Friday morning Kayla and I departed with our study abroad program for Cordoba and Granada for the weekend! (Both cities in the South of Spain) It took us about 2 hours to get to Cordoba! Here are some pictures of our first glimpse at this small city!
Now, there really is only one large tourist attraction in Cordoba, which is “La Mesquita”, or the Mosque. In order to understand this grand building, you have to understand a bit about Spanish history! Cordoba was one of the three Arab capitals in Spain when the Muslims invaded from North Africa. (The other two capitals were Seville and Granada!)
In the year 785 A.D. the construction of La Mesquita was started on top of the old Christian Church that was previously in Cordoba (San Vincente). As you know, Spain was eventually reconquered by the Catholic Monarchs, including Cordoba. King Ferdinand III defeated the Arabs and reconquered Cordoba in 1236. Instead of destroying the large mosque the Muslims had left behind, Ferdinand believed it to be cheaper and wiser to transform the mosque into a Cathedral! Today, La Mesquita (the mosque) is actually a Cathedral! (But it feels like both on the inside, very unique!) Let me share some pictures so you can see what I mean…
Inside La Mesquita there is a large courtyard where little rivers of water run through it. In all mosques there is a place for people to wash there hands, feet and face before entering!
Similar to the Cathedral in Seville, there is large bell tower attached to the Cathedral/Mosque in Cordoba. This “minoret” was once used by the Arabs to call the city to prayer.
A glass part of the floor to see the old ruins from the Church of San Vincente before the mosque was built over it!
The column and arch pattern goes on forever inside this huge mosque!
As you can see, this doesn’t feel like your average Cathedral! But then you turn a corner and find this!! Ah, that looks much more Catholic!
It’s hard to describe how truly unique (and strange) it is to be walking through endless aisles of columns, arches and red…then stumble upon a crucifix, white ceilings and an Altar, just in the middle of a this ancient mosque!
This huge building can hold 20,000 people inside it. It is absolutely massive!! Although it is no longer an actual mosque, but rather a Cathedral, la mesquita is still a beautiful example of the rich Arab influence in the south of Spain!
If you plan on visiting Cordoba, you really only need a day! It is a very small city, but worth the stop on the way to Granada!
Adios Cordoba! Stay tuned for some posts on my trip to Granada and my visit to Alhambra! xoxo