Thursday, May 31, 2012

Seville - The Cathedral

        The town of Seville is one of three must see towns in the southern state/province of Andalusia.  all have beautiful castles and cathedrals.  Seville's cathedral is the largest Gothic cathedral in the world.   I love how cities promote their tourist attractions:  Our cathedral is the LARGEST cathedral in the WORLD...that was built my left handed midgets.  Or... our cathedral is the largest EVER built in the world that faces west and that has a post office across the street.
What's really amazing is that it works.  We'll be sitting at outdoor cafe and listening to the conversation at the table next to us:
Abner:  Sooo... where are you off to today?
Elmer:  We're thinking of taking the day trip up to Palookaville to see the cathedral.
Abner:  Oh, we've read about it!!  It sounds amazing!
Elmer:  Yeah, it's the largest ever built by left handed midgets!
Abner:  Wee people.
Elmer:  Yes, I am going to the restroom before we get on the bus!

But... Seville's cathedral is very impressive.  Check it out:

We climbed the 300 steps to the top and found that there are several truths about the olden days:
a)  there was no air-conditioning
b) the people were considerably shorter and thinner
c) an elevator salesperson would have made a killing
d) I have no desire to live back then

Thoughts that came to mind:

a) Wow!  I hope they are well hung
b) I hope they don't ring
c) Do the neighbors share the enthusiasm of hearing those bells every hour on the hour
d)  Perhaps the Church could make a few extra bucks by putting in a Verizon antenna ...

 the vibration from the bells must shake the foundation of the tower, if not the entire church.  How come it has not crumbled the tower... I know!!!
It's a friggin' miracle!!

The views from the top of the bell tower are awesome.  Seville has 703,000 people and an unusually large amount of deaf people...not sure why... but they all live near the cathedral...
One way that they cathedral builders helped account for the vibrations from the bells were to use a building technique called, "Flying buttresses".  No that is not a Stevenism.  It's a real term.  It's those arms you see attached to the sides of the walls.  The "FB's", as we architects call them, simply brace the walls and keep them from falling out and down... which is a bad thing if you are an architect... or the gardener working in the church garden.

      Two views of the bullring of Seville.  Supposedly the biggest in Spain and the most popular.  Unfortunately for us and fortunately for the bulls, we missed the bull fighting season.  Seriously, they have a bull fighting season?? What, they wear jerseys?  Have pep rallies, tail gate parties??  Here's a bull fighting joke for you... compliments of David:
Man goes into a restaurant in Seville and asks for the specialty of the house.
Waiter: Si senor. Today there was a bull fight and we proudly serve our "Cajones del dia"
Man: Hmmm.... that sounds interesting.  What exactly are "Cajones del did?"
Waiter:  Ahh senor... Today it is the testicles of he who fought so gallantly today in the bullring.
Man:  We'll... I guess... if it is your specialty... bring me the cajones del did!
So the man eats the cajones and loves them so much he brings his friends to the restaurant the next day.
Waiter:   Welcome back, seƱor. What will you have today?
Man:  Those cajones were so good, bring us an order of cajones!
Waiter: Si, senor.   and he goes to the kitchen and returns with cajones much bigger than the day before.
Man:  Are you sure these are cajones? The ones I had yesterday were so much smaller??
Waiter:  Si Senor.  But today the bull lost!  Yesterday it was the matador who lost!

This is the river that so many explorers set sail from when they left for the New World.  It's a river in Seville that once was deep and wide enough to sail from Seville to the ocean.  Unfortunately, for Seville, which is 200 miles from the sea, it spelled the economic doom for Seville for centuries to come.  The city didn't die, it just didn't flourish, which means they didn't have lots of modern buildings.  Fortunately, for Seville, they have a great tourism department and they learned to market,"Don't miss Seville - unchanged over the centuries by progress!" 

and speaking of explorers.. That's Columbus who is in that tomb.  Apparently, he was teeny tiny, or they folded him like and accordion.