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Coordinates: 37°23′10.3″N 5°59′32.7″W / 37.386194°N 5.992417°W / 37.386194; -5.992417

La Giralda
The statue of the Giraldillo

The Giralda is the bell tower of the Cathedral of Seville in Seville, Spain, one of the largest churches in the world and an outstanding example of the Gothic and Baroque architectural styles. The tower is 97.5 m (320 ft) in height and it was one of the most important symbols in the medieval city.

The tower's first two-thirds is a former minaret from the Almohad period of Seville, the upper third spanish renaissance architecture.

The copper sphere that originally topped the tower fell in an earthquake in 1365. Christians replaced the sphere with a cross and bell.

The statue stands 4 m (13 feet) in height (7 m (23 ft) with the pedestal) and has crowned the top of the tower since its installation in 1568.

The Renaissance section of the tower also contains a large inscription of Seville's motto, NO8DO. Alfonso X of Castile gave the motto to the city when it continued to support his rule during an insurrection.

Covering the top of the tower is the "Lily section" of the tower. This surrounds the enclosure with the bell.

The Giralda has several sister towers. The same architect, Jabir, who built the Giralda also built similar towers in what is now Morocco. The tower of the Koutoubia Mosque in Marrakesh served as a model for the Giralda and its sister, the Hassan Tower in Rabat. Several church towers in the province of Seville also bear a resemblance to the tower, and may have been inspired by the Giralda. These towers, most notably those in Lebrija and Carmona, are popularly known as Giraldillas. Several replicas of the Giralda have been built in the United States: one, now destroyed, in Madison Square Garden in New York and another in Kansas City. The clock tower of the Ferry Building in San Francisco is also based on the Giralda. The clock tower at the University of Puerto Rico's Río Piedras campus was also inspired by the Giralda, as was the clock tower of the Railroad Depot in Minneapolis, destroyed by wind in 1941.

In popular literature, the Giralda plays a role in the Dan Brown novel entitled Digital Fortress (1998) - the tower is where David Becker finally kills his opponent, Hulohot.

A view of the Giralda from Plaza Virgen de los Reyes


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