Seville Snapshots: La Giralda


The Moors had control over a large portion of Spain for some 400 years before the fundamentalist Almohad Dynasty built the Giralda in their most-favored city in al- Andalus. Originally a minaret to the mosque in Sevilla, Catholics repurposed the Giralda after capturing the city in 1248. It was modeled on the minaret of the Koutoubia Mosque in Marrakech, and symbolized both the power and piety of the Almohad Dynasty. After a series of architectural alterations and additions following the capture of Sevilla, the Giralda now stands as a symbol of Spain’s rich cultural heritage and its long, victorious struggle against Islamic rule on the Iberian Peninsula.

Taken on an unusually cloudy day in the summer of 2011, this photo details the upper third of the tower that was added during the sixteenth century.

Text and photo © A Painter of Modern Life (

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If you’re new here, check out my first two entries in a series on photogenic Seville, which will be posted every Monday. If you’d like to participate with your photos from Spain and Seville, please send me an email at sunshineandsiestas @ with your name, short description of the photo, and any bio or links directing you back to your own blog, Facebook page or twitter. Don’t forget to follow Sunshine and Siestas on its new Facebook page!

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About Cat Gaa

As a beef-loving Chicago girl living amongst pigs, bullfighters, and a whole lotta canis, Cat Gaa writes about expat life in Seville, Spain. When not cavorting with adorable Spanish grandpas or struggling with Spanish prepositions, she works in higher education at an American university in Madrid and freelances with other publications, like Rough Guides and The Spain Scoop.


  1. That is such a great shot! Have to go and check out the others now.

  2. I walked up the Giralda today actually, fantastic view! Great photo Cat and thanks for your suggestions on what to do on a Sunday in Seville. We ended up staying at Hotel Dona Maria and hanging out by the pool which looks onto the Giralda, it was so good. Room was only 76 Euros and the hotel has quite good rooms and facilities.

  3. Thanks for the love, Cat.

  4. Such a fantastic photo! I’ve just found out I’ll be heading to Andalucia for a six-week conservation workshop later this year – you’ve definitely given me a few more things to add to my list of places to go and things to see while I’m there!

    I’d love you to check out my blog at

    • Hi Sian, did a bit of reading on your blog – congrats!! Sounds like an interesting project, so I’ll be looking forward to how it shapes up. Where will you be based?

      • Thanks! I’m really excited about it. The project is in Martos, which I understand is a municipality of Jaén, so I’ll be based there for the duration of the project but am hoping to have the opportunity to see a bit of the surrounding area while I’m there.

  5. Ah! Excellent pic! I always make a point to climb up the tower whenever I visit Sevilla.
    Thanx for sharing.

  6. Lovely – you got the shot of the Giralda I wish I had got. I have nothing of it that’s up to standard. Like a lot of incredible-to-the-eye structures, it isn’t actually all that easy to get a nice image of it, so well done.
    Great fun climbing that thing and standing beneath the bells on top while they deafen you!


  1. […] friend Cat was kind enough to accept a small guest post from me for her “snapshots” series every Monday. Cat is a gregarious expat living in […]

  2. […] and Andy. We all really loved cooling down by the pool and admiring the view of the Cathedral and La Giralda. In the evening we enjoyed the ‘menú degustación’ at Vineria San Telmo – 5 […]

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