Seville Cathedral
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Architect unknown
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Location Seville, Spain
Date 1402 to 1520   timeline
Building Type large church, cathedral, religious
 Construction System masonry, cut stone
Climate mediterranean
Context urban
Style refined Gothic
Notes Piers soar nearly seamlessly into vault 132 feet overhead.
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Drawings

 


Perspective Engraving

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Discussion Seville Cathedral Commentary

“Seville Cathedral is the largest Gothic church in the world, its size only later surpassed, in the Renaissance, by Saint Peter’s in Rome. Though it shows influences from French Gothic prototypes (and possibly help from French architects) and from Italy (primarily Milan Cathedral), it carries a personality of its own. Its nave is soaringly powerful, one of the too-little-appreciated Gothic glories of Europe.

“The cathedral reputedly was constructed on the foundations of a mosque, thus producing an unusual squarish plan. In the resultant five-aisle church, the lofty nave is flanked by slightly lower double side-aisles, so that the towering central piers rise straight upward uncompromised, as it were, by the triforium gallery and clerestory that hem typical Gothic naves. Pausing only briefly for small decorative capitals, the nave piers meld with the clearly stated vault of the ceiling, topping off at 132 feet. (The nave of Chartres is 120 feet high.) Seville’s breathtaking—and structurally daring—nave combines soaring vericality with the horizontal mystery of the side aisles...”

— from G.E. Kidder Smith. Looking at Architecture. p64.

Resources
Sources on Seville Cathedral

G. E. Kidder Smith. Looking at Architecture. New York: Harry N. Abrams, Publishers, 1990. ISBN 0-8109-3556-2. LC 90-30728. NA200.S57 1990. discussion, p64. interior photo, p65.

Louis Grodecki. Gothic Architecture. New York: Electra Rizzoli, 1978. interior perspective of nave, plate272, p190.

Christopher Wilson. The Gothic Cathedral. New York: Thames and Hudson, 1990. interior perspective of high altar, plate 215, p286. exterior perspective, plate 214, p284.

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