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Mosque of Cordoba, Spain





Fast Facts

  • Location: In the Andalusian city of Cordoba in Spain.
  • Time to Visit: May
  • Preferred Timing: 10.00 a.m. to 06.30 p.m.
  • Opening Hours Monday through Saturday: 10.00 a.m. to 06.30 p.m.
    Sunday & Other Holidays: 09.00 a.m. to 10.15 a.m. AND 02.00 p.m. to 07.00 p.m.
    Sunday Services: 11 a.m. 12 noon, 1 p.m.
  • How to reach:
    Air:
    In order to reach Cordoba, you can fly down to any of the three airports viz. Seville Airport (SVQ), also known as San Pablo Airport, Mí¡laga Airport (AGP), and Madrid-Barajas International Airport (MAD). Though Seville Airport is the nearest, on the other hand you will find flights to several major destinations throughout the world from Madrid Airport. You can reach Cordoba from there by AVE trains.
    Train:
    High speed AVE trains leave Madrid and Seville for Cordoba every hour. It takes only 1 hour 45 minutes to reach Cordoba from Madrid and only 45 minutes from Seville. AVE trains are very fast, but expensive at the same time. Less expensive trains are available from Malaga. You have another cheap option from Seville in the form of Andalucia Express.
    Bus:
    Buses are available from almost all the cities in Andalucia to Cordoba. You can also find around 6 buses daily from Estación Sur bus station in Madrid.
  • Entry Fee: €8.00
  • Nearest Rail Station: Cordoba
  • Nearest airport: Seville Airport (SVQ).

Surprising as it may sound, this is a mosque where Christians pray! Visiting the Great Mosque of Cordoba is like getting a first hand lesson on the history of world religions! In the Roman times, a temple stood here — many of them were incorporated in the grand plan of the Mosque's stupendous interior, which has 1000 odd columns and arches laid out like a Roman aqueduct. In early 8th century AD, it was transformed into a mosque, the second largest of its kind in the world by the rulers of the Ummayad dynasty, then at its height. The Spanish Reconquest occupied it in the 1200s, and in the 1520s, planted a cathedral bang in the middle of the mosque, turning it into a Roman Catholic cathedral, which it presently is! Luckily though, most of the earlier artifacts were allowed to survive, unlike Seville and Toledo, but some of the columns and arches were replaced by a Baroque basilica. Nowadays, the Great Mosque of Cordoba, symbolically, houses the main church of the episcopate of Cordoba. Located in the Andalusian city of Cordoba, Spain, the Mosque of Cordoba, also known as La Mezquita, is one of the most impressive buildings in the world and is a huge favorite with tourists.

Close to the Mezquita is the Jewish community area known as Judeira. It is one of the oldest neighborhoods of the city, and existed in very much the same way even before the Reconquest. The winding, narrow streets and the white houses present a quaint and old world charm that you simply cannot afford to miss.

Visiting the Mosque of Cordoba

The Mosque of Cordoba is known for its eclectic architectural features, where a number of styles and religious elements of Islam mix with occidental culture. Here, one can find the confluence of different architectural styles of several epochs including Greek-Roman, Egyptian, and Visigothic styles. The mammoth structure of the mosque stretches over 24,000 square meters. The whole structure, a stunning symbol of Moorish architecture, is standing on 856 aesthetically designed columns made of various materials including marble, granite, jasper, and others.

One of the most notable features of Cordoba mosque is the red-and-white colored giant arches on its columns. Towards the north of the mosque area, there is an orange garden — a common feature of all Spanish mosques. The most breathtaking part of the mosque is definitely the opulent mihrab, considered to be among the best in the world. It is covered with meticulously carved gold strips that display writings from sacred Arabic texts in stunning calligraphy. The choir, which dates from the 1520s and the organ are placed right at the center of the mosques. This is really a place where polarities meet!

Related Links :

http://sacred-destinations.blogspot.com/2007/04/april-4-cordoba.html: For an authentic traveler's account of a visit to the Mosque of Cordoba, and to view some lovely photos taken both inside as well as from outside of them mosque, click on this link!


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