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Seville Cathedral: The façades

Portal of El Bautismo

The main of the church faces west on to today´s Avenida de la Constitución. It has three portals which belong to the left, called Bautismo, consists of pointed gablet whith flamboyant tracery. The arch bay or tympanum of this portal has a relief showing Chist´s Baptism (=Bautismo), which comes from the workshop of Lorenzo Mercadante de Bretaña.

In the archivolts there are figures of the Old Testament, the most important sculptures being those standing under a baldacchino on a console, such as Santa Justa, Santa Rufina, San Leandro, San Isidoro, San Fulgencio and Santa Florentina They are made of baked clay and were originally polychrome. Their quality is excepcional, and their author is Lorenzo Mercadante de Bretaña who made them between 1565 and 1467. The sculptor Pedro Millán helped with minor details of this portal.


Portal of El Bautismo (details: San Isidoro and Santa Rufina)

Portal of La Asunción

Larger and more solemn is the portal in the centre dedicated to the Assumption of the Virgin, Unfortunately it was not built in the historic moment when the Cathedral itself was raised and it remained unfinished for centuries until Cardinal Cienfuegos y Jovellanos decided in 1827 to finish it.

The works were directed by the architect Fernando Rosales who maintained the Gothic style in the construction elements and who finished the task in 1833. The sculpted decoration was carried out by Ricardo Bellver a few years later. He used Artificial stone for the figures of the saints decorating the portal and placed the relief of the Assumption of the Virgin in its arch bay.

Portal of Los Palos

Portal of Los Palos(Detail)

The portal on the right is dedicated to The Birth of Jesus Christ, which -like that of Christ´s Baptism- was carried out by Lorenzo Mercadante de Bretaña between 1464 and 1467. On the jambs there are the Four Evangelists as well as San Laureano and San Hermenegildo, figures of baked clay by the same artist. The small sculptures in the archivolts were carved by Pedro Millán.

The east end of the Cathedral has two Gothic portals decorated with Renaissance sculptures. In accordance with the decoration of their arch bays, they are dedicated to Christ´s Entry into Jerusalem and the Epiphany, respectively. The former is populary called Puerta de las Campanillas because during the construction of the Cathedral it was the place used to keep the small bells with which the workmen were advided that it was time to begin work. The group of terracotta sculptures in the arch bay was made by Miguel Florentín around 1520 as were the sculptures of the prophets on the jambs.

Portal of Las Campanillas

Portal El Príncipe

The portal of the Epiphany is popularly known as Puerta de los Palos because of the wooden fences that used to separate it from the adjacent Corral de los Olmos where the Cathedral Chapter used to have some offices in other times. The sculpted decoration was also carried out by Miguel Florentín around 1520. His is the terracotta relief of the Epiphany in the arch bay and the angels on the jambs. On the souther side there is the Portal of San Cristóbal, which is also called El Principe and which today is used as the entrance for a visit to the art treasures of the church. It was built in the relatively recent past as it was begun in 1887 by the architect Fernandez Casanova who kept to the Gothic style of the rest of the building. This portal is Flanked by two large 16C pilasters.

HISPALIS Net Catedral Puertas Coros

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