This cathedral having become too small for Seville, the chapter resolved in 1401 to rebuild it on so vast a scale that posterity should deem it the work of madmen. Only the GiraIda and the Court of Oranges were left as they were. The work was commenced in 1403 and finished in December, 1506. The dome was as high as...
Best answer: This cathedral having become too small for Seville, the chapter resolved in 1401 to rebuild it on so vast a scale that posterity should deem it the work of madmen. Only the GiraIda and the Court of Oranges were left as they were. The work was commenced in 1403 and finished in December, 1506. The dome was as high as the lower part of the Giralda; it fell in, however, 111 1511, and was restored by Juan Gil de Montanon in 1517. The principal façade, which looks to the east, extends the whole width of the building, and is as high as the naves, to which its five divisions correspond. The decoration of the upper part, including the rose window, are eighteenth-century work. The plan of the building is a rectangle, 380 by 250 feet, the chapel royal projecting an additional 62 feet to the east. It is roofed with seventy ogival vaults, supported by thirty-two gigantic columns. In the windows above the door of the bell-tower is preserved the original design of the Giralda, which, it is said, was constructed by Geber, to whom are attributed the invention of algebra, and the origin of the name (Al-Geber). Where the bell-chamber now is there stood another rectangular mass, surmounted with four enormous balls, or apples, of bronze. In the interior is an enormous spike which serves as an axis from which thirty-five sloping planes radiate. In 1568 Fernán Ruiz, by order of the chapter, added ninety-two feet to the height of the tower giving it its present form, and setting up the giraidillo, gyrating statue of Faith, which serves as a wind-vane. This statue, cast by Bartolome Morel, measures over 13 feet in height and weighs 28 quintals (about 2840 lb.). The magnificent reredos of the high altar was designed by Danchart in 1482 and is the largest in Spain. In the sacristy beyond it are preserved the "Alphonsine Tables" ( Tablas Alfonsinas ), a reliquary left by the Wise King. The splendid stalls of the choir are the work of Nufro Sánchez, who wrought them in 1475. The Plateresque screen which closes the front of the sanctuary was designed by Sancho Muñoz in 1510. The chapel of S. Antonio holds Murillo's famous picture of the saint's ecstasy and the Infant Jesus descending into his arms. The chapel royal contains the tombs of St. Ferdinand, Alfonso the Wise, and Beatriz, consort of the latter, while in the pantheon, behind the sanctuary, lie the remains of Pedro I, his son Juan, the Infante Fadrique, Alfonso XI, and other princes.