The Giralda

The Giralda, witness of the history of Seville.

Known for its impressive height and unmistakable design, the Giralda tower witnessed the history of the city for more than 800 years. Come and discover it!

Table of Contents

History of the tower

The Giralda is a symbol of Seville, built in the 12th century by the Almohads, an Islamic dynasty that ruled the region. Originally, the tower was part of the city’s mosque and served as a place where prayers were called.

In 1248, when the Christians reconquered the city, the mosque was converted into a cathedral and the Giralda became the bell tower of the new church. During the following centuries, the tower underwent several modifications and enlargements, including the addition of a Renaissance finial at the top.

In turn, the Giralda was witness to numerous historical and cultural events, such as the arrival of Christopher Columbus after his first voyage to America or the earthquake that shook the city in 1755.

Today, it is one of the most visited monuments in the city, and a symbol of its rich history and cultural heritage.

What to see in Seville

Characteristics of the Giralda

The tower’s design was inspired by the Hassan Tower in Rabat and the Kutubia Tower in Marrakech, both in Morocco. This emblematic building of Seville is almost 105 meters high and is characterized by its bell tower, added after the Reconquest of Seville by the Christians in the 13th century.


The bells that ring there are used to mark the hours and to announce important events in the city.

At the same time, the tower has a ramp instead of stairs that was designed to allow easy access to the top by horse or donkey. In addition, because it is wide and has a gentle slope, it is accessible to people with physical disabilities.


Meanwhile, at the top of the tower there is a lookout with panoramic views of the city, which is accessed via a spiral staircase. The summit is also crowned by a bronze statue of the Giraldillo, representing the Christian faith, which was added in the 16th century.


What to see near the Giralda

The Giralda is located in the heart of the city of Seville, surrounded by numerous tourist attractions. Next to it is the Cathedral, an impressive Gothic construction considered the largest Christian cathedral in the world.


Behind both sites is the Barrio de Santa Cruz, a historic neighborhood full of narrow cobblestone streets, interior courtyards and charming squares. While walking away from the Giralda you can reach the Plaza de España on foot.


Its particular semicircular shape and the buildings that integrate it, made of brick, tiled benches and a navigable canal in the center, make it one of the icons of the city.

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