Mezquita De Córdoba
The Mosque-Cathedral of Córdoba represents the many cultural changes the city of Córdoba and the areas around it have gone through. It has stood in the center of the city for over a millennium, and it doesn’t look like it will fall anytime soon. It covers over 24,000 square meters (about 250,000 square feet), and is 9 meters tall at its lowest and 30 meters tall at its highest.
The Cathedral of Córdoba is officially called The Cathedral of St. Mary of the Assumption, but it was originally built by the Islamic Moors to be a place of worship for muslims. Historians believe that before the mosque was built, there was a temple to the Roman God Janus on the same site. That ...view middle of the document...
There were 856 columns in total, some of them recycled and some new, but what’s special about them is the tiered red and white striped arches that sprout from them.
The prayer hall and the columns and arches inside it.
The mihrab, which I mentioned before, is the focal point of the prayer hall. Typically a mihrab is used to identify the wall that faces Mecca, which is also the direction muslims pray in. The mihrab in the Mezquita de Córdoba, however, is unusual in that it faces the South, not the Southeast where it should. The mihrab in this mosque is framed by a very large decorated arch, which sits in front of a space the size of a small room. There is calligraphy written in gold leaf all around the mihrab.
The mihrab, arch, and dome
The arch around the dome is called a horse-shoe arch, and it was very common in the architecture of the Visigoths, the people who ruled this area previously. It became more popular and spread across North Africa, and it is now identified as a characteristic of Western Islamic architecture.
Above the mihrab is a very large, very ornate dome. It’s built with crisscrossing ribs to create pointed arches, and covered in gold mosaic. This technique can be seen as a precursor to Gothic rib vaulting.
The floor plan of this mosque was similar to those used in the building of some of the earliest mosques. It was rectangle-shaped with aisles in between each row of columns for prayer.
Cordoba was conquered in 1236 by King Ferdinand III of Castile. The mezquita was converted into a Catholic church, and a following king oversaw the building of 2 chapels within the mosque. Further kings added more Christian features, such as the conversion of one of the minarets to a bell tower.
In the 16th century, Charles V decided to build a large Gothic Chancel and choir in the center of the mosque. However, he had never seen the mosque before, so when he went to see it upon completion he was so regretful that he said: "You have built here what you or anyone might have built anywhere else, but you have destroyed what was unique in the world."
Islamic culture is very aniconic (against the creation of images of sentient living...