Córdoba - the Mezquita
The Mosque Cathedral of Córdoba
The Mezquita was one of the highlights of the trip. It is one of the oldest structures from the Al-Andalus period, the first mosque was built in the 8th C on a site probably previously occupied by a Visgothic Cathedral. Expansion over the following 300 years made it probably the largest mosque in Europe. Many of the columns were of Roman origin, removed from local ruins. They were not uniform in length, excessive length was buried and the distinctive double arches were devised to regularise the structure.
In the 14th C a Christian Royal Chapel was inserted into the structure and in the 16th C a Gothic nave was inserted. These later insertions interrupted the wonderful open vistas of the original prayer hall.
All mosques have this feature, it shows the direction of Mecca.
The bell tower, based on the mosque's minaret.
The Mezquita from the Torre de la Calahorra.
We went there at 8.30. From then to 9.15 admission was free and it was not too busy.
(Check times, Córdoba is notorious for the frequent changes to opening times. Our hotel gave us a comprehensive summary for all major attractions).