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 Essential Architecture-  Cordoba

Great Mosque (La Mezquita)

architect

 

location

Cordoba

date

870-975

style

Moorish

construction

stone

type

Church Mosque
 
 Aerial view
 
 Portal on eastern facade, 10th c. and Interior of phase I
 
 Plan of the present building and Plan of first three phases, 870-975
 
 
 
 
 Ribbed dome, 975 and Mihrab dome, 975
 
 
 
 
   
 46. Cordoba, Great Mosque (La Mezquita), Plan of first three phases, 870-975
47. Cordoba, Great Mosque, Plan of the present building
48. Cordoba, Great Mosque, Aerial view
49. Cordoba, Great Mosque, Portal on eastern facade, 10th c.
50. Cordoba, Great Mosque, Interior of phase I
51. Cordoba, Great Mosque, Interior of phase III, 975
52. Cordoba, Great Mosque, Phase III, Ribbed dome, 975
53. Cordoba, Great Mosque, Phase III, Mihrab dome, 975
54. Cordoba, Great Mosque, Phase III, Mihrab, 975


55. Cordoba, Ivory pyxis of al-Mughira, 968
56. Cordoba, Ivory pyxis of al-Mughira, detail of cartouche
57. Cordoba, Ivory Casket in Pamplona, 1004-05
58. Cordoba, Ivory Casket, detail of lid
  
  

When the Mosque was converted to a Cathedral almost all the outer doors were sealed. During Moorish times, the many open doors of the Mosque let in light which made it brighter and one would imagine a more welcoming place than it is today.

The Mezquita is a large structure, taking up a good city block.



A section of the Cathedral and its elaborate ceiling



It is almost impossible to portray this masterpiece of architecture appropriately in photographs. The repeating arches and soaring ceiling are balanced by exquisite detail decorations Inside the Mezquita are row after row of arches and pillars. Marble was required for the Mosque's construction. Many of the pillars in the Mezquita were pilfered from earlier Roman buildings. If the pillar was too long, it was sunk into the ground and reshaped to fit in with the other columns.



All around the perimeter of the Mezquita are chapels each dedicated to a Saint.



The entrance to the "mihrab" (Islamic prayer room) is adorned with Byzantine mosaics and bordered by Koran inscriptions done in gold.







Elaborate arches.
When the Mosque was converted into a Cathedral a third of the pillars were removed for a court yard. In the center of what is left of the mosque, the arches were reworked and the ceiling raised. the Mezquita is Open:

Monday-Sat.. 10:00 to 17:30, Sunday 14:00 to 17:30 (until 19:00 in summer). you can get in at 9:00 as mass goes on. It is 750 pesetas to enter.
Enter the Mezquita through the court yard.

links

With thanks to http://www.travelinginspain.com
www.essential-architecture.com