Cathedrals in Andalusia: the art of fusion
The eleven cathedrals to be found in Andalusia are a good representation of the essence and history of the Region. When you visit them, you will discover that they are real works of art, fruit of the fusion of cultures and styles. Set out on this journey to the monuments of southern Spain. It will lead you to unique, original destinations: the cathedrals of Andalusia.
Gothic, Mudejar, Baroque, Neo-classical, Renaissance, fortified... Andalusia has eleven cathedrals. They are all magnificent, and they unite the different cultures that have passed through this part of Southern Spain over the ages. Discovering them is not only a good way to see stunning buildings in a range of different artistic styles, but also to get to know the historical wealth of Andalusia and some of its most important cities. Are you thinking about a holiday that focuses on art and culture? Then have a look at this proposal and take your time to enjoy yourself.
Splendid and grandiose
Seville could well be an excellent place to get started. Its Cathedral has the UNESCO World Heritage designation, and is Europe's largest Gothic building. Its size meant that building it was a real challenge that took 106 years to complete. You will be immediately amazed by its monumental character, both inside and out. Make sure you climb to the top of la Giralda, the Moorish tower from the old Mosque on whose site the Cathedral was built.
It is in Cordoba, 142 kilometres from Seville, where the combination of Christian and Moorish art comes together to form a truly unique site in the heart of the old town: the Great Mosque-Cathedral. In the midst of the most splendid Islamic construction ever built in the West, between columns, mosaics and Moorish horseshoe arches, you will begin to see the Gothic-Baroque architecture of the Cathedral, with its Renaissance dome, its main altarpiece in marble, and its stunning mahogany choir stalls.
Harmony of styles
140 kilometres from Cordoba, you will find the Renaissance Cathedral in Jaén: a building that even served as an architectural model in Latin America. With its Gothic and Mudejar elements, it is in the same artistic style as Baeza Cathedral, which is less than 40 minutes away by car. This, along with the other Renaissance buildings in the town, has the UNESCO World Heritage designation. 218 kilometres further, and you are sure to be amazed by Almería Cathedral, which is built like a fortress. Hence, the Gothic lines of the interior contrast with the solid look of its exterior walls, battlements and towers, originally built to defend it against pirates.
Andalusia’s monuments are an outstanding example of the civilisations which have left their mark on this area of Spain. Particular treasures include the great Mosque of Cordoba and the Alhambra in Granada, a testament to the Arab presence; and two cities, Úbeda y Baeza, considered jewels of the Renaissance and declared a World Heritage Site by the UNESCO.
There is still lots more to see, less than two hours away in Granada. Did you know that its Cathedral is considered to be Spain's first Renaissance church? Have a good look, because it is one of the finest examples of this architectural style. What is more, the main façade is a Baroque masterpiece. Just 65 kilometres from there, Guadix Cathedral is a beautiful blend of Gothic, Baroque and Renaissance. As is Malaga Cathedral, located 125 kilometres from Granada. It is commonly known as La Manquita (meaning half-finished), because the main façade and south tower were left incomplete when construction work, which went on for three centuries, was finally halted.
Plenty to enjoy
A 250 kilometre journey will now let you enjoy the Neo-classical flavour of Cadiz Cathedral, which is a landmark in this coastal city, with its white walls and golden dome. Meanwhile, half an hour from there, you will find the Baroque architecture of Jerez de la Frontera Cathedral and its Mudejar tower, one of the town's main attractions. And 96 kilometres from Seville, don't miss the elegance and simplicity of Huelva Cathedral, in Colonial style.
This itinerary of monuments is an example of the huge cultural wealth and variety to be found in Andalusia. So don't think twice; come back to the south of Spain whenever you like.
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