Cordoba’s Mezquita: a mosque becomes a cathedral

After Cordoba fell to the Christians, the church seized its mosque and remade it into a Catholic cathedral. The structure is huge, the size of several city blocks if its courtyard is included. Inside, the architecture of Islam clashes in a most interesting way with the trappings of the medieval church.

(Memory fragment from a year later: drinking an excellent cold San Miguel draft from a plastic cup while sitting on the low wall surrounding the mosque/cathedral complex. It was wonderfully warm in the afternoon sun as I watched the action on the street and in the bar where I had bought the beer. There were still tourists around, but most of the people looked to be either locals or wandering, unemployed youth, although the latter could have been locals as well. The kids played with a dog as the shopkeepers strolled between each other’s establishments. The odd horse-drawn carriage dropped off tourists in a sunny courtyard, where they rested from their labours with cups of coffee or espresso. Damn, that beer in the sun was good after a day of walking and shuffling around in the unheated cathedral!)

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