Córdoba: Mosques and Flower Pots
Trip Start May 15, 2008
60Trip End Jul 24, 2008
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Cordoba, a much smaller city than Sevilla, is most famous for its Cathedral, which was the old mosque of the city. Instead of almost completely destroying the Muslim mosque as they did to build the Cathedral in Sevilla, those who reconquered Cordoba converted the space to a church without significantly changing the huge structure. Centuries later, however, a Christian altar and shrine were built in the middle of the structure, destroying part of it. For the most part, it is still intact and one of the best preserved mosques in Spain.
Right when entering the city, the Moorish architecture of the mosque startles the visitor. Its minaret, converted to a bell tower by the Christians similar to the Giralda in Sevilla, stands prominent as do the huge outer walls of the mosque. Upon entering the complex, there is a patio full of orange trees. Once one enters the mosque, the sheer size is overwhelming, as is the monotony. Hundreds of red-and-white striped horseshoe arches support the massive building, their columns stretching down into the interior. Interestingly enough, the Mores used old Roman column capitals on their columns for construction, so there is a Roman element to the building as well, which is pretty obvious when one looks closely. On one wall of the building, original Muslim rooms that housed the Koran remain. Also, in the back there is a small chapel built by the Christians but mimicking the architectural style of the original mosque - only instead of geometrical patterns, scenes from the Bible are painted onto the arches and columns. Unfortunately, the light isn't good in there and most pictures don't come out very well.
In the early afternoon, we headed back to Sevilla. On the slightly less than two-hour drive, there are beautiful fields of sunflowers covering the landscape. Just lovely.