What does the Giraldillo of the Cathedral of Seville mean?
At the top of the Giralda there is a very particular sculpture that forms part of the cultural and artistic heritage of the capital of Seville. It is the sculpture popularly known as the Giraldillo, although its official name is the Triumph of the Victorious Faith. This sculpture, 3.47 metres high, watches over the city from above and has a replica which is located at the entrance to the site. Today we want to tell you its meaning so that you understand the importance of this monument in Seville's history.
History of the Giraldillo of the Cathedral of Seville
In the middle of the Spanish Renaissance, the Cathedral Chapter decided to transform the minaret of the old Isbilya Mosque, adding the bell tower at the top with a large statue that served as a weather vane.
After the installation of this statue, it began to be called Giraldillo due to the Italian term"girandola" (weather vane), a name that would later come to designate the entire tower asthe Giralda of Seville.
The sculpture was made by the sculptor Juan Bautista Vázquez “The old” in 1568 based ona model designed by the painter Luis de Vargas.
Between 1999 and 2003, the Giraldillo was taken down from its original site for restoration, with a replica being placed in its place. Once the original sculpture was installed again, the replica was displayed in the courtyard of the Puerta del Príncipe, where the entrance for cultural visits to the Cathedral of Seville is located.
Meaning of the Giraldillo of the Cathedral of Seville
The Giraldillo sculpture represents a pregnant woman dressed in a long tunic and with a helmet surrounded by a crown. In one of her hands she holds a palm and in the other a warrior's shield attached to a lance with a Christian cross on top. That upper part is the one that serves as a weather vane.
His image and the elements that accompany it remind us of the popular image of Palas Athena, the Greek goddess of war and wisdom.
The Giraldillo symbolizes the Christian Faith and Hope, a feature that is evident in the uncarved pupils and the fact of being pregnant. Her clothing and the elements of war also symbolize strength.
On the other hand, the palm in her left hand symbolizes victory, since the Giraldillo also represents the triumph of the Catholic religion over the Muslim world. For the same reason it was placed on the highest point of the Cathedral of Seville, built on the old mosque; specifically on the old minaret, reaffirming the message.
When you take one of our guided tours through the Cathedral of Seville, before entering the site, take a few minutes to contemplate the replica of the Giralda and appreciate the beauty and magnificence of this work that watches and represents Seville.