Sevilla’s parish churches display a fascinating variety of architectural styles. Several are converted mosques with belfries built over their minarets, others range through Mudejar and Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque.
The cathedral stands majestically on the site of an ancient 12th-century mosque. Construction of the cathedral started in 1401 and took over a century before it was eventually completed. Highlights include many works of art in the chapels, a large courtyard full of orange trees, Roman features, detailed architecture and some important tombs.
The cathedral’s tall bell tower, La Giralda, is open to the public and visitors to the cathedral can climb to the top, where there are superb panoramic views of Sevilla.
Sevilla’s Iglesia de San Julián is a 14th-century Gothic-style church situated in the city center. Dedicated to the Virgen de la Hiniesta, it has many beautiful features, such as a 400-year-old statue, sculptures, silver lights and an 18th-century altarpiece.
This 14th century church retains several Mudejar features, notably its Giralda-like tower and the decoration on the Gothic portal on Plaza de San Marcos. The restoration of the interior, gutted by fire in 1936, has highlighted unique horseshoe arches in the nave. A statue of St Mark with book and quill pen, attributed to Juan de Mesa, is in the far left corner.
14th century Gothic Mudejar with later additions. There are three naves, the one on the right has a beautiful four sided chapel with a Mudejar ceiling dating from 1379. Dating from the 17th century, there are several paintings by the Sevillian painter, Zurbaran.
Sevilla has many enclosed religious complexes, but few are accessible. This is one of them, a convent set up in 1475 and still home to 40 nuns. The public is welcome to enter through two different doors in the Calle Santa Paula. Knock on the brown one, marked number 11 to look at the convent museum. Steps lead to two galleries, crammed with religious paintings and artifacts. The windows of the second look onto the nuns’ cloister. The nuns make a phenomenal range of marmalades and jams which you may buy in a room near the exit.