La Catedral dominates the landscape. La Giraldillo, the windvane on top of its spire, can be seen for kilometres. The Cathedral is built on the foundations of a mosque, and the bell tower was formerly a minaret. It is worthwhile climbing the bell tower, but keep your eyes on your wristwatch. The viewing platform is directly under a considerable set of bells- and different bells chime to mark the parts of the hour. Then there are the enormous bells which mark the hours.
Emerging from the core of tower a whisker before 1.00pm and right under one of the enormous bells was unfortunate. It only chimed once,and everyone ducked from the volume of the chime. The reverberation of the chime explodes through your body.
The Cathedral is an extraordinary space: massive stone columns, sweeping stone arches, more chapels than you can count, the grand mausoleum of Christopher Columbus’ is held aloft by four huge stone figures, and the carved seating for the choir is amazing. Regrettably, the gold leafed timber Capilla Mayor was closed for restoration – painstaking work which you could see underway through the windows of sealed workrooms in the Cathedral.
El Patio de los Naranjos, 60 orange trees in a cool patio bordered by fortress-like walls and water channels creating a neat grid pattern.