Mezquita de Cordoba history is typical for this region of Spain, Andalusia, – many centuries ago the ancient Roman temple located in this place, after – the Visigoths church and in 785 the great mosque – Mezquita appeared in here. It became the second in significance mosque in the whole world, and the hegira to Cordoba has equated to the hajj to Mecca, canonical for every Muslim.
And after that the Christian church was constructed or, to be more exact, built-in right inside the mosque.
Of course Mezquita-Catedral de Córdoba became on of “must see” points of our to-go list. Córdoba had even been emphasized over Sevilla per overnight stays. Arguments? The greater amount of sightseeing.
Irina instructed us (this time I travelled with son) to enter Mezquita right after the opening at 08.30 to escape the touristic groups, which are usually let around 10.00, and feel the sacral atmosphere of the ancient place of worship in seclusion.
What we actually did, but… We entered the inner garden together with 200 other visitors. I’m not sure whether they were the groups or not, but at once they captured the whole mosque, having buried the dreams of silence, seclusion, sacral atmosphere and quietude. 🙂
But still Mezquita lost nothing by that. Moreover it has nothing to lose at all! It is so obscure that even additional hundred of shadows, wandering around the numerous same-like columns with striped arches leave the picture unchanged.
Poor illumination, which barely prevents you from running your forehead against a column, creates the intimate half-light, which can hardly be associated with a forces of light; if anything, it feels like you have just crossed the Styx (a river in Greek mythology that formed the boundary between Earth and the Underworld), returned thanks to old Charon for transfer and entered the kingdom of the dead.
I attempted to shot for you the most vivid fragments of Mezquita. Here they are:
However in the middle of the mosque there is a light full and bright moment – the Christian insertion. The very same about which the King Karl V once told – you’ve built something that could have been built anywhere, but yet, you’ve destroyed something unique in this world.
Your Majesty, with all due respect, the Christian fragment here is the only thing that Mezquita is worth visiting. Please, don’t take me wrong way – the Islam is no worse that the Christianity and vice versa; just from the architectural point of view the Christian part of the temple is executed much more finely than the Islamic one.
Although such a combination of two temples in one is unique; there is no such thing in the whole world, and probably this is the second thing that Mezquita of Cordoba is worth visiting.
“The vast inner garden of Mezquita is planted with the exotic flora”, this is what the guide says. Really?!
These “exotic” plants grow at every turn in Cordoba or in Sevilla, and in general in Andalusia (the most southern region of Spain), – palms, orange trees and cypresses…
Okay, okay, probably the collection of the exotic plants from the different corners of the world was gathered here once upon a time, but these times are long gone, I guess just as the best times of Mezquita itself.
Although its minaret (now – the bell tower) is gorgeous and photogenic, however, just as all towers in the world.
March – October
From 10.00 a.m. to 7.00 p.m. from Monday to Saturday
From 8:30 a.m. to 10.30 p.m. and 2.00 p.m. to 7.00 p.m. Sundays and feast days
November – February
From 10.00 a.m. to 6.00 p.m. from Monday to Saturday
From 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. and 2.00 p.m. to 6.00 p.m. Sundays and feast days
Adults: 8 Euro
10 to 14-year-children: 4 Euro
Below 10 years old: free
From Monday to Saturday, from 8:30 a.m. to 10:00 a.m., it could be possible to visit the Cathedral de Cordoba free, but individually and in silence. In this period of time group visit is not permitted.