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Cordoba Mosque Cathedral

Where can you find a minbar and a mihrab, a chorus and a cross, all at one place? Maybe only in Cordoba Mosque. The Cordoba Mosque, built at the peak of the Muslim Iberia in tenth century, during the 1st Abd al-Rahman dynasty, was a symbol of Cordoba, which, at that time, after Baghdad and Cairo it was the most advanced city in terms of education, multiculturalism, civilisation. When in the fifteenth century the Iberian peninsula was again the land of the Catholic Kings after ‘reconquista’, it was not the queen Catholic Isabel to permit to build a cathedral inside the mosque, but her grandson Carlos the Fifth who ordered the construction of a cathedral. As the story tells a bishop visiting the cathedral said ‘You built something which you could have built anywhere in the world and ruined what was unique to this place’.

The Mosque Cathedral was built on the same place a Visigoth church was; its construction lasted about ten years and one can find similarities to the Grand Mosque in Damascus, which is normal when we think of the origins of the founders of Al Andalus. The mosque stands still in its magnificence: as you enter the courtyard full of orange trees surrounded by several doors, each unique on its own, you go inside a ‘forest of palm trees’. The marble columns carrying the red and white arches that stand one after another (there are nearly thousand of them) give you a feeling of eternity and serenity. The mihrab deserves to look at for minutes to watch all the details: the verses written in gold colour on dark blue, the horseshoe shaped design, the abstract motifs of the Islamic architecture all deserve attention. The cathedral inside the same mosque is right in the middle with its jet black chorus.

The Mosque of Cordoba at the edge of the Gualdalquivir river and the old town of Cordoba around it are today a Unesco World Heritage. Stroll around its streets with lots of interesting points of visit, some of them are the Andalus House and the Sefarad Museum as we tell in our previous story.

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