Granada Cathedral

Here are a few pictures of the large Cathedral in the historical centre of Granada.

Outside pictures were hard to take due to the surrounding buildings.

An exterior pic.

 Another exterior pic . 

The main alter with the huge organ on either side.

This gal was sitting in the Cathedral drawing without looking at the paper and it looked like she was doing a great job, but she covered it up when she realized that I was peeking. 

A model of the Cathedral. 

Note the 8 points on the stars on the door in the Christian Cathedral… There is evidence of Arabic influence every where.

Hymn books for the choir. They were very large so the choir could see them from a distance.

This chapel had urns in it withe the names of Saints. 

A confessional . 

This room had some beautiful pictures on display . 

There were statues and lots of mirrors in the room where the pictures were on display .  Ithe was weird to keep seeing yourself in the mirrors ; kind of like being on display yourself . 

One of the many chapels in the Cathedral . 

Another ornate chapel . 

Beautiful tapestries were displayed in one of the museum like rooms.

A chapel . 

There are a lot more pictures -I could keep going…..but….

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The Tomb of Christopher Columbus 

I was intrigued by these statues in the Cathedral of Seville.   This is the final resting place of Christopher Columbus. 

Though this tribute to the great Explorer is dwarfed by its enormous surroundings, it remains a very impressive monument . 
The underside of Christopher Columbus’ tomb.

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The Interior of the Cathedral of Seville 

The lines were so long to get into this Cathedral that I almost decided not to visit it.  I am glad that the line was very short on my last afternoon in Seville or I would have missed it’s beauty and the sound of its huge organ (not to mention the tomb of Christopher Columbus).

I just happened to tour the Cathedral while a service was going on.  The sound of the organ was incredible.

There was a small museum area inside near the entrance with many small exhibits. 

One of the many special exhibits. 

There were many beautiful chapels and a lot of them housed tombs.

The above chapel  from another angle. 

Another beautiful chapel with covered pews.  It looks like it gets used for special events. 

The sculpture of the severed head of John the Baptist is in the museum.    I saw one just like it in the Cathedral in Granada.  Seems a little gory.


Some chapels were less ornate which was less overwhelming allowing for a deeper appreciation of the art work.

The paintings in some of the chapels were beautiful.   They were mostly in the less ornate chapels. 


There was a mirror strategically place to allow you to take a picture of the ceilings high above your head without breaking your neck to get the right angle. 

This was painted directly on the wall and is huge. It is right beside the tomb of Christopher Columbus. 

It was hard to get a good angle to capture the life-size sculptures high up on the gate.

The details are unbelievable especially considering how long ago this Cathedral was built.  It was started in 1402 and originally completed in 1511.  Since then the dome has collapsed and been rebuilt twice.  

The Chapel of the Virgin Mary. 

Chapel pictures are mostly taken through the protecting bars however many of the chapels in this Cathedral were open to the public. 

The central nave of the Cathedral rises 42 meters and the center of the nave houses the large choir box seen on the right of this picture along with the huge, ornate organ.

An alter open to the public.

Another angle. 

A large wooden sculpture in the central courtyard of the Cathedral. 

There were so many beautiful chapels I couldn’t stop taking pictures . … there isn’t room for all of them in this post so I will leave you with this last picture . 

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The Exterior of the Cathedral in Seville 

My first night in Seville, I went for a walk and found this beautiful Cathedral very close to my hotel.  Beautifully lit up at night, it took my breath away.  

It sits on a busy street reserved for the rapid transit train, bicycles, and pedestrians.  Oh, and horse drawn carriages. 

The doors to these historic Cathedrals are enormous and spectacularly decorated. 

The bell tower extends high into the night sky.  I climbed it, but, that is for another post…..

It looked like a castle from a fairy tale. 

A walk in the morning allowed me to see the beauty in the daylight and revealed the ongoing work of restoration.
Horse drawn carriages waited patiently for customers near the Cathedral. 
The imposing bell tower in daylight. The people look very small compared to it.
An incredible work of art.  Many parts are still under restoration especially in the back of the Cathedral.  It is sad to see the ravages of time. 

It’s hard to imagine what went into building something as intricate and beautiful as this Cathedral.  


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The Gypsies 

When I arrived in Granada, I took the bus to the historical centre.   As I stepped off the bus I was aggressively approached by a woman who thrust a sprig of rosemary into my hand saying it was a gift from one of the saints. She then grabbed my hand and spouted some predictions.   She then demanded that I let her see my other hand.  She spouted some more predictions then demanded money. 

I was a little stunned by her approach and I gave her 2 Euros.  She continued to hang onto me and demanded more so I  gave her another 2 Euros to get her to go away.  She kept hanging on and told me this was not Madrid.  In Granada, she continued, the price is 5 euros per hand.  Are that point I pulled my hand away from her and said no and walked away with her still yelling at me.

Later, both in Granada and in Seville, I continued to see gypsies with sprigs of herbs in their hands approaching tourists.  None that I saw were as aggressive as the one who accosted me.

When I was approached I just shook my head and walked away.   Most would then say something about wishing blessings for me….makes one wonder if they might not mean the opposite….

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Washington Irving 

Washington Irving was an American writer who arrived in Granada when it was possible to live in Alhambra.   His statue stands by the walkway on the way to Alhambra from Granada’s historical centre.  It declares him to be a son of Alhambra. 

He had traveled the world writing about the different places he visited.  In Alhambra he found a home and there he wrote Cuentos de la Alhambra (Tales of Alhambra). 

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Cuentos de la Alhambra 

My teachers told me that the best way to learn Spanish is to read in Spanish so I bought this book.  It was written by one of the heros of Alhambra, an American named Washington Irving.  Our tour guide said that it is perhaps the best book in American literature  (and that was after I had already bought it so she didn’t influence the purchase).

Eli and Fani, I am going to follow your advice and read in Spanish.

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Lapis was Used to Make the Blue Pigment  

The blue that was used to color much of the intricate artwork on the walls of the palaces was made from Lapis.  It was imported and ground to make ultramarine, the finest and most expensive of all blue pigments.  The above picture is of a section of wall where I saw some of the most intense color. The ultramarine had faded or disappeared in many parts of the palaces in saw.

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I have found that most people have coffee and toast or a breakfast sandwich. I am not much of a sandwich eater so I  decided to try an English breakfast combo.

Yes, the coffee has milk in it….I have decided that it tastes good and takes longer to drink so you feel like you have had a cup of coffee.

Yes, the sausage thingy is a weiner.

Yes, the bacon could have been cooked a little longer.

The orange juice is fresh squeezed and delicious. 

The ironic thing is that I made sandwiches with my toast…..LOL

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Nazari Palaces of Alhambra. 

Here are pictures taken during my tour of the Nazari Palaces at Alhambra.   May they whet your appetite to visit this incredible historical site.

Unbelievable intricacies and absolute symmetrical perfection.

Typical Arabic arches everywhere. 

A beautiful stained glass skylight that cast colors onto the walls and floor below.

There’s a story to be told about this courtyard…..

Allah was written often on the walls.  In this room the above pattern was repeated on all walls.

There were little elaborately decorated niches on both sides of the entrance ways to many of the rooms.  These were often used to hold flowers.

Intricate wall decoration.  Again done with symmetrical perfection. 

Most of any exterior decorations were around entry ways.

WOW!!!  Pillars in the Courtyard of the Lions.

An exact replica of the Roman Coleseum build by a Christian king; a descendant of Ferdinand and Isabella. 

On the exterior of the Coleseum palace.  The ring served no purpose, but the lion’s head was a message to enemies. Other rings were in the mouths of eagles; another message to enemies.

Our guide pointing out intricacies in the tiles.  More to come on her insights.

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