The lantern alone is 32m (105ft) high and contains 24 bells in total. The bell tower up to the lantern is 82m (269ft) high. It consists of an inner tower and an outer façade. The inner tower contains rooms, whereas behind the façade a ramp is placed leading up to the top. A 3.5m (11.5ft) high and 1,300kg (2,866lbs) heavy bronze statue, “El Giraldillo”, stands firm on the top of the lantern. It is a creation of the 16th century and probably is modelled on the Pallas Athene or Minerva. After the Reconquista, the Christian reconquering of Spain, it was built as a sign of the triumphing incarnation of Christianity. The statue is clothed in a tunic and holds a palm branch as well as a flagpole with a battle flag in its hands. This is where its name is derived from. The Spanish verb “girar”, turning or circling, is a hint to its main function as weathervane.
La Giralda once used to be a minaret and was a part of the main mosque of Seville. During the process of building the Seville Cathedral on the ruins of the main mosque, the minaret was turned into a bell tower in the most Christian sense. Fascinatingly, the original building was kept in its former shape ever since it was built by the Berbers in 1196 after Seville was conquered by the Moors. Only the attached lantern was renewed in the 16th century in renaissance style.
- The day pass at La Giralda is €9 making it one of the 10 cheapest tourist Attractions in Spain.
How to get there
The bell tower is located just next to Seville Cathedral and close to the bullfighting arena in the historical old town, the Indian archives and the Plaza Nueva.
By public transport
The centre of the old town can be comfortably reached by bus. All bus lines pass the cathedral.