It’s 341 feet tall and the Moslems built it with all these ramps so that you could ride a horse up. Not sure why you would want to ride a horse up to the top of a minaret, but then again, why not? Spain is full of Moorish influence. The Cathedral of Seville is a vast echo of story. The grave of Christopher Columbus; huge quantities of gold taken from the Americas, silver too, the statue of four men carrying Columbus’ casket, the cathedral built in the 1400s on top of the mosque which had been there since 1198. The Cathedral uses the bell tower of the Giralda as its highest point. The mosque in Cordoba actually has a cathedral built into the forest of pillars, one of the strangest sacred places I’ve ever visited.
During Santa Semana Week, the holy festival week, over a million people visit Seville and they wear the hooded robes which most Americans would find extremely frightening because they look exactly like the regalia that Klansmen wear and refer to as their “glory suit.” During Holy Week Parades, you see penitents wearing those same costumes as American Klansmen.
We are going to dinner tonight and for a walk along the river and tomorrow walk through the gardens by the castle and then take the train to Madrid. We’re looking forward to being home. We are both working on new books, and we’re excited to feel those new stories emerging.
From the top of the Giralda, all of Seville was spread out, pigeons fluttered along the eves, the heat rose from between buildings; some had courtyards and trees. The sun pooled between the trees; and somewhere on the other side of the world, California is waiting.