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After our enjoyable walk into the centre of the old town of Cordoba we reached the Cathedral that houses the Mezquita de Cordoba (Grand Mosque).
The cathedral originally was a Catholic Christian basilica built in the 6th century. When Muslim Arabs conquered Spain in 711, the church was divided into Muslim and Christian halves until 784, when the Christian half was purchased by the Caliph and then the entire church was demolished (a section of the original floor can be seen under perspex today). The grand mosque of Cordoba was built on its ground. After the Reconquista, it was converted to a Roman Catholic church, which still stands and a nave was constructed.
I felt a bit self conscious wandering around the mosque in summer clothes among Muslims from around the world who wandered around the mosque gazing with wonder at the amazing architecture and wore hijabs and concealing clothes.
The Mezquita is definitely worth visiting. It’s simply enormous and over an hour can easily be spent wandering around and enjoying looking at the different styles of architecture and ornamentation. The red and white striped arches are incredible to behold. The mosque was built by the Umayyad prince who fled Syria and eventually arrived in the South of Spain via North Africa. Apparently the striped poles of the arches were designed to resemble the palm trees in the oases of Syria.
It’s fascinating to see the Christian over printing that has been done on the mosque and I’m very grateful that the Christians didn’t simply demolish the mosque and start over.
The Mihrab of the Mezquita de Cordoba is very famous and it is one of the most exquisite structures that I have seen anywhere in the world.
I’m definitely glad that we added Cordoba to our itinerary!