A Year of Yoga: March 8, 2014
Location: A window on the ramp up to the minaret of the Catedral de Sevilla. Today was our first full day in our new hometown. One of the great things about doing this trip as part of a study abroad program, is that a lot of things are planned for us; the cultural calendar as its referred to. Our first day here included a student orientation (although teachers and their wives (me) were encouraged to attend as well) followed by a bus and walking tour of the city. Our tour guide was a very knowledgable and kind woman but the tour seemed to highlight some less interesting things, skip out on some major places, and lasted about an hour longer than necessary. That aside, the highlights were visiting the Plaza de Espana and the Catedral de Sevilla. Here are a few “fun facts” learned during the cathedral tour:
1) It is the third largest cathedral in the world and the largest in the world by volume and the largest gothic cathedral in the world. (It’s massive and you can’t miss it!)
2) The remains of Christopher Columbus are here. They have been DNA tested against some of his living descendants and its really him. However, it’s actually just a small amount of ashes. It is believed that other remains also reside in the Caribbean and maybe a few other places.
3) The minaret (or tower) is the tallest structure in the city and there is a city ordinance that nothing is allowed to be built taller than it. Unfortunately on our tour, the guide pointed out a new building project (commercial office space) that she believes was going to end up being taller than the minaret. As she put it, “money talks”. Some things are the same no matter where you go. Also, rather than stairs, there is a ramp leading up to the minaret because in the past the monks would actually ride horses up to the top in order to ring the bells.
4) The cathedral was a mosque before being consecrated as a cathedral and built up with a gothic style architecture around the moorish architecture. (This is a trend in Andalucia).
We are hoping to attend a mass in the main cathedral so we can hear the organ being played. We are by no means Catholic but the cultural experience is definitely something I want to have.
Photography Credit: Brandon