank tops, vests, sleeveless tops, short skirts, mini skirts, and shorts. Trousers, long skirts, closed-toe shoes, conservative sandals, t-shirts, shirts, and long-sleeved tops are permitted.
  • Casual or non-commercial photography without flash is permitted inside the Seville Cathedral Tower. 
  • Photography with a tripod or any other equipment is prohibited. 
  • Commercial photography is only permitted for individuals with valid permission.



Book tickets to Seville Cathedral

Seville Cathedral and Giralda Skip-the-Line Tickets
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Combo: Alcazar of Seville + Seville Cathedral and Giralda Skip-the-Line Tickets
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Alcazar of Seville and Seville Cathedral & Giralda Skip-the-Line Guided Tour
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Seville Cathedral and Giralda Skip-the-Line Guided Tour
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Combo (Save 5%): Seville Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour + Alcazar + Seville Cathedral & Giralda Tickets
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Frequently asked questions about Seville Cathedral Tower

How old is the Seville Cathedral Tower?

The Seville Cathedral Tower is over 800 years old.

What is the historic significance of the Seville Cathedral Tower?

The Seville Cathedral Tower was originally a minaret of the great Almohan mosque. It became a bell tower when the mosque was converted to a cathedral after Seville was captured by the Christians.

How tall is the Seville Cathedral Tower?

The Seville Cathedral Tower is around 95-100 meters tall.

Is there an elevator at the Seville Cathedral Tower?

No, there are no elevators inside the Seville Cathedral Tower.

How long does it take to reach the top of the Seville Cathedral Tower?

It takes around 10-15 minutes to reach the top of the Seville Cathedral Tower.

Is it worth climbing the Seville Cathedral Tower?

Yes, absolutely. Since the tower is one of the highest structures in Seville, you can capture breathtaking views of Seville and its iconic landmarks including the Royal Alcazar, Plaza de Toros de la Maestranza, and Plaza de Espana.

Can visitors with disabilities visit the Seville Cathedral Tower?

Yes, visitors with disabilities can visit the Seville Cathedral Tower thanks to the wheelchair-friendly ramps.