The Cathedral of Seville, formally Catedral de Santa María de la Sede (Cathedral of Saint Mary of the See) was begun in 1402, with construction continuing into the 16th century.
It is the largest of all Roman Catholic cathedrals (Saint Peter's Basilica not being a cathedral) and also the largest Medieval Gothic religious building, in terms of both area and volume. It is 76 by 115 meters, and was built to cover the land previously occupied by the Almohad Mosque. Its central nave rises to an awesome 42 metres and even the side chapels seem tall enough to contain an ordinary church. Its main altarpiece is considered the largest in the Christian world.
The interior, with the longest nave in Spain, is lavishly decorated, with a large quantity of gold evident. In the main body of the cathedral only the great box like structure of the coro stands out, filling the central portion of the nave. This opens onto the Capilla Mayor, dominated by a vast Gothic retablo of 45 carved scenes from the life of Christ. The lifetime's work of a single craftsman, Pierre Dancart, this is the ultimate masterpiece of the cathedral - the largest and richest altarpiece in the world and one of the finest examples of Gothic woodcarving anywhere.
The Cathedral also has a large collection of religious jewelry items, paintings and sculptures, along with the tomb of Christopher Columbus.
The builders reused some columns and elements from the mosque, and most famously the Giralda, originally a minaret, was converted into a bell tower. It is topped with a statue representing Faith. The Giralda is the city's most famous symbol.
This cathedral was built to demonstrate Seville's wealth, as it had become a major trading center in the years after the Reconquista.
During the planning of the cathedral's construction, a member of the chapter was recorded to have commented