The other day I bought (for 2$!) a textbook, by a guy named Ian Sutton, called "Western Architecture" from a used bookstore. I think I'm going to turn it into a recurring feature on here: open to a random page and post a paragraph from it. Maybe they'll be more to that. We'll see.
Anyway, here goes:
From page 111: "The largest of Spanish cathedrals, and indeed the largest medieval cathedral ever built, is that of Seville, begun as late as 1402 and not completed until 1518, with the explicit ambition, as one of the building committee put it, of making 'those who should see it finished think we were mad.'"
Well, mission accomplished on that. What's interesting to me about this church is how perfectly it symbolizes the complicated, rich, and violent meeting of religions and cultures in Spain. It was begun about 150 years after the Christian reconquest of Seville, but the tower of the cathedral is, with a few alterations, also the minaret of the old Moorish grand mosque. The combination of convenience and empire building leads to some strange bedfellows.