From the antechamber, one of the most admirable precincts of Spanish Renaissance architecture is accessed through a curved corridor, the Chapter House of the Cathedral, whose construction lasted from the mid-16th century until its completion with the intervention of the architect Hernán Ruiz II and ending it Asensio de Maeda.

The space of this enclosure was conceived in an elliptical plan, which offers perfect visibility of all the members in the meetings of the cathedral chapter, in which the problems of spiritual and material government of the temple were expressed and discussed. Also the oval arrangement and its unitary vaulting facilitate the perfect expansion of the voice, its acoustics being exceptional.

At the same time that the needs of seeing and hearing, raised by the large gathering of ecclesiastics, are resolved, this Chapter Hall alludes, through the decoration of its walls, to a complex iconographic program destined to exalt the virtues that they had to hold those who gathered there, so that their exchanges of ideas and opinions could be done in harmony and harmony; In this way, a moral code is developed on the walls that the canons should follow in their chapter meetings.

This program was drawn up by Canon Francisco Pacheco and in it, a repertoire of sculptures and paintings is inserted, accompanied by Latin inscriptions that allude to the content of the images. All this decoration appears in the second body of the room, first of all noticing among the pedestals of the columns pictorial representations of the Virtues that are captured through female figures, some of which also represent Santas and perfectly visible from any angle From the living room. These paintings were made by Pablo de Céspedes in 1592. The large vertical reliefs that appear between the columns were made by Juan Bautista Vázquez el viejo and Diego de Velasco around 1582.

The reliefs of rectangular format were made around 1590 by Marcos Cabrera. In the vault there is a magnificent series of works by Murillo commissioned by the Cabildo to the painter in 1667. Painted on canvases in a circular format appears a set of eight perfectly identifiable Sevillian saints and in a magnificent carved figure frame, presiding over the entire set from the most high, the Immaculate, a work that can be considered among the most beautiful that the artist made with this theme.

The great vertical reliefs represent The Assumption of the Virgin, Two miracles of Saint John the Evangelist, The expulsion of the merchants from the temple, The Eternal Father with the grape pickers, The seven angels calling the reprobate, The ecstasy of Saint John the Evangelist and The Allegory of the Mystic Lamb. The reliefs of rectangular format were made around 1590 by Marcos Cabrera and represent The Last Sermon of Christ, Daniel in the well of lions, The Baptism of Christ, The storm in the Tiberias sea, the parable of the sower, The prayer of the garden, Saint Peter contemplating the filthy animals and Christ washing the feet of the Apostles.

A splendid mahogany chair carved in 1592 by the sculptor Diego de Velasco presides over the entire room at its base and is preceded by the secretary’s seat, the work of the same artist and also made with excellent design.

In the great vault there is a magnificent series of works by Murillo commissioned by the Cabildo to the painter in 1667. In a magnificent carved frame, the entire ensemble La immaculada presides, a work that can be considered among the most beautiful that the artist made with this theme. Around the vault and painted on canvases in a circular format appears a set of eight Sevillian Saints identifiable by their signs with San Hermenegildo, San Fernando, San Leandro, San Isidoro, San Laureano, Santa Justa, Santa Rufina and San Pio. The Chapter House is presided over by a magnificent mahogany armchair carved in 1592 by the sculptor Diego de Velasco. It is preceded by the secretary’s seat, the work of the same artist and also made with excellent design.

Chapter room is the space in which the body of clergymen who governed this church, the canons of the Cathedral, met to deliberate. To discussions and decisions were based as a result of the meetings, address issues related to the income of the Cathedral, as repairs or new works for greater decoration of the building; but also, to regulate worship,

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The clergymen fulfilled their duty to the public, but also to the monarchy, it was there that it was also decided how the Cathedral, and therefore the city, participated in the numerous ceremonies of the royal family, with reason for deaths, baptisms, pregnancies or marriages that took place within it. Of course, This room was also frequented by representatives of the Sevillian municipal corporation, at least in the eighteenth century, which is the least unknown to me. The room was also the theater of courtesies among those solemn corporations that governed the Seville capital of the Old Regime.

In these meetings, in addition, the canons received the news of the Sevillian political situation and of the Hispanic monarchy, and participated in it with liturgical acts. It was in this room where the numerous prayers were decided, or that the pertinent prayers were added in the masses to attend to a city in which droughts or excess rains were not lacking, or whose fields were threatened with a plague.

It was the room where discussions came to take place, even among those serious ecclesiastics of the Old Regime, although abundant testimonies of this have not come to us. Instead, we know that some of the capitulars even tried to avoid these meetings: the order of July 18, 1764 cites a complaint that “one of the gentlemen” had been in the alley that led to the room during the Cabildo and not in it. This is, despite the lavishness of its decoration, conducive to making the viewer understand its character as the seat of a power of divine origin and well-established on earth, it was still one more space of the complicated cathedral administration.

Finally, the reader should take advantage of the visit to explore other spaces of the Cathedral of Seville on this same route, perhaps we will even pay attention to some of them in this same space.

Seville Cathedral
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.

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