Saturday, May 16, 2009

Cordoba - Mezquita and Patios

Cordoba has a long and varied history. The Romans were here. The Moors made it their capital. The Christians re-conquered it. The experienced traveler still marvels at its wonders. In the 10th century, when London and Paris were still dirty little villages, Cordoba had running water, palaces, universities, religious tolerance, and streets lined with gas lamps. It was the capital of the Umayyad dynasty whose greatest remaining work is without a doubt La Mezquita (the mosque). The building has seen a lot of history. It was first a Visigoth church and then in the 8th century it was “converted” (LOL) into a mosque. It had its heyday in the 10-12th centuries and the later in the 13th century it was “converted” back to a Christian church. It is definitely an awesome place even if in the 16th century they built a large renaissance cathedral in the middle of what was a massive forest of pillars and arches. Though, more likely than not being “converted” into a cathedral may have saved the building from the fiery and unforgiving forces of the Spanish Inquisition. No matter what way you look at it, La Mezquita is an impressive building.

Since we are in Cordoba during the Patio Festival the city is very crowded. If you get a chance to visit La Mezquita try going in the early afternoon when all the large groups are eating lunch. The place is big enough to hold thousands of people, but it is oh so sweet when you get lost in the forest of columns and arches and have to stay there in the sweet coolness and think about the glories of ages past.

La Mezquita - Cordoba

La Mezquita - There is nothing quite like it in the world

La Mezquita - Cordoba

The Choir in the Cathedral/Mezquita - Cordoba

La Mezquita - Cordoba

The Cathedral that was built in the middle of the Mosque

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