— is the capital and largest city of Andalusia – a province of Spain.
Aside from having a very accommodating and considerate tour guide here in Seville, we also had an amazing trip from its historical cathedral, parks and architectures to its traditional and entertaining dance known as “flamenco”.
I begin with the largest gothic cathedral in the world the – “Catedral de Sevilla” or “Seville Cathedral”. Its grandeur is undeniable and endowed with Seville’s remarkable history.
All throughout our trip, I typically start by snatching free pamphlets or fact sheets of the place where I’m in. And my multi-tasking is at its peak when I’m travelling as I listen to our guide, I’d write down notes and take some artistic snapshots of every corner, view and angle, and be mindful of my steps and the road 😉
Historical facts about the cathedral;
1184 – 1198 Construction of the main mosque of Seville and its minaret. (Spain was under the Muslims) Parts are conserved in the Orange Tree Courtyard and lower sections of Giralda tower, that I will post separately.
1248 After the “reconquest” of Spain by Ferdinand II, the mosque was consecrated as a Cathedral.
1434 – 1517 The construction of the Gothic Cathedral.
1528 – 1621 Construction of some parts continued including the completion of the bell tower – Giralda tower.
1618 – 1758 The Baroque phase of the Cathedral (my favorite period)
1987 Seville Cathedral was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO
The cathedral’s construction lasted for more than a century. Our tour guide told us that when they were planning to build this, church elders declared, “Hagamos una iglesia tan hermosa y tan grandiosa que los que la vieren labrada nos tengan por locos.” (Let us build a church so beautiful and so magnificent that those who see it finished will think we are mad). Well, maybe 🙂 but this church is really wonderful!
Giralda tower is the bell tower of this cathedral, said to be the symbol of Seville. This minaret is 76 meters in height and was originally constructed by by the Moors in 1184.
You’ll see this cross as you enter the sanctuary. It’s considered to be the holiest site in Lourdes, France. Before, We thought of owning an apartment and even considered hiring a keeper to stay there. Though one helpful and local tour guide told us not to, because of taxes and high fees for maintenance,etc. Lourdes has become a favorite place of mine, last year we stayed for 4 days and I went to the chapel daily. Prayed and drank in the sacred spring that welled up for the first time during the apparition of Mama Mary to St. Bernadette. The water was cold but it didn’t feel uncomfortably cold and chilly. Going back to the church, it was designed by Myroslav Nimciv, while its Byzantine interior polychrome decorations were executed by artist Jerzy Nowosielski. A beautiful statue of Mama Mary is standing right in the middle & facing the main basilica.
Her blue sash seemed to be swaying gracefully with the wind. And an intricate crown of gold-embroidered her head and perpetual face. The sanctuary is about 50 hectares with 22 places of worships, includes the sacred grotto, two main basilicas (photo of entrance seen below), and an assortment of chapels for the sick and pilgrim goers like me. Roman Catholic faith is alive in Lourdes, I remember hearing Holy Masses in different languages like English, Spanish and Italian. One morning when I went alone to pray, I was mistaken to be an Italian and asked me to take photos of her group with the church as their background. Delighted and feeling helpful, I agreed and then went on to pray in the grotto.
The rest of the places in Lourdes will be featured on my next posts, and hopefully I’ll have time to post more pictures as well. Much said about this quaint town, I heard it is second to Paris in terms of tourism and number of hotels. Most of my happy memories were also from this place, I was solely raised by my grandmother with strict values and traditions and visiting Lourdes is very sacred to me. I’m planning to bring her here someday, if she is able to travel, God willing.
Year 2011 when I was diagnosed with severe endometriosis and ovarian cysts, a condition that made it crucial for me to conceive again. I had Laparoscopic procedures to treat and remove some of it, but endometriosis in my uterus remain intact upto this day, this is one of the many difficult struggles we have to face. But it has made my faith deeper and magnified, so when we went to visit Lourdes last May I was more emotional than our previous pilgrims. I looked at the other hopefuls, some were more ill than I am, and in their stretchers and/or wheelchairs. I know we’re all present to experience the miracle, that one day we will be healed with our faith. Tearful yet happy, the joy this place brings, never fails to remind me of God’s wonderful grace and love. – mitch
I have been to Europe a couple of times. Mainly as pilgrims particularly to this holy place in Lourdes, France. It is a small town in Pyrenees in southwest France. And the biggest pilgrimage destination in France and one of the most popular sanctuaries in the world. Pilgrims come here and drink or bath in the miraculous water that sprung during the apparition of the Virgin Mary to Saint Bernadette. Photo above shows the grotto and the exact location where Mama Mary was seen by the young visionary St. Bernadette. The last time I visited which was just last year, I was able to bathed in the healing waters, priorities are given to the sick and elderly. Courteous and helpful nuns are there to assist you. I wish i have more photos to show but at that moment I was filled with joy. Besides, cameras are not allowed inside the cubicles. Everything is very organized, surpisingly the line wasn’t long. Then I entered one of the cubicles while draped in blankets provided by the assisting nuns. I wept as I was overwhelmed with gladness, I felt the presence of the Holy Spirit. And Mama Mary’s sacred image was there in the foot of the pool and kissed her after plunging in the water. I knew right then I was healed instantly…