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.
South side altars
The chapels on the south side are divided into 2 groups by the San Cristóbal gate. In the first group, starting from the east façade, are the Chapel of the Marshal, Antecristia, Chapel of Sorrows and Chapel of San Andrés. In the second, Chapel of the Virgen de la Antigua that is larger than the others, Chapel of San Hermenegildo, Chapel of Santa Ana and Chapel of San Laureano that comes into contact with the west façade. In the vicinity of the Puerta de San Cristóbal are the altar of Piety, the altar of Conception and the monument to Christopher Columbus
1. Chapel of the Marshal
This chapel owes its name to its patron, Diego Caballero, wealthy merchant and shipowner, marshal of the Island of Hispaniola since 1536, who delivered the important sum of 26,000 maravedies to the Chapter of the Cathedral of Seville in 1553 found a chaplaincy and build the pictorial altarpiece that still persists today, without a doubt a jewel of Renaissance art.
The altarpiece is the work of the painter Pedro de Campaña, who had the collaboration of the carver Pedro de Becerril for the imagery and architecture, and the painter Antonio de Arfián for the polychromy of the architectural structure, the work began in 1555, and it lasted for eight months. It consists of a total of 10 tables. On the bench or lower part, on the left portraits of Diego Caballero, his son and brother Alonso, in the center Jesus among the doctors, on the right portraits of Leonor de Cabrera (wife of Don Diego) and his sister Doña Mencia (Alonso’s wife) with their daughters. In the main body the central table isThe Purification of the Virgin, on his right Santo Domingo (above) and Santiago in the battle of Clavijo (below), on his left The imposition of the chasuble on San Ildefonso (below) and The stigmatization of San Francisco (above). In the La Resurrección penthouse and further up in the El Calvario auction.
The main table, as already mentioned, corresponds to the Purification of the Virgin, this scene related in the Gospel of Saint Luke, is also known as the Presentation of Jesus in the Temple. According to the law of Moses all the Jews were to consecrate their children in the temple, but the woman in labor considered herself impure and was only allowed to enter the House of God 40 days after the birth, so this festivity is celebrated 40 days after December 25, that is, February 2. The table has dimensions of 330 cm by 240 cm and is inspired by some authors in an engraving by Alberto Dürer. In the foreground an invalid appears on the ground who extends his arm while a child offers him a fruit, behind the Virgin and Simeon with the child in his arms, a series of female figures surround the scene, each of them is an allegory of the different virtues of the Virgin. The figure of La Caridad has two children in his arms, behind La Temperance with a jug, La Justicia with a scale, La Fortaleza with a lion’s head on a brooch, La Prudencia with a mirror, La Fe with a cross on the hand and Hope that tilts his head up.
3. Chapel of Sorrows
Through this chapel you can access the Sacristy of the Chalices, among its artistic elements, an image of the Virgin of Sorrows located on the altarpiece bench stands out, it is a work made by Pedro de Mena from 1670. On the front wall is the grave of the former archbishop of Seville and cardinal Marcelo Spínola, who is represented in an attitude of prayer. It was sculpted by Joaquín Bilbao in 1906. In the upper part hangs a superb painting by Valdés Leal, it is Los Esposorios de la Virgen y San José, dated 1657. Other interesting paintings that adorn this chapel areThe Denial of Saint Peter and The Burial of Christ, anonymous French works from the 17th century, and Jacob blessing his children, a Flemish painting also from the 17th century, attributed to Pieter van Lint.
4. Chapel of San Andrés
The most important artistic element of this space is undoubtedly the Cristo de la Clemencia (1603), a polychrome wooden sculpture by Juan Martínez Montañés, also called Cristo de los Cálices, for the place where it was previously in the cathedral, is a masterpiece of baroque sculpture; it is a beautiful crucified man who inspires an enormous serenity. It has the particularity of being attached to the cross with 4 nails instead of the usual 3.
On the right are four very old Gothic tombs that were made around the year 1400, possibly in the Toledo workshop of the sculptor Fernán González. Alvar Pérez de Guzmán, his father, his wife, Elvira de Ayala and their son are buried in them.
There are also two paintings of great interest attributed to Lucas Jordán that were painted around 1700, in the first the transfer of the Ark of the Covenant is represented and in the second The Canticle of the prophetic Mary, that is to say the scene in which the sister of Moses sings accompanied by other Israelite women in thanksgiving for having been able to cross the Red Sea. At the top is a copy of the Martyrdom of Saint Andrew, by Juan de Roelas, the original is in the Museum of Fine Arts in Seville.
Altar of Mercy
The main element of this altar in the central painting of the altarpiece that was made by Alejo Fernández in the year 1527. This table depicts the scene of La Piedad with the figures of Jesus Christ, the Virgin Mary, José de Arimatea, María Magdalena, María de Betania and María Salome. On the bench in the altarpiece you can see the portraits of Mencía de Salazar and her husband Alonso Pérez de Medina, donors of the work.
Altar of the Conception
This altar should not be confused with the Chapel of the Concepción Grande, which is also located in the Cathedral of Seville and is dedicated to the same dedication of the Virgin Mary.
The main painting of the altarpiece stands out in this space, which was made by Luis de Vargas in 1561 and represents an allegorical theme about Jesus Christ. In it various characters are located around the tree of Jese that symbolize the temporal genealogy of Jesus, starting from Adam who is in the foreground. Above these characters, in a cloud, is the Virgin with her son in her arms.
This painting has been popularly known since very old as the Picture of the Prawn. It is said that in the sixteenth century, the teacher Mateo Pérez de Alesio was in the cathedral painting a San Cristóbal, and he admired the work of Luis de Vargas so much that one day he said to him: Piu vale la tua gamba, che il mio S. Cristoforo, from this anecdote comes the popular name. It is complemented by the portrait of the donor, the Spanish cantor Juan de Medina, who appears on the altarpiece bench and is a resounding proof in favor of the high conditions of Luis de Vargas as a portrait painter.
The chapel is protected by a grille from the Renaissance period completed in 1562. It was designed by Hernan Ruiz II.
5. Chapel of the Virgen de la Antigua
According to legend, before the Christians conquered Seville, an angel led King San Fernando into the main mosque of the city, where behind a wall that became transparent, he could see the image of the Virgin of the Ancient that had been hidden there for centuries. A few days later the San Fernando Muslim forces and triumphantly entered the city surrendered on 22 December 1248.
The current chapel is presided over by an altarpiece in whose center there is a frescoed image of the Virgen de la Antigua, made according to historians in the 15th century, on a wall of the old mosque that occupied the space of the current cathedral. The Virgin holds her child with the left hand and a rose with the right, while the Child holds a bird. On his head two angels hold a crown in the air that was made in 1929 for the canonical coronation of the image and above another angel shows the inscription Ecce Maria venit. The altarpiece is made of marble and the different sculptures it has are carved by Pedro Duque and Cornejo.
On the left wall is the beautiful tomb of Cardinal Diego Hurtado de Mendoza, which was made in Italy by Domenico Fancelli in 1510. On the right wall is the burial of Archbishop Luis de Salcedo y Azcona, a work sculpted by Duque Cornejo between 1738 and 1740. Another highlight is the numerous silver lamps from the 18th century that adorn the chapel.
6. Chapel of San Hermenegildo
This was the place chosen by Cardinal Juan de Cervantes to rest eternally. Cardinal Cervantes was born in Lora del Río, (Seville), in the year 1382 and was bishop of the city for five years, from 1449, until November 25, 1453. Lorenzo Mercadante of Brittany carved in 1458 the magnificent Gothic tomb made In white alabaster that is still preserved and stamped his signature Lorenzo Mercadante de Brittany he carved this package. In the front part, the cardinal’s coat of arms supported by angels stands out, above it the reclining statue of enormous realism on a catafalque.
Inside the chapel there is also an altarpiece made by Manuel García de Santiago about 1750 presided over by an image of Saint Hermenegildo carved by Bartolomé García de Santiago.
7. Chapel of San José
The neoclassical altar that presides over this chapel was designed by the architect Juan Pedro Arnal and built between 1785 and 1800, the main sculpture representing San José is the work of José Esteve Bonet and the rest were made by Alfonso Giraldo Bergaz.
On the right wall the tomb of Cardinal is Manuel Joaquin Tarancon and Morón Archbishop of Seville between 1857 and 1862.
Among the paintings that adorn the walls we can highlight The Dinner of King Baltasar, the work of the Flemish painter Frans Francken the Younger.
8.Chapel of Santa Ana or the Christ of Maracaibo
Behind the altar, you can see a pictorial altarpiece made in 1504 and dedicated to Saint Bartholomew. Who its author was is unknown, although a detailed analysis of its characteristics has determined that the work is the work of two artists that it has not been possible to identify.
Different scenes from the Passion of Christ, Flagellation, Path of Calvary, Crucifixion, Descent and Piety appear on the bank of the altarpiece. In the first body, paintings of various saints that correspond to Saint James the Greater, Saint Blaise, Saint Bartholomew, Saint Nicholas and Saint Sebastian. In the second body dedicated to Mary, Saint John the Baptist, Saint Anne, The Virgin with the Child, Saint Martha and Saint Michael the Archangel are represented.
Another notable element of this chapel is the image painted on wood of the Christ of Maracaibo, made in 1560 and attributed to Pedro de Villegas Marmolejo. Modernly it was integrated into an altarpiece made by Joaquín Bilbao in 1919.
On the right wall is the sepulcher of the former archbishop of Seville and cardinal Luis de la Lastra y Cuesta, sculpted by Ricardo Bellver in 1880. The figure of the cardinal is on his knees resting on a kneeler.
9. Chapel of San Laureano
This chapel was the first part of the cathedral that was built. It contains the tomb of Archbishop Alonso de Egea who was buried in 1417 and that of Cardinal Joaquín Lluch y Garriga who died in 1882.
The altarpiece dedicated to San Laureano is by an unknown author, it consists of two bodies, in the central niche it represents San Laureano dressed as a bishop with a knife in his hand symbolizing his martyrdom, on his right the Saint is praying and on the left the appearance of the angel who told him to leave Seville. In the upper part, the martyrdom of San Laureano is represented, flanked by angels framed in Solomonic columns.
The vault of the chapel was once decorated by Lucas Valdés, but these paintings were lost. Currently there are five paintings by Matías de Arteaga and Alfaro made between 1700 and 1702 that represent the following scenes: The resurrection of a young man in Marseille by the intervention of San Laureano, San Laureano in Rome before Pope Virgil, The healing of a sick person in Rome for the intervention of San Laureano, The martyrdom of San Laureano, The delivery of the head of San Laureano to the clergy of Seville.
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.