Cordoba, Andalusia, Spain
A forest of more than 850 columns of granite, jasper and marble with tiered arches are the first astounding sight of the interior of the Mosque-Cathedral of Córdoba. The original mosque was built around 785 and became famous at that time for the innovation of two tiers of arches to add height and spaciousness. The building evolved over the centuries with many beautiful and lavish additions such as an elaborate mihrah (prayer niche) and gorgeous ceilings. With the Christian reconquest in the 13th century, columns in the center were removed and a Cathedral created.
The interior is an amazing sight with the odd mix of a Catholic Cathedral inharmoniously combined with a Mosque. The insertion of the Cathedral was done with the permission of Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor and King of Spain. The story goes that he was not pleased with the result and famously said “You have destroyed something unique to build something you can find in any city.” Well, it is still unique and quite a place you can spend hours in.
Our original plan had us going directly from Seville to Madrid, but we made yet another change to our train tickets to stop a couple of nights in Cordoba and see this extraordinary Mosque-Cathedral.