The Great Mosque, Cordoba Reviews
To be seen as often as possible Dec 17, 1989
I have been to this building four times and would gladly go four hundred more. The sense of delightful shock on entering was as great the fourth time as the first. The first times I went free, early in the day, when it's open for prayer in the Christian cathedral that was built inside the mosque following the reconquista. This was not out of miserliness but happened to fit my schedule. I don't do prayer myself.
One thing that is a bit strange is the low light. I assume it is necessary for preservation of the gorgeous colours but it seems odd that the arches from the mezquita into the Patio of Oranges should be filled in, when their purpose was to give light.
I could not bring myself to look at the renaissance cathedral until my fourth visit. It felt to me architectural vandalism that it should be there at all. having looked at it now, I admit that it is striking in its own right - though I still wish it were not there!
Having gone on about the cathedral I hsould say that the mosque is so much bigger that it is often possible to forget that it is there at all. The mosque was a five-aisled building and its arches have been seen in photos by most people interested in the Moorish era of Spanish history.
The first time I went there was a party of what I assume were official visitors from the far east. A priest turned on the lights in the Mihrab for them - giving a piece of architectural splendour that I shall never forget.
Part of the Andalucía 1989 travel blog
Part of the list Splendid Spanish Spots
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