Mezquita de Sevilla
Seville, Spain
The Great Mosque of Seville was begun in 1172 during the rule of the Almohad caliph Abu Ya'qub Yusuf ibn 'Abd al-Mu'min (1163-1184). The mosque was constructed of brick and plaster, and was rectangular in plan. Buttressed and crenelated walls enclosed the prayer hall and the rectangular arcaded Court of the Oranges, whose main entrance was known as the Puerta del Perdon. The minaret, which is known as the Giralda after the word for the weathervane placed on its summit, was built in 1184. Each façade of the minaret, which is constructed of brick and stone, is ornamented with interlacing arches supported on columns enframed within rectangular panels. The panels frame a central vertical grouping of polylobed arched windows, and the composition was crowned by an arcade of interlacing polylobed arches. The belltower and its supporting base are additions from the 16th century

Following the Christian conquest of Seville in 1248 the mosque was consecrated for use as the cathedral of Santa Maria de la Sede. Beginning in the early 15th century the mosque was mostly destroyed to make way for a new Gothic cathedral. The plan of the cathedral closely follows the former footprint of the mosque, making it one of the largest churches in the world. The Giralda, the Court of the Oranges, and the Gate of Pardon were integrated into the new composition of the new Gothic cathedral which was completed in the sixteenth century.


Casamar Perez, Manuel. 1992. "The Almoravids and Almohads: An Introduction." al-Andalus: the art of Islamic Spain. New York: MMA, 75-83.

Marcais, Georges. 1955. L'architecture musulmane d'occident : Tunisie, Algerie, Maroc, Espagne et Sicile. Paris : Arts et metiers graphiques, 206.

Rodríguez Estévez, Juan Clemente. 1998. El alminar de Isbiliya : la Giralda en sus orígenes, 1184-1198. Sevilla : Ayuntamiento de Sevilla, Área de Cultura.
Seville, Spain
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1172-1176/567-571 AH, 1184/579 AH minaret (Giralda), 1248/ 645 AH conversion to church
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Catedral de Santa María de la Sede
Cathedral of Saint Mary of the See
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