The Mezquita was built from a visigothic basilica from the 5th century, reusing its materials, and is one of the few surviving Spanish rural mosques.

It is an oddly-shaped building, made of brick and stone in a trapezoid shape, probably because of the hilly terrain. The oration room has 5 naves, whose arches, like in the Mezquita in Cordoba, are perpendicular to Qibla. The central nave is wider than the 2 nearby, which are in turn wider than the 2 outer naves. The Mihrab has lost its paint, and looks quite archaic; only the brick and stone is visible. In the oration room, 16 undated tombs were found.

When Spain became Christian, many changes were made, including the addition of a central axis in accordance with the new religion. The old door and the North flank were also reconstructed. Despite these changes, the whole building still retains a rustic charm.

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Founded: 9th century AD
Category: Religious sites in Spain

More Information

en.wikipedia.org

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4.8/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Simone S (2 years ago)
This is such a fantastic place! Incredibly well preserved, this is a unique example of a 1 thousand years old mosque in this area! Certainly worth a visit!!!
L G (3 years ago)
Beautiful place but unfortunately closed for a month or more from July
Lory DePaor (3 years ago)
July 2018. Place closed for essential work on roof therefore only able to see around the outside. Supposedly finished in August 2018.
labete44 . (4 years ago)
A really enchanted place
M Strogen (6 years ago)
Wonderful mystical place!
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Mosque–Cathedral of Córdoba

The Mosque–Cathedral of Córdoba, also known as the Great Mosque of Córdoba and the Mezquita is regarded as one of the most accomplished monuments of Moorish architecture.

According to a traditional account, a small Visigoth church, the Catholic Basilica of Saint Vincent of Lérins, originally stood on the site. In 784 Abd al-Rahman I ordered construction of the Great Mosque, which was considerably expanded by later Muslim rulers. The mosque underwent numerous subsequent changes: Abd al-Rahman II ordered a new minaret, while in 961 Al-Hakam II enlarged the building and enriched the Mihrab. The last of such reforms was carried out by Almanzor in 987. It was connected to the Caliph"s palace by a raised walkway, mosques within the palaces being the tradition for previous Islamic rulers – as well as Christian Kings who built their palaces adjacent to churches. The Mezquita reached its current dimensions in 987 with the completion of the outer naves and courtyard.

In 1236, Córdoba was conquered by King Ferdinand III of Castile, and the centre of the mosque was converted into a Catholic cathedral. Alfonso X oversaw the construction of the Villaviciosa Chapel and the Royal Chapel within the mosque. The kings who followed added further Christian features, such as King Henry II rebuilding the chapel in the 14th century. The minaret of the mosque was also converted to the bell tower of the cathedral. It was adorned with Santiago de Compostela"s captured cathedral bells. Following a windstorm in 1589, the former minaret was further reinforced by encasing it within a new structure.

The most significant alteration was the building of a Renaissance cathedral nave in the middle of the expansive structure. The insertion was constructed by permission of Charles V, king of Castile and Aragon. Artisans and architects continued to add to the existing structure until the late 18th century.

Architecture

The building"s floor plan is seen to be parallel to some of the earliest mosques built from the very beginning of Islam. It had a rectangular prayer hall with aisles arranged perpendicular to the qibla, the direction towards which Muslims pray. The prayer hall was large and flat, with timber ceilings held up by arches of horseshoe-like appearance.

In planning the mosque, the architects incorporated a number of Roman columns with choice capitals. Some of the columns were already in the Gothic structure; others were sent from various regions of Iberia as presents from the governors of provinces. Ivory, jasper, porphyry, gold, silver, copper, and brass were used in the decorations. Marvellous mosaics and azulejos were designed. Later, the immense temple embodied all the styles of Morisco architecture into one composition.

The building is most notable for its arcaded hypostyle hall, with 856 columns of jasper, onyx, marble, granite and porphyry. These were made from pieces of the Roman temple that had occupied the site previously, as well as other Roman buildings, such as the Mérida amphitheatre. The double arches were an innovation, permitting higher ceilings than would otherwise be possible with relatively low columns. The double arches consist of a lower horseshoe arch and an upper semi-circular arch.