Mosque de Córdoba

Sydney C.

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Córdoba, Spain

Córdoba, Spain is a moderately sized city, located in southern Spain. In the eighth century Cordoba was conquered by invading Islamic armies, making Abd al Rahman their new ruler.
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Mosque de Córdoba

The Mosque de Córdoba is located on the banks of the Iberian Peninsula and is very hard to miss. Even today, it is one of the biggest structures in Cordoba, it's dimensions equivalent to 590 feet by 425 feet. Inside the Mosque it is just as grand, featuring many architecture styles, elaborate halls, domes, and arches. The Hypostyle Hall is one of the most well known parts of the Mosque, and is filled with columns, which is a common design found in Renaissance architecture. Other architecture styles include Gothic, Baroque, and "Omeya", an architecture style found only in Spain.


The Mihrab, or structure used to identify the wall that faces the Mecca (birthplace of Islam) is also one of the key architectural features of the Mosque. The Mihrab is the focal point of the prayer hall formed in then shape of a horseshoe/arch. Although the Mihrab is highly decorative, as is much of the Mosque, it is useful as well. The Mihrab is needed because during daily prayers, Islams are required to face toward the Mecca. Above the Mihrab is the Dome, which is also highly decorative and demonstrates a radical design.

History

The building, which is now the famous Mosque de Córdoba, wasn't always this way. The first building on the site was a temple dedicated to the Roman god Janus. However, the Visigoths, a traveling Gothic tribe who were considered Catholic, soon invaded Spain. When this happened, the building was converted from a temple to a church. In the eighth century Córdoba was conquered by invading Islamic armies. As a public project, and to proclaim his new order, Abd al Rahman converted the church to a mosque. Although, the mosque has had repairs and additional buildings added, the original Mosque de Córdoba still stands.

Sacredness

The Mosque de Córdoba is a tourist attraction for many, but to Muslims it is an important and special place of worship. Today, it is an active mosque that holds daily prayers and worship. The mosque initially began to gain importance and attention among Muslims because it represents the first Islamic rule on the Iberian Peninsula. Soon, the mosque was also recognized to have combined new rituals with old rituals, and many different cultures. Additionally, the most important reason the Mosque de Córdoba is so sacred to Muslims is that it is a symbol of worldly Islamic culture.

Fun Facts

  • orange trees are planted in the courtyard
  • locally known as la Mezquita

Works Cited


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