Apr 8 – the center of the Old City is the Catedral, which is the the third largest church in the world, and the largest Gothic cathedral in the world. Completed in 1506, it is said that the builders declared, “Let us build a church so beautiful and so grand that those who see it finished will think we are mad“. It is way too large to capture in one photo.
Inside are the bones of Christopher Columbus (at least some of them).
The main altar is gloriously gilded:
As compared to the Altar de Plata, which shimmers in silver:
We climbed the Giraldo Tower, which predates the cathedral, as it was part of the mosque that previously stood on this site. Instead of flights of steps, you climb the tower in a series of ramps. It was built this way to make it easier to ascend on horseback.
The views of the city from the top were spectacular:
While we were up in the tower, one of the bells pealed the quarter hour. I may recover my hearing someday!
The cathedral is flanked by a garden of orange trees. I heard a tour guide tell his group that the water used to wash people’s feet in the cathedral drains out to water the orange trees. As we didn’t see any foot washing going on, I question this assertion.
For some reason, there is a stuffed crocodile hanging outside the garden. I believe it was a gift.
There were many little chapels around the sides of the cathedral. The Capilla de San Antonio held a baptismal font large enough to swim in, and a famous painting of the Vision of St. Anthony.
Here is a vision of Jim and me, amid the silver and gold!