Saville Cathedral (Catedral de Santa María de la Sede)

The Catedral de Santa María de la Sede, Saville Cathedral, originally started out as a mosque built in 830 AD. This was later supplanted by a larger mosque completed in 1198.  The Christianization of the mosque began with the conquest of Saville by King Ferdinand III in the 13th century.  Building and remolding continued on and off for nearly 300 years.  There are over 40 chapels within the cathedral. The Saville Cathedral is considered the third largest cathedral in the world and was designated a UNSCO World Heritage site.  It has the longest nave of any Spanish cathedral.  The current building reflects many types of architecture.  The court yard built with the original mosque and enlarged by the later mosque is retained as part of the cathedral.

Door of the Assumption
Door of the Assumption
Saville Cathedral
Saville Cathedral
Mosque Wall
Mosque Wall
Mosque Door Sealed by Cathedral
Mosque Door Sealed by Cathedral
Cathedral Courtyard
Cathedral Courtyard
Cathedral Baptismal Font
Cathedral Baptismal Font
Cathedral Nave
Cathedral Nave
A Cathedral Alter
A Cathedral Alter
Cathedral Silver Alter
Cathedral Silver Alter
Cathedral Relics
Cathedral Relics

 

The most famous person buried in the Saville Cathedral is Christopher Columbus.  His tomb is not easily missed.

Christopher's Columbus Tomb
Christopher’s Columbus Tomb
Under the Columbus Tomb
Under the Columbus Tomb
Columbus Tomb
Columbus Tomb

The Giralda, bell tower, was originally built at the minaret for the mosque.  It stands at 343 feet high with the bells placed on top.

La Giralda (Bell Tower)
La Giralda (Bell Tower)

Gibraltar in 2019

Gibraltar, is a unique geographical outpost of the United Kingdom.  Located on the tip of Spain, it is close to North Africa.  The “Rock” has provided a military strategic advantage for centuries dating back to the Moors and the latest during WWII.  Visitors will find remnants from the fortifications built on Gibraltar over time.

Moroccan Fortress
Moroccan Fortress
Exterior Wall
Gibraltar Exterior Wall (Moroccan)
Gibraltar Fortification
Gibraltar Fortification (British)
WWII Gun
WWII Gun

Gibraltar is made of of very narrow, steep roads, many man made tunnels, and caves.  The roads are usually bounded by rocks, steep cliffs, or both.  It can be a little scary when navigating them in a bus, even a small one.

Gibraltar Tunnel
Gibraltar Tunnel
Gibraltar Road
Gibraltar Road

Saint Michael’s Cave, named after a cave in Apulia Italy, is located in the “Upper Rock” of Gibraltar. It is made of of limestone. The areas open to the public are well lit and have stairs with railings. There is a large natural amphitheater with seating. The natural acoustics enhance the sound from concerts played here.

St. Michael's Cave
St. Michael’s Cave
St. Michael's Columns
St. Michael’s Columns
Bottom of St. Michael's Cave
View from the bottom of St. Michael’s Cave
Cross Section of a stalactite/stalagmite
Cross Section of a stalactite/stalagmite
Natural View
Natural View
Accentuated with Color
Accentuated with Color
Cool Green
Cool Green

Around St. Michael’s Cave you’re likely to find Barbary “Apes,” actually monkeys that were brought over from Morocco. At one time the British Army cared for the apes, designating one part of the hospital for their care. Today their care is outsourced to a company. They are very tame, often posing for pictures.  There are steep fines for feeding the “Apes.”

Barbary "ape"
Barbary “Ape” at the mouth of St. Michael’s Cave
Barbary "Ape"
Barbary “Ape” in woods near the St. Michael’s Cave

At the tip of Gibraltar is the Straits of Gibraltar where the Atlantic Ocean meets the Mediterranean Sea. The views are beautiful and on a clear day you can see the coast of Morocco.  Gibraltar is a very crowded peninsula.  The engineers have started to reclaim land to build more housing.

Straits of Gibraltar
Straits of Gibraltar
Gibraltar Light House
Gibraltar Light House at Europa Point
Land Reclaimed from Mediterranean
Reclaimed Land for Living Space on Gibraltar

 

Finally, what would an excursion be with out shopping. Main Street in Gibraltar has become devoted to shopping and eating as well some interesting architecture.