Posts Tagged ‘Umayyad mosque’

La Mezquita Catedral, Cordoba

For the final post of my Alhambra photo-series we  move from Granada to Cordoba and La Mezquita Catedral.  Built on a site that was first a pagan temple then a Visigothic Christian church, the Umayyad mosque is regarded as one of the finest monuments of Islamic architecture.

After the Spanish Reconquista the building was converted into a Roman Catholic church.  A cathedral building was built in the centre of the Islamic structure and this forms the source the anger mentioned in my first post of the series; I appreciate that one religion will always seek to erase or absorb the symbols and structures of another, hence the Islamic building being built on a former pagan and then Christian site.  But to see the garish monstrosity of the Roman Catholic cathedral within the surroundings of the former mosque was to my mind appalling and nothing short of an act of vandalism.  The minaret that once existed has also been replaced by a bell-tower which again sits somewhat jarringly within the context of the Islamic architectural surroundings.

Inside La Mesquita courtyard

The archways were bricked in after the Spanish Reconquista; they once would have been completely open allowing light to flood in to the interior of the structure and worshipers to move freely between the courtyard and the prayer hall.

Christian bell-tower at La Mezquita

One of the doorways on the perimeter of La Mezquita

Hypostyle hall in La Mezquita

Detail of the rich decoration surrounding the mihrab of La Mezquita

Highly ornate dome of the mihrab in La Mezquita

Islamic tile work in La Mezquita

Courtyard in the Jewish quarter of Cordoba

Pool and fountain in the Jewish quarter of Cordoba

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