The cathedral has 80 chapels and altars. The altars of the cathedral of Seville are an extraordinary set to observe the stylistic evolution of the art of gridwork in Andalusia. These closures protect the enclosures, they are openwork screens through which light penetrates and produce an atmosphere of mystery that modifies, enhances and transforms the spaces of worship and prayer.
Most of the 16th century altars still have contemporary railings and railings. The lack of nearby deposits forced the import of iron. The monumental grille of the Chapel of the Conception stands out from the seventeenth century.
East side altars
Altar of the Magdalena
The patrons of this altar were Pedro García de Villadiego and his wife Catalina Rodríguez, who commissioned an altarpiece in 1537, on whose bench are their portraits, Don Pedro with Saint Benedict and Doña Catalina to San Francisco. The main theme of the altarpiece is The Annunciation in the attic and La Magdalena at the feet of the Risen Christ in the main body. These are paintings by an anonymous disciple of Alejo Fernández made around 1537.
The window next to the altar, work of Arnao of Flanders in 1535, representing San Sebastián with the face of the emperor Carlos I.
Altar of the Assumption (there is another altar of the Assumption at the north end of the nave of the cathedral transept)
In the center of the altarpiece found in this chapel, a relief with the representation of the Assumption of the Virgin stands out, a work by an unknown author that is framed by paintings by San Ildefonso and San Diego de Alcalá. In the bank are the paintings of the sponsors, the jury Juan Cristóbal de la Puebla and his wife who endowed it in 1593. All the paintings are by the artist from the Sevillian school, although they were born in Ronda, Alonso Vázquez, they were made at the end of the 16th century.
Chapel of San Pedro
On the left wall is the mausoleum of which Diego de Deza was bishop of Seville until 1523, remembered among other things for being the great defender of the theories of Christopher Columbus before the Catholic Monarchs.
The altarpiece of this chapel is dedicated to Saint Peter, it was commissioned by the Marquises of Malagón in 1625 to the multifaceted artist Diego López Bueno, architect, sculptor and carver who was in charge of the structure, while the paintings are the work of Francisco de Zurbarán made in 1630, highlighting the central one which is a beautiful Immaculate, one of the best that came out of his brushes. On the bank of the altarpiece different scenes related to Saint Peter, Christ and Saint Peter on the waters, Christ giving the keys to Saint Peter and Saint Peter healing the paralytic. In the first body The Vision of Saint Peter, Saint Peter Pope andSt. Peter’s repentance. In the second body, Saint Peter released by the angel, The Immaculate and Quo Vadis. A painting of the Eternal Father appears in the attic, not being this original work by Zurbarán but a copy placed in the 18th century.
Finally highlight the gate that closes the chapel, the work of Brother José Cordero de Torres completed in 1780, this artist was a lay religious from the convent of San Francisco in Puerto de Santa María.
Royal Chapel of the Cathedral of Seville
The Royal Chapel serves as the head of the cathedral. It consists of a square plan with an apse and two side chapels, with a hemispherical dome and lantern cover made between 1567 and 1569 by Hernán Ruiz the Younger. In this chapel is located the pantheon with the silver urn of King San Fernando made by Juan Laureano de Pina in the Baroque style, as well as the tombs of Alfonso X of Castilla and his mother, Queen Beatriz de Suabia. In the crypt of the Royal Chapel are buried the King Pedro I of Castilla and his wife, Queen María de Padilla, among other members of royalty. On an altar in this crypt is the image of the Virgen de las Batallas, a 13th-century ivory sculpture. In the main altarpiece of the Royal Chapel, from the 17th century, the Gothic image of the Virgin of the Kings, patron saint of the city and of the archdiocese of Seville, is placed.
Chapel of the Concepción Grande
This chapel was originally used as a burial place for the knights who accompanied San Fernando in the conquest of Seville, from 1654 his patronage belonged to Gonzalo Núñez de Sepúlveda, twenty – four knight from Seville who was granted the right to be buried in this place after an important donation that he made on the occasion of the eighth of the Immaculate Conception. Currently his remains are on the left wall behind a tombstone with the Sepúlveda coat of arms as designed by the painter Juan de Valdés Leal. The same coat of arms can also be seen on the grille of the chapel, completed in 1668.
Inside, a magnificent baroque altarpiece with a great profusion of ornaments and beautiful Solomonic columns that stands out in two sections, was drawn and executed by the architect and assembler Martín Moreno in 1656. The images are the work of Alonso Martínez, except the crucified Christ known as Christ of Saint Paul. In the first body the central image is the Immaculate Conception and the lateral ones correspond to Saint Joseph and Saint Paul. The second body is chaired by the aforementioned Christ of Saint Paul, which is a work of the 16th century and possibly belonged to the decoration of the old altarpiece, being recovered to place it in its current situation. This image formerly enjoyed great devotion in the city. Next to it are the carvings of San Gonzalo and San San Antonio de Padua.
On the right wall is a Neo-Gothic marble tomb made in 1881, in it is buried the former Cardinal Francisco Javier Cienfuegos Jovellanos, born in Oviedo in 1766 who was in charge of the Seville diocese from 1824 until his exile in Alicante for political reasons on 18 February 1836.
Until 1810, one of Murillo’s best works, The Birth of the Virgin, was exhibited in this chapel. This painting was the subject of a robbery perpetrated by the French Marshal Soult during the War of Independence and is currently in the Louvre Museum in Paris.
Between 1835 and 1837, the illustrious Canarian priest Don Cristóbal Bencomo y Rodríguez, the confessor of King Fernando VII of Spain and titular archbishop of Heraclea, was buried in this chapel. This man spent his last years in Seville where he enjoyed the dignity of Archdeacon of Carmona and lent his help to the population in cases of great public calamities, such as in a cholera epidemic that struck the city of Seville in 1823. A portrait of him is exhibited alongside those of other illustrious characters in the cathedral’s Columbian library. His remains are currently buried in the Cathedral of San Cristóbal de La Laguna in Tenerife.
Altar of santa barbara
The painting that represents the Saints Justa and Rufina stands out, a work by Miguel de Esquivel made in 1620, there is little information about this artist, since this is his only known work, it is known that he died very young in 1621. The Saints are represented on both sides of La Giralda. Santa Justa looks up at the sky, while Santa Rufina seems to meditate with downcast eyes. The detailed representation of the Giralda is very interesting, since you can see, among other details, the paintings with different saints who then adorned it and have now disappeared.
There is also a small altarpiece on this altar with paintings of a disciple of Antonio de Alfían and an image of San Antonio without much artistic interest.
Altar of Santa Justa and Rufina
Its patronage is due to the Bécquer brothers in 1622. In it is an outstanding sculpture of the saints that was made in 1728 by Duque Cornejo. These images come from the Church of El Salvador (Seville) and procession annually on the Corpus festivity.
The Cathedral of Saint Mary of the See is located in Seville. It is Gothic in style. It is the largest cathedral in the world. The Unesco declared in 1987, with the Real Alcázar and the Archivo de Indias, Heritage and, on July 25, 2010, Good of outstanding universal value. According to tradition, the construction began in 1401, although there is no documentary evidence of the beginning of the works until 1433. The construction was carried out on the site that was left after the demolition of the old aljama mosque in Seville, whose minaret (La Giralda) and patio (patio de los Naranjos) are still preserved.
One of the first masters of works was Master Carlin (Charles Galter), from Normandy (France), who had previously worked in other great European Gothic cathedrals and arrived in Spain believed to be fleeing the Hundred Years War. On October 10, 1506, the last stone was placed in the highest part of the dome, with which symbolically the cathedral was completed, although in fact work continued uninterruptedly throughout the centuries, both for the interior decoration, such as to add new rooms or to consolidate and restore the damage caused by the passage of time, or extraordinary circumstances, among which it is worth noting the Lisbon earthquake of 1755 that produced only minor damage despite its intensity. The architects Diego de Riaño, Martín de Gainza and Asensio de Maeda intervened in these works. Also at this stageHernán Ruiz built the last body of the Giralda. The cathedral and its outbuildings were completed in 1593.
The Metropolitan Cabildo maintains the daily liturgy and the celebration of the Corpus, Immaculate and Virgin of the Kings festivities. This last day, August 15, is also the titular festival of the temple, Santa María de la Asunción or de la Sede, and is celebrated with a solemn third and pontifical procession.
The temple houses the mortal remains of Christopher Columbus and several kings of Castile: Pedro I el Cruel, Fernando III el Santo and his son, Alfonso X el Sabio.
One of the last important works carried out took place in 2008 and consisted of replacing 576 ashlars that made up one of the great pillars that support the temple, with new stone blocks of similar characteristics but with much greater resistance. This difficult work was possible thanks to the use of innovative technological systems that showed that the building suffered oscillations of 2 cm daily as a consequence of the expansion of its materials.