Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Travel Tuesday no.13 // Cordoba

The first city we visited in Southern Spain was Cordoba. Though it is currently a mid-size city, we were told it used to be the capital of an Islamic caliphate and was the most populous city in the world in the 10th century. I was totally unaware of the Islamic culture and influence in Spanish history, so it was really interesting to learn how Cordoba became an important and enlightened city during the Muslim occupation of the Iberian Peninsula. It's definitely a city that is incredibly rich in history. We spent some time walking through the historic centre, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Undoubtedly, the most famous monument in Cordoba is the beautiful Mezquita, the mosque-turned cathedral in the heart of the historic centre. I was really fascinated with the beautiful architecture and history of this place. It was originally built as a mosque during Muslim rule, but following the Christian reconquest of Spain, the mosque was reformed and centuries later, they destroyed a section of the mosque and built a cathedral in the heart of it. Walking inside the building, the architectural shift is jarring. Our guide told us that while some argue that the construction of the cathedral was detrimental as it destroyed such a unique monument (there were originally 1,293 double-arched horseshoe columns but only 856 remain), others thought it may have been what preserved this mosque as it is the only remaining one of its kind in Cordoba (there were over 300 mosques in the city during Muslim rule). It was interesting to consider both perspectives. 

More walking and wandering. I fell in love with beautiful Spanish ceramics here. I wish I had the luggage space to bring them all home. 

We only spent an afternoon in Cordoba, but I'm glad we made the stop to see and learn the rich history of the city. The Mezquita seriously took my breath away. Next stop, Seville! I'll be back next week with lots of photos from the next leg of our trip :) Happy Tuesday! 

1 comment:

  1. Love your pictures. We traveled to Toledo, Spain a few years ago and I was amazed at the blending of religions, cultures and architecture. Just recently we had a very quick trip to Istanbul and the colors, mosques and architecture looks similar to your pics. I only posted a few from Istanbul, but they look similar in feel.