Cordoba’s Mysterious Cathedral -Mosque

One of the main attractions in Cordoba as well as the whole of Spain’s Andalusia region is its Moorish architecture.

Fascinating decor in the castles, cathedrals built on former mosque sites, if you love architecture, you’ll be thrilled with your visit to the south of Spain.

Cordoba mosque Cathedral

A few years ago this traveller visited Andalusia but, unfortunately, did not have the opportunity to see the famed Mezquita (Cathedral-Mosque), which, needless to say, left her terribly disappointed…

Fast forward, a few years later last month, a short 1.5h drive from Seville, finally brought this eager visitor to Cordoba, a city that boasts Roman roots and significant Medieval Islamic history, as well as world-famous architectural gem Cathedral – Mosque, also known as ‘Mezquita’.

Cordoba Mosque Cathedral

Cordoba Mosque Cathedral Wall

Cordoba’s Cathedral-Mosque or Mezquita attacks the visitor’s senses without warning – as the visitor enters the cathedral, she feels she’s entered a mosque, with a forest of columns in the enormous prayer hall…

Cordoba Mosque Cathedral Column forest

…but when a minute later she lifts up her head, she’s confronted with picturesque Catholic frescoes adorning the ceiling…

Cordoba mosque Cathedral Catholic ceiling

And on another turn, her eye suddenly catches the luxurious Moorish décor seen through the Renaissance (or is it Baroque?) arch, supported by Roman pillars.

Cordoba Mosque Cathedral arches

Now she turns her head again, and suddenly – a Crucifix hanging under Islamic arches…

Cordoba Mosque Cathedral Crucifix

Gawking at the luxurious Byzantine-style décor in the mihrab the visitor forgets she is in a Cathedral…

Cordoba Mosque Cathedral Byzantine

Cordoba Mosque Cathedral Byzantine Dome

…but when she turns around she is stunned to enter a 17th-century nave, right in the centre of the Cathedral-Mosque.

Suddenly, she gets engulfed in the Baroque Catholic world, its smells, sights, and sounds.

Cordoba Cathedral mosque

Cordoba Cathedral Mosque

Visiting Cordoba’s Mezquita is like meeting the Romans, the Visigoths, the Christians, the Muslims, the Catholics all at once with their stories ringing in the visitor’s ears, demanding attention.

Cordoba Cathedral Mosque Dome

Cordoba Cathedral Mosque

… out of the hushed and somewhat dark atmosphere, a sound of Ave Maria travels through the ornate arches of history and lures the visitor into the corner in front of the Royal Chapel…

…a visiting boy’s choir stopped for a moment to lend their voices to this other-worldly place.

Cordoba Mosque Cathedral

The song is over and so is the visit…

The world outside seems surreal, or is it the world inside that’s surreal..?

Back at home, this visitor is disappointed…

.. she didn’t take enough pictures…

Visit Cordoba, enjoy your life!

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