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She Who Turns

La Giralda, the popular name for the famous bell tower at Seville Cathedral, comes from the striking sculpture come weather vane that now tops the tower. It effectively means “she who turns” – from girar,  to turn, and giraldillo, the term for a turning weather vane.  Needless to say, this name encouraged restless me to make the winding climb up the tower.

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Map of my “spiral” climb up La Giralda

The interior of the 104 metre high tower consists of 35 ramps, built to allow those on horseback to reach the top of the original Moorish minaret tower. This easy ascent is now open to tourists (after a long wait in a queue), though the Renaissance style top that was later added by Spanish Christians adds 17 steps to the effort.

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As I made the ascent, my walk mapping app seemed to struggle with my constant turning, and generated the crazy red map above.  The walk is gentle and the ramps are wide enough to allow the easy passing of the many tourists that are ascending and descending on the same ramps.  The ascent was far easier than that zig-zag plan suggests.

The ramps are also blessed with viewpoints so that you can take a view of the city and absorb the details of the tower and the Cathedral as you climb.

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It is fun to admire the views from a gradually increasing height.

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At this point, ramp 34, you know you are close to the top, and once you have climbed the steps you are at bell level .



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If you have heard the bells striking from below, you’ll be very glad they aren’t ringing while you are at their level – they are very lively and very loud!

You can do a full circle of the tower at this level and enjoy the wide views.

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I hope you enjoyed that spiral walk.  If you get to Seville and want to do the walk yourself, do check out the opening hours in advance and get your ticket in advance if you can.  Seville is a very popular city and its main sites gather long queues.  The easiest way to get an advance ticket for the Cathedral and the tower, is to visit the Church of El Salvador and buy a combination ticket that you can then use immediately, or the following day, to enter the Cathedral through the priority door.



aDSC_0636_ppCopyright Debbie Smyth, 20 June 2016



Part of Monday Walks


13 replies »

  1. Love the first birds eye view! I don’t know if I would have done that walk twice:):) It’s my son’s last week in Barcelona and then goes back to Holland to present his dissertation. He really enjoyed it there (no doubt also the weather:)

    Also a gentle reminder for linking up to SEASONS this week (the link is open till Wednesday 7pm, Pacific time). Hope to see you there with one of your travel photos:) Have a happy week!


    • Oh, leaving Barcelona must be difficult! I hope his dissertation goes well.

      I’ll be over to visit Seasons soon ☺

      On Tue, Jun 21, 2016 at 3:31 AM, Travel with Intent wrote:



  2. I did the walk twice!
    After the first one I saw how crazy the map was and thought perhaps I had paused too many times and confused it. So I whizzed back up and down to try again. And it was still crazy!
    But was good for fitness. (And madness😜)


  3. I love a vertical walk, Debs, and you got some cracking shots! Love that first one looking down on the lamps and the blue domes. It was a grey day, if not downright wet, when we went so I didn’t get much. I loved the atmosphere of the tower though. Many thanks for the share 🙂 Have a good week of wandering!


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