The largest Gothic building in the world and the third-largest church in Europe (after St. Peter's in Rome and St. Paul's in London), the Catedral de Sevilla was designed by builders whose stated goal was that "those who come after us will take us for madmen." Construction began in the late 1400s on the site of an ancient mosque and took centuries to complete. The cathedral claims to contain the remains of Columbus; his tomb is mounted on four statues. Works of art abound, many of them architectural, such as the 15th-century stained-glass windows, the iron screens (rejas) closing off the chapels, the elaborate 15th-century choir stalls, and the Gothic reredos above the main altar. During Corpus Christi and Immaculate Conception observances, altar boys with castanets dance in front of the high altar. In the Treasury are works by Goya, Murillo, and Zurbarán, and on the macabre side, a display of skulls.
After touring the dark interior, you'll emerge into the sunlight of the Patio of Orange Trees, with its fresh citrus scents and chirping birds. La Giralda, a Moorish tower next to the cathedral, is the city's most recognizable monument. Erected as a minaret in the 12th century, its later additions include 16th-century bells. To climb it is to take the walk of a lifetime. There are no steps, but if you make it to the top of the seemingly endless ramp, you'll have a dazzling view of Seville. Entrance is through the cathedral. Note: Shorts and T-shirts are not allowed in the cathedral. Remember to dress appropriately before you set out so you're not turned away.