Córdoba was once the centre of the medieval Caliphate of Córdoba and capital of the western Islamic Empire. It reached its peak in the 10th century when it rivalled Baghdad and Constantinople as one of the great cities of the World. Its greatest surviving monument to the city's magnificent past is its Grand Mosque - the Mezquita.
|Córdoba - Calle Torrijos|
Mezquita-Catedral de Córdoba
|Córdoba Mezquita © Robert Bovington|
|Mezquita - one of the|
The interior of the mosque is spectacular - a forest of pillars and arches. 856 of the granite, jasper and marble columns remain - some were removed to make way for the Christian parts of the building. Horseshoe-shaped arches consisting of alternating red brick and white stone were placed above the lower pillars, which has given the Mezquita its distinctive character.
|Torre del Alminar|
The minaret of the mosque is no longer visible. It is enveloped in a Baroque bell tower - the Torre del Alminar.
Finally, there is the Cathedral. Charles V later regretted the decision to build it within the Mezquita and many people since have agreed that its construction has devalued the mosque's simple beauty. I disagree. In my humble opinion, the Christian elements blend harmoniously with the architecture of the mosque.
|Mezquita Cathedral Choir|
Anything this special ought to be afforded special protection and it is - UNESCO has declared the Mezquita a World Heritage site.
|Córdoba - Alcázar Gardens|
|Paseo de la Victoria|
|Córdoba - Plaza Tendillas|