time in Sevilla was up and our plan was to start moving toward
Madrid for our exit from Spain. A logical choice of paths
was through Cordoba so we could see the Mezquita (Mosque)
there. From Cordoba, our plan was to continue on another 3
hours to Toledo and see the sights there before returning to
Madrid and flying home.
The photos below are what we saw.
an uncharacteristically early start on the day and managed to
leave the hotel by 0930. Traffic was light due to it being
a Spanish holiday, so it allowed us an easy egress from
the city center. Our path took us path this large bridge
over the Guadalquivir River, but sadly the traffic did not allow
us to stop for a better photo; an out the window shot was the
best we could do.
headed out of town on the A-4 autopiste and we passed this
thermal solar plant. Oddly, I see no generating facility
nor did we see any power lines.
cool bridge over one of the local rivers in the Cordoba area.
did an outstanding job of finding us un-challenging parking very
close to the Mezquita. Our path took us through a gate in
the walls of the old city. Note the nice stonework on the
streets. The site of the mosque/cathedral has been passed
between the Christians and Muslims several times.
Construction of the initial church started with the Visigoths in
the mid-6th century. The Muslims came to the Iberian
peninsula in 741 and the structure became a mosque in 786.
In 1146, after the reconquest of the peninsula, the church was
re-dedicated as a Catholic temple and then again in 1236.
arches are part of the old aqueduct that supplied water to the
part of the city had cobblestone streets that were just as
narrow as Sevilla.
thought about visiting the Alcazar of Cordoba, but the lines
were daunting. Around the block, literally. Given
our limited time (and patience) we had to carefully choose our
battles, and the Alcazar lost.
continued on to the Mezquita hoping the lines were
shorter. We did find a line for a cash-only ticket machine
that was only 5 minutes long. Above is one of the outside
walls of the mezquita. The structure has been "touched" by
each of the cultures that occupied the area. It has been
enhanced 5 times since the Visigoths built the original
section of the exterior wall clearly shows the Arabic influence
in the architecture.
fought the crowds and finally got tickets. Inside, our
first view was the ornate ceiling carvings.
the original arches of the mosque are still in place.
inside is huge, with lots of open space. In one of the
displays was this clock works from a local clock tower.
This dates to the 17th century.
renovation and restoration has take taken place, portions of the
original exterior have been preserved.
brass bell was replaced by a bigger model.
inscriptions were saved as well.
the cases had old religious writings, all from the 17th century.
Christians took over, they just put their idolatry inside the
mosque. The juxtaposition is striking.
transcept in the center of the building was quite amazing.
A church within a mosque within a church.
and detailed carvings decorated the ceiling of the transept.
proper Catholic churches have organs, this one has a
particularly large organ.
central portion of the trancept was classic Gothic style.
carvings in the back of the seats were highly detailed and
Cordoba is a very interesting place, surely worthy of several days of exploration. Sadly, we only had a few hours so we had to "skim the cream" off the top. The Mesquita is really an awesome place and has been a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1984. Worth a visit, worth a whole day and if you are in Cordoba, you should see the Alcazar as well. Plan on lines at both sites.
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Photos and Text Copyright Bill Caid 2017, all rights
For your enjoyment only, not for commercial use.