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Cordoba - Spain

Bell Tower, Mezquita, Cordoba Mezquita, CordobaPrayer Niche, Mezquita, CordobaDoorway, Mezquita, Cordoba

Cordoba in Andalucia has changed hands many time over its history.  Once a provincial Roman capital, Cordoba became the Islamic capital of the Spanish peninsular following the Muslim invasion of Spain in the 8th Century.  At the peak of its power, Cordoba was the most spendid city in Europe and still has one of the most impressive of all Islamic buildings – the Mezquita (Mosque).

Once a Visigoth church, the Mezquita was turned into a mosque and enlarged over many centuries by subsequent caliphates.  The Mezquita was then used as a church after the reconquest before a cathedral was built right in the middle.  The red and white columns and arches are stunning, opening out a vast interior space.  Other Islamic architecture still remains in places – the prayer niche is elaborately carved as are the many windows in geometric patterns.  Outside the Mezquita is a peaceful orange garden, overlooked by the bell tower.

Much of the rest of the old quarter of Cordoba is a maze of narrow streets and alleyways.  The outside gateways to the Mezquita are stunning too, with intricate carvings.

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