Saturday, March 31, 2012

La mezquita – Catedral de Cordoba

As I mentioned in the post on Cordoba, the city was known for tolerance and respect, with Jews, Christians and Muslims living side by side. And that the Mezquita is evidence of that. Originally a mosque (the third biggest in the world), now a cathedral. In 1236 at the reconquista, they decided to build the Christian cathedral inside the mosque instead of tearing it down, appreciating what a great piece of architecture it was.

The building of the mosque started in year 785 and it was considered the most important sanctuary of Western Islam when Cordoba was the capital of Al-Andalus. It was inspired by the Mosque of Damascus with the traditional distribution of sahn (courtyard) and zullah (hall of prayer).

Here, the sahn, a peaceful oasis filled with orange trees and water fountains:

And a sneak peak to the zullah:

Apparently there is quite a strong Hispanic-Roman influence to the construction, not only from the materials used, but also the overlapping arches and the alternating brick and stone (red and beige) in the cross section of the arches that were modeled on the Hispanic-roman tradition. There is a total of 1300 arches. 

Apart from the beige/red arches, there are so many beautiful details. Here, the entrance to the Mihrab: 

Some other more adorned arches...

Then came 1236 and King Ferdinand III reconquered Cordoba. The reforms of the Cathedral were motivated by the need to restore the cult that had been interrupted by Islamic domination.

So, in the middle of the mosque, the cathedral was constructed. It was a very strange feeling, having walked through all those arches, to step into the cathedral, which is SO beautiful and so different. 

It really feels a little surrealistic that these two are under the same roof. Both so magnificent, yet so different.
A must see cultural attraction when visiting Cordoba!


  1. How different the weather between these photos and your most reason one. But both sets so beautiful and breathtaking in their own ways...

  2. Hello! Awasome pics! Last month I went to Andalucía and I loved it. I went to Granada and Sevilla but I couldn´t go to Cordoba. Next time! I follow you!

    1. Hi Angélica and welcome here! I also went to Granada, and will go to Sevilla later. My Granada posts are coming up :)