The mosque turned cathedral

Cordoba Travel Blog

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Calle de las Flores
The Mezquita, which was a mosque before it had a cathedral built in the middle, had also been an earlier church from the Visigoth origin. The Cordoba tourist information brochure took great pain to emphasis that, and also that the Cathedral inside is a live cathedral, not just a tourist destination.  Cordoba was the capital of Al-Andalus of the Islam world from about the 8th century. Inspired by the Mosque of Damascus, the mosque, they built it with recycled materials from the old Visigoth church as well as Roman ruins. The courtyard and the prayer hall had been expanded several times to its current size. See the picture of the mosque showing the expansions. The original mosque was the yellow part, as we entered the Mezquita, this is the part we saw first.
plan of the Mezquita, the green part is the outdoor Orange Tree Courtyard. The Yellow part is the original mosque, orange part the next expansion, Dark orange part about another expansion, and the red at left is the last expansion.
Because there were so many double arches, most of the interior was not visible at once. We explored the space, admired the arches, looked down in every direction into seeming infinite number of more arches and columns. Tucked away chapels, and one of the main feature of the old mosque, the mihrab. It was a small room with its own very impressive domed ceiling, because it's in such a big mosque. It is also easy to get lost and disoriented inside, there are something like 850 columns in there, and you can almost pretend it's still just a huge mosque from more than 1000 years ago. When we made our way into the cathedral in the center, it is amazing to see the transformation of the mosque into the cathedral! The Christians preserved the mosque for the most part and were still able to make a truly impressive and beautiful cathedral in the middle of the mosque! When in the cathedral part, you can easily forget that you are in the middle of a huge mosque! It is really an incredible place.
with so much history and beauty, and the integration of religions, No matter what, the Christians must be applauded for not destroying the mosque, but preserving most of it and integrating it into the current state it is now. If they allowed muslims to come pray, I wonder if they would come. In the treasury, there was the enormous silver monstrance that is still being paraded in the streets every year at Corpus Christi. A very large ivory crucifix was on display in the treasury, it has a very human and lifelike Christ. There is also a museum showing off the stonemason's signatures and markings. The columns are marked with the signatures of the stonemasons, and it's kind of fun to see if you can find the marking on some of the columns nearby. We easily spent 2 hours inside the Mezquita!
Then we went to find the Calle de las Flores again, the signature view of Cordoba with the flower pots on the wall and the bell tower of the Mezquita in the background! Still there were a lot of people there crowding the possibly most photographed spot in Cordoba!
We went back to the hotel by 7pm to rest and went back out to dinner at the restaurant El Churrasco which is just down the street from the hotel (they have the same name!) It is a very fancy restaurant, and the food is excellent! We really enjoyed the dinner, and the dessert cheesecake was out of this world!
After dinner, we walked around the Mezquita, and across the Roman Bridge to the other side for a view of the Mezquita at night.
A unique looking Madonna and baby Christ in the San Baslio area
We went back to the hotel around midnight to finish off a very nice day in Cordoba.

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Calle de las Flores
Calle de las Flores
plan of the Mezquita, the green pa…
plan of the Mezquita, the green p…
A unique looking Madonna and baby …
A unique looking Madonna and baby…
The patios of Cordoba have their s…
The patios of Cordoba have their …
In the Casa de Sefarad, a cultural…
In the Casa de Sefarad, a cultura…
famous Jewish women in the Casa de…
famous Jewish women in the Casa d…
beautiful formal Jewish garment wi…
beautiful formal Jewish garment w…
peaceful courtyard in the Casa de …
peaceful courtyard in the Casa de…
a flower petal covered fountain in…
a flower petal covered fountain i…
Roman mosaic ruins in the basement…
Roman mosaic ruins in the basemen…
old tiles
old tiles
in the back of the Casa de Sefarad
in the back of the Casa de Sefarad
a beautiful door on the street of …
a beautiful door on the street of…
outdoor dining near one of the cit…
outdoor dining near one of the ci…
narrow streets in old Cordoba
narrow streets in old Cordoba
and the horse carriages (they want…
and the horse carriages (they wan…
narrow streets in old Cordoba
narrow streets in old Cordoba
old Roman ruins in Cordoba
old Roman ruins in Cordoba
old Roman ruins in Cordoba
old Roman ruins in Cordoba
old Roman ruins in Cordoba
old Roman ruins in Cordoba
sangria
sangria
fried octopus
fried octopus
at the outdoor table near the ice …
at the outdoor table near the ice…
a patio
a patio
another patio
another patio
a shrine on the wall of the exteri…
a shrine on the wall of the exter…
flower pots near the Calle de las …
flower pots near the Calle de las…
flower pots near the Calle de las …
flower pots near the Calle de las…
flower pots near the Calle de las …
flower pots near the Calle de las…
the shrine was near the Calle de l…
the shrine was near the Calle de …
the entrance to the Mezquita
the entrance to the Mezquita
In the Mezquita, plain wood panels…
In the Mezquita, plain wood panel…
In the Mezquita
In the Mezquita
In the Mezquita
In the Mezquita
In the Mezquita, dazzling double a…
In the Mezquita, dazzling double …
In the Mezquita
In the Mezquita
In the Mezquita, large interior, d…
In the Mezquita, large interior, …
In the Mezquita
In the Mezquita
In the Mezquita, there are suppose…
In the Mezquita, there are suppos…
old wooden painted ceiling panels …
old wooden painted ceiling panels…
In the Mezquita, there is a cathed…
In the Mezquita, there is a cathe…
In the Mezquita, what an amazing s…
In the Mezquita, what an amazing …
In the Mezquita, ceiling of the ch…
In the Mezquita, ceiling of the c…
In the Mezquita, the Mihrab ceilin…
In the Mezquita, the Mihrab ceili…
In the Mezquita
In the Mezquita
In the Mezquita, the Mihrab, the d…
In the Mezquita, the Mihrab, the …
In the Mezquita, floor of Villavic…
In the Mezquita, floor of Villavi…
In the Mezquita, The floor of the …
In the Mezquita, The floor of the…
in the treasury
in the treasury
in the treasury, a huge silver mon…
in the treasury, a huge silver mo…
in the treasury, this silver monst…
in the treasury, this silver mons…
in the treasury, ivory carving of …
in the treasury, ivory carving of…
in the treasury, ivory crucifix
in the treasury, ivory crucifix
stonemason marks on the columns
stonemason marks on the columns
a light-filled section of the Mezq…
a light-filled section of the Mez…
domed ceiling above the cathedral,…
domed ceiling above the cathedral…
fanciful creatures holding a baby …
fanciful creatures holding a baby…
a clown? a family crest?
a clown? a family crest?
the higher part of the high altar …
the higher part of the high altar…
high altar
high altar
the high altar of the cathedral in…
the high altar of the cathedral i…
the cathedral inside the Mezquita
the cathedral inside the Mezquita
ceiling of the cathedral inside th…
ceiling of the cathedral inside t…
choir inside the Mezquita
choir inside the Mezquita
seats of the choir inside the Mezq…
seats of the choir inside the Mez…
additional seating for the cathedr…
additional seating for the cathed…
In the Mezquita
In the Mezquita
In the Mezquita
In the Mezquita
In the Mezquita
In the Mezquita
In the Mezquita, the amazing arche…
In the Mezquita, the amazing arch…
really old araches
really old araches
reused Roman columns
reused Roman columns
peeking into the Royal Chapel
peeking into the Royal Chapel
Royal Chapel is off limits
Royal Chapel is off limits
tombstone on the ground of the Mez…
tombstone on the ground of the Me…
bell tower
bell tower
huge salad at dinner
huge salad at dinner
huge plate of artichoke hearts, ta…
huge plate of artichoke hearts, t…
in the restaurant of the same name…
in the restaurant of the same nam…
beef stew
beef stew
salted fish, encrusted in salt and…
salted fish, encrusted in salt an…
this is the fish after its been r…
this is the fish after it's been …
oh, this was one of the tastiest c…
oh, this was one of the tastiest …
its a local specialty, very light…
it's a local specialty, very ligh…
Mezquita at night
Mezquita at night
courtyard of the Mezquita at night
courtyard of the Mezquita at night
wall of Mezquita at night
wall of Mezquita at night
Mezquita at night
Mezquita at night
Mezquita at night from across the …
Mezquita at night from across the…
Mezquita at night from across the …
Mezquita at night from across the…
Museum of Al-Andalus life on the o…
Museum of Al-Andalus life on the …
Cordoba
photo by: Pearl510