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       Cordoba's Mezquita

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Nestled along the banks of the Guadalquivir River, Cordoba has a number of historic treasures.  None, however, match the grandeur of the Mezquita de Córdoba (the Mosque of Cordoba).  Dating from the 8th century, the Mosque was constructed by Abd al-Rahman and added to by his relatives over time.  The Mezquita is stunning, attractive and enigmatic. 

 

Looking from the entrance across the Orange Tree Courtyard to the Mosque/Cathedral

Looking through this beautiful archway and across the Orange Tree Courtyard, you can see the Cathedral climbing above the roofline of the Mosque

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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There are many outstanding features in the Mezquita, but it is renowned for its extensive grid  of  columns capped with eye-catching  brick-striped arches.

When Spain was reconquered by Christians during the thirteenth century, the mosque was used for Catholic services.  In the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries  the Santa Maria Mayor Cathedral, a tall, Baroque affair, was built inside the Mezquita.  It is this concept and conflict of a church within a  Mosque in Cordoba and a Mosque within a church (Hagia Sophia) in Istanbul that sets the scene for Stephen O' Shea's interesting book "Sea of Faith", in which the author discusses Islam and Christianity in the medieval Mediterranean world.

 

Granada was the seat of the Umayyad Caliphate  in the western Mediterranean and the city  was regarded as the most beautiful and cultured in Europe. During the Caliphate's existence,  Granada housed several hundred mosques.  None were as great or as beautiful as the Mezquita.  It should not be missed.

Below is one of the original gates leading to the Mezquita.    The building's elegant architecture and great beauty make Granada's Mezquita one of the most popular attractions in Spain.

  Ornate  entrance to the Mezquita in Cordoba, Spain

 

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