La Mezquita de Cordoba is a testimony to the Moorish rule that lasted for over 800 years in Spain, starting from 711 to 1492.\n
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La Mezquita de Cordoba is a testimony to the Moorish rule that lasted for over 800 years in
Spain, starting from 711 to 1492. Along with the Alhambra Palace, it is one of the most popular
tourist attractions in Spain. Here’s a little history about the site:
• How Did It All Start?
Although Cordoba’s history predates the Roman invasion of 206 BC, it was they who built a
temple dedicated to Janus, the god of gates and doors. The temple was later converted into a
church by the Visigoths who ruled Cordoba during the 6th century. The Saint Vincent church
was then divided into two to allow the Muslims and Christians to pray. Abd al-Rahman, the
ruling Moorish king, bought the church to build a mosque like no other in the world. Later,
when the Christian monarchs took over the reign, the mosque was again converted into a
• Why Is It Special?
Although Mezquita de Cordoba was built during the rule of Abd al-Rahman, the building was
expanded over a period of 200 years. It is one of the largest mosques in the world. The architects
of the time used a two-tier construction style to raise the ceiling and create a sense of openness.
They used some of the arches from the ruins of the Roman temple for this purpose. Unlike other
Mosques, La Mezquita de Cordoba does not face the Mecca; only the Mihrab does. The Mihrab
is the most striking feature of the mosque and was built by Al-Hakim II. Apparently, 1600
kilograms of gold was used to create the flower motifs and Quran inscriptions on the Mihrab. He
wanted the mosque to be grander than the one at Damascus.
• Why Was It Significant?
Abd al-Rahman wanted the mosque to be a symbol of his unequivocal power and a message to
his enemies about his domination of Andalusia. He also wanted to send a subtle warning to the
Christian community within his kingdom about his influence. It was from here that the king or
his minister delivered his sermon after prayers. Thus, the building served as a political as well as
a religious symbol.
Resource Box: The Author loves to write about Spanish culture and the influence of Islamic
architecture, perhaps best reflected in the Mezquita de Cordoba.