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The Giralda of Seville

Giralda of Seville Sevilla Spain    The Giralda of Seville is the minaret of the old Almohad mosque of the city. The lower section of the Giralda is the originally built by the Muslims. Its construction started in 1184 after the command of the sultan of Maroc, Abu Yaqub Yusuf. Stones from old roman constructions were used for the groundwork, some of which can still be seen in the Giralda down to the floor. The structure of the Giralda consists in four external and four internal walls, between them a spiral sloping ramp goes up to the terrace. This way it was possible for the sultan and the muezzins to go up the tower on horse. The construction was Finished in 1196 and in 1198 four big spheres of polished copper were added to the top. The sun light reflected by the spheres made the city visible from miles away. With its height of 82 meters the Giralda was for some time the highest tower in the world and one of the most beautiful in the Muslim world. When the city was conquered by the Christian king Fernando the third in 1248 the mosque was adapted to become a cathedral. In 1356 an earthquake affected the upper part of the Giralda, destroying the copper spheres. Around 1400 a belfry was installed to replace the damaged parts. The mosque was demolished in 1433 to build a properly Christian shaped cathedral, which was inaugurated in 1507. Fortunately the Giralda escaped this destruction and continued being used as the bell tower of the cathedral. Between 1558 and 1568 a new Renaissance campanile was constructed along with other topping sections, and a large bronze wind vane representing the Christian faith was installed to top the Giralda. This is how the Giralda acquired its present aspect, with a height of 98,5 meters. The name Giralda comes from the giros (turns) that the wind produces in the wind vane. Presently the Giralda continues being the bell tower of the cathedral of Seville.

Giralda evolution stages through time   

  This drawing by Guichot shows the changes experienced by the Giralda through the time.

  First state, left.  "Minaret and observatory of the Great Mosque, completed by the Almohades in 1198, also commemorating the battle of Alarcos, happened three years before."

  Second state, right. "Bell Tower of the main Church of the Christian reconquerors, after the fall of the balls due to the earthquake on august 24, 1356.."

  Third state, center, present day. "Bell tower of the Cathedral completed in 1568 the Christian part by the Cordoba architect Fernando Ruiz and other masters, including the 1890 restoration."

 
Sketchup rendering of wooden model of Giralda of Sevilla Seville

  I have designed this pattern with total fidelity to the original monument, adding all possible detail with the only limitation of the wood width to be used. Thus the four sides of the lower section are different. Even the balconies and decoration in a given side are different; all this detail has been represented in the model. To achieve such fidelity I have studied drawings and pictures of the tower, to respect measures, heights, widths and every possible detail.

   This pattern has no special difficulty in its construction, however it is by far the most time consuming and elaborate of all the patterns I have on this site.

   The pattern can be made at any desired height, just by adapting the wood thickness accordingly. If you use 2, 4 (main), 8 and 16 mm wood the height is 123 cm. If you use 1/16, 1/8 (main), 1/4 and 1/2 inches wood (scaling at 80%) the height is then 39 inches. Depending on your choice of wood these are the dimensions of the tower (main thickness in bold): 

  Height Width & depth
1.5, 3, 6 and 12 mm. wood 92 cm. 14,9 cm.
2, 4, 8 and 16 mm. wood 123 cm. 19,8 cm.
2.5, 5, 10 and 20 mm. wood  154 cm. 24,8 cm.
1/16, 1/8, 1/4 and 1/2 in. wood 38,4 in. 6,2 in.
3/32, 3/16, 3/8 and 3/4 in. wood 57,6 in. 9,3 in.

  If using 3 or 4 mm wood or 1/8 in. wood a 16 in. scroll saw is enough. If using 5 mm. or 3/16 in. an 18 in. scroll saw is necessary.

 
Sketchup rendering of scroll saw fretwork pattern of the Giralda in Seville Sevilla Spain Sketchup rendering of scroll saw plans for the wooden model of the Giralda in Sevilla Spain
   This is a detailed picture of the bells section.    This is a detailed picture of the lower section. Observe how the sides are different and even the balconies in a given side are different.
 
Skechup rendering of upper part of wooden model of the Giralda with Giraldillo on top clock section of the Giralda wooden model for scroll saw
  This is the upper part of the tower, showing the ¨Giraldillo¨ on top.   This is a detail of the so called ¨clock section¨. Presently there is no clock here but in old times a large clock used to be there.
 
side balconies and decoration of the Giralda fretwork project

     This is a detail of some balconies and the decoration around them.

  Please note that this pattern is registered and copyrighted. If you would like to have it I offer it for 20 € plus shipping. The pattern is computer made, which provides total precision, and nicely printed for convenient scrolling. Click here to buy this pattern. Write me to info@finescrollsaw.com for any questions.

  These pictures are courtesy of José María Beltrán from Barcelona, Spain.

   
         
   
 
  This picture has been sent by Pedro Domingo from Baza, Granada, Spain.   This picture has been sent by Isaac and Ester Arditi from Israel.  These pictures have been sent by Hugues Tournay from France. 
 
 These pictures have been sent by Angel Revuelta from Sevilla, Spain.

 

 This picture has been sent by Carlos del Cerro Tenorio from Spain.

 This picture has been sent by Mariano Ruíz Sánchez from Toledo, Spain.  These pictures are courtesy of Ken Field from Australia.

 

  This picture has been sent by Francisco Rodríguez from Spain.

 This picture has been sent by De Bruyne Marnix from Belgium.
 
 These pictures have been sent by Carlos from Madrid, Spain. The work has taken him 300 hours of work. The tower has got inner lighting with blue leds. The tower has been completed with special details like brass bells.

 
 This picture has been sent by Francisco Rojas García from Escalona (Toledo), Spain.  This picture has been sent by Jose Antonio Ruiz González from Sevilla, Spain.
 
This picture has been sent by Juan Antonio Barrantes from Barberá del Vallés, Barcelona, Spain. This picture has been sent by Luigi and Andrea Cassani from Italy. These two pictures have been sent from Antonio Valadés Flores from Don Benito, Spain.

This picture has been sent by Antonio Chaves from Sevilla, Spain.

 
This picture has been sent by Jose Luis Gómez from Alcalá de Henares, Spain. This picture has been sent by Diego Herrera Bellido de Jerez de la Frontera, Spain.  This picture has been sent by Santiago Fernandez from Barcelona, Spain.
 
This picture has been sent  by Alejandro Hernandez from Amposta, Tarragona. This picture has been sent by Francisco Domingo Fabre from Barcelona, Spain.  This picture has been sent by Evaristo Lorca from Velez Málaga, Spain.  This picture has been sent by Juán Manuel Gil Rey from Náquera, Valencia, Spain. This picture has been sent  by Juan Chaves from Guadalcanal, Sevilla, Spain.
 
This picture has been sent by Salvador Puig Vidal from Vilassar de Dalt, Barcelona, Spain.  This picture has been sent by Gaetano Lavezzo from Italy.
 
 These pictures have been sent by Jose Antonio Adame Macarro from Seville, Spain. This picture has kindly been sent by Jose Rodrigo from Borriol, Castellón, Spain. This picture has been sent by Sebastiano Foddai from Italy. This picture has been sent by Pedro García Navarro from Alcazar de San Juan, Spain.

 

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