For more than 500 years, Seville was ruled by Muslim caliphs and emirs. Since 1248, it has been ruled by Catholic kings. The intersection of those two eras and cultures can be seen most clearly in the center of Seville. The city’s massive cathedral, the third-largest Catholic church in the world, is built on the site of a former mosque. The minaret of the mosque is now the cathedral’s belltower, the famous Giralda, symbol of Seville. Next to the cathedral sits a beautiful Moorish-style palace, the Alcazar, built by Muslim rulers in the 1100s. Catholic rulers expanded the Alcazar, and it remains a residence of Spain’s royal family to this day, making it the oldest palace in Europe still in use.