The Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Sea (Catedral de Santa María de la Sede), better known as Seville Cathedral, is a Roman Catholic Cathedral in Seville, Andalusia, Spain. Seville’s Cathedral occupies the site of a great mosque in the late 12th century. It is the largest Cathedral in Spain and the third largest (by square footage) in the entire world. It is one of the last Spanish Gothic Cathedrals, and the Renaissance style is already evident there. Its impressive size makes it the third largest in the Christian world, after Saint Peter‘s in Vatican City and Saint Paul’s in London. With its five naves it is the largest Gothic building in Europe. Christian architectsadded the extra dimension of height. Its central nave rises to an amazing 42 meters and even the side chapels seem tall enough to contain an ordinary church.
The total area covers 11,520 square meters. The lifetime’s work of a single craftsman, Pierre Dancart, this is the ultimate masterpiece of the cathedral – the largest and richest altarpiece in the world and one of the finest examples of Gothic woodcarving anywhere. The cathedralwas completed in just over a century (1402-1506).
Inside the Cathedral of Seville you will be struck by the size and richness of this universe of stone, stained glass windows and wrought iron work. The lightness of the columns accentuates the height of this hall-church with five spaces and lateral chapels. The simple crossing ogive vaults cover the nave except for the transept crossing where the flamboyant vaults stand 56 m tall. A mirror in the floor lets you appreciate the superb carving. Along with the city’s Alcazar and Archivo de las Indias, Seville Cathedral was designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1987.
- Former Benghazi Catholic Cathedral – Later used as Arab Socialist Union Headquarter (planbox.wordpress.com)