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High Altarpiece

The high altarpiece presides over the presbytery of the Main Chapel, which is located in the central nave, occupying the most solemn section where the main naves of the Cathedral intersect.

Considered the largest in Christendom and one of the most spectacular polychrome wooden structures of its time, it was constructed in successive phases over almost a century. The work began in 1482 with the designs of the Flemish sculptor Pieter Dancart, resulting in an altarpiece nearly 30 meters high and almost 20 meters wide, with four vertical tiers plus a base and seven horizontal lanes.

In 1497, another Flemish master took over the project and worked on it until 1505. After this period, the sculptor Pedro Millán continued the work, followed by Jorge Fernández Alemán and his brother Alejo, who were responsible for the construction until 1529, marking the completion of the first phase. A second phase began in 1550 when the Chapter decided to add two side streets at right angles to the main front. This phase involved contributions from Roque Balduque, Juan Bautista Vázquez, and Pedro de Heredia, with the entire complex being completed in 1564.

The altarpiece includes forty-four reliefs and more than two hundred figures of saints arranged on the pilasters that frame the altarpiece. Over the wide and cantilevered canopy, configured by octagonal coffers, there is a beam with a piety in the center, flanked by an apostolate, the work of Jorge Fernández. Crowning the whole is a monumental Gothic Calvary from the 14th century, preserved from before and decided to crown the entire altarpiece.

The crucifix that presides over the Calvary is traditionally named Christ of the Million, for the million graces granted to the people of Seville during times of epidemics. The reliefs on the base of the altarpiece represent three scenes of the martyrdom of saints, along with views of Seville and the Cathedral. At its center, there is a magnificent Gothic sculpture of the Virgen de la Sede.

The first tier of the altarpiece features, from right to left, the embrace of St. Joachim and St. Anne, the birth of the Virgin, the Annunciation, the birth of Christ, the slaughter of the innocents, the Circumcision, and the adoration of the Kings.. The second tier includes the Presentation of the Child in the Temple, the Baptism of Christ, the Resurrection of Lazarus, the Assumption of the Virgin, the entry of Christ into Jerusalem, the Holy Supper, and the Prayer in the Garden.. The third tier depicts the arrest of Christ, the scourging, the crowning with thorns, the Resurrection, Ecce Homo, the road to Calvary, and the Expiation.. The fourth tier shows the burial of Christ, the Marys at the tomb, the Magdalene at the feet of the Resurrected Christ, the Ascension, Christ’s descent into Limbo, the supper at Emmaus, and the coming of the Holy Spirit.. On the sides of the altarpiece, from bottom to top, the left side includes representations of the creation of Eve, the flight into Egypt, Christ among the Doctors, the Transfiguration, and the Magdalene anointing Christ’s feet.. The right side depicts Original Sin, the Last Judgment, the multiplication of the loaves and fishes, the expulsion of the Merchants from the Temple, and the conversion of St. Paul.. On the pillars that frame the entire altarpiece, there are eight reliefs representing the Kings of Israel and Judah. With all this information we finish the review of the great cathedral altarpiece of Seville.


The choir occupies a section of the central nave of the church, directly in front of the Main Chapel in the Crucifixion area. It is enclosed by masonry walls, except on the front, which features an exceptional Renaissance grille by Fray Francisco de Salamanca, made between 1518 and 1523; it is topped with a crest whose central motif represents the tree of Gethsemane.

Inside the choir, the choir stalls are composed of two tiers, with 117 seats carved in wood. They are crafted in the Gothic-Mudejar style, depicting sculptures of saints and reliefs with scenes from the Old and New Testaments. Of particular interest is the decorative set located in the misericordias, which features a wide allegorical repertoire of vices personified as monstrous figures.

The chair designated for the King, decorated with the coats of arms of Castile and Leon, bears the signature of the sculptor Nufro Sanchez and the date 1478, thus documenting the carving work. However, from 1479 onwards, the sculptor Pieter Dancart continued to work on the decorative process, which was not definitively completed until the 16th century. The grand lectern in the center of the choir is a Renaissance work made of wood and bronze, created by several sculptors between 1562 and 1565; the bronze reliefs were cast by Bartolomé Morel.

The magnificent double pipe organ, harmoniously integrated into the formal structure of the choir stalls, showcases exceptional craftsmanship.



The Assumption Gate is located in the center of the west or main facade, with greater proportion and solemnity than the adjoining portals that flank it.

Dedicated to the Assumption of the Virgin, the subject of the tympanum from which it derives its name, the gate remained unfinished for centuries until Cardinal Cienfuegos y Jovellanos decided to complete it in 1827.

The works were directed by architect Fernando Rosales, who maintained the Gothic style in the configuration of the constructive elements, completing his work in 1833.

The sculptural decoration was made years later by Ricardo Bellver, who crafted the images of saints in artificial stone that adorn it, including the relief of the Assumption of the Virgin in the tympanum of the door.


This door is one of the fundamental elements of the original mosque and served as the main entrance to the Almohad enclosure, aligning with its central nave and the mihrab.

Its entrance arch retains its original form, featuring a pointed horseshoe arch. The Plateresque plasterwork that adorns it was created in 1522 by Bartolomé López.

In 1520, the front of this door was renovated and embellished with a series of terracotta sculptures by the sculptor Miguel Florentín. These include images of St. Peter and St. Paul on the sides, the Virgin and the Archangel Gabriel above them, and a large relief of the Expulsion of the Merchants situated just above the arch.

Today, this door marks the exit for cultural and artistic visitors to the temple.


This gate is located on the north front of the transept and opens onto the Orange Tree Courtyard. It was left unfinished during the initial construction of the temple and remained so until 1887, when it was completed with a design by the architect Adolfo Fernández Casanova.

Fernández Casanova adhered to the Gothic style of the rest of the building, ensuring that, despite its later completion, it harmonizes perfectly with the earlier constructions. The facade of the door is crowned with an image of Jesus as a priest, accompanied by his apostles. The large lateral pilasters date back to the early 16th century.

It was popularly known as “colorada” due to the polychrome decoration that once adorned its interior.

Puerta de las Campanillas

Located at the head of the Cathedral on the left side of the Royal Chapel, it is a Gothic doorway adorned with Renaissance sculptures.

It is dedicated, according to the decoration of its tympanum, to the entry of Christ into Jerusalem, corresponding to a sculptural group made of terracotta carved around 1520 by the master Miguel, who also made the sculptures of prophets that appear in the jambs.

This doorway is popularly known as the door of the bells, because during the construction of the Cathedral the bells that called the workers to start the work were located there.

San Miguel Gate

The portal on the right of the main façade is dedicated to the Nativity of Christ and is also the work of Lorenzo Mercadante of Brittany. On the jambs, also executed in terracotta by the same artist, are the four Evangelists plus Saint Laureano and Saint Hermenegildo. The small sculptures located in the archivolts are the work of Pedro Millán.

Prince’s Gate

Doorway located in the south arm of the transept where the cultural and artistic visit to the temple is currently accessed individually. Its construction is relatively recent, although, in its realization, the architect Fernández Casanova stuck to the gothic style of the rest of the building. This doorway is flanked by two large 16th century pilasters.