Friday, October 21, 2016

La Giralda

click photo to enlarge
The tower of Seville Cathedral, La Giralda, is with the Patio de los Naranjos (a cathedral quadrangle with orange trees), the principal remains of the Moorish mosque that was built in the late 1100s. From the early 700s to the early 1200s the southern and central Iberian peninsula were controlled by the Moors. Most was reconquered at the end of that period though Granada remained Moorish until 1492.

The tower of La Giralda was built in the 1190s as a minaret. The tower with its Moorish arches and latticework decoration that stretches from ground level to the bell stage is all of this period. It originally was topped by a recessed domed tower. In 1401 much of the mosque was demolished and the building of the cathedral commenced. Various different tower tops were tried but in 1568 the present classical arrangement was chosen. Classical balusters were also installed to embellish the Moorish openings lower down the tower. Interestingly when you climb La Giralda it is not up steps. Instead ramp after ramp takes you to the level of the bells where fine views over the city can be enjoyed.

Seville is a city with many fine, ornate street lights, particularly in the old town. For my photograph of La Giralda I stood near one of these and composed a shot that included the pair. The different temperature and technology of the lighting in tower and lights produces different colours on the stonework. The smaller photograph shows the cathedral tower framed by one of the old town's narrow streets, Calle Mateos Gago. As ever photographs at night always seem to work better if a little of the day's light remains in the sky. Incidentally, what looks like water on the cobbles of the street is in fact nothing more than the shine produced by the feet and wheels of countless people and vehicles.

photograph and text © Tony Boughen

Photo Title: La Giralda, Seville
Camera: Olympus E-M10
Mode: Aperture Priority
Focal Length: 25mm (50mm - 35mm equiv.)
F No: f2.8
Shutter Speed: 1/60 sec
Exposure Compensation: 0EV