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Mesquita: Arabic script of a Catholic cathedral


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Mesquita: Arabic script of a Catholic cathedral


The small historic city of Cordoba in Spain can easily compete with the top European cities in terms of the number of world-class attractions. One of the most striking monuments of the heritage of Cordoba can be considered the Mesquita - a Roman Catholic cathedral rebuilt from a Muslim religious complex, which retained in its appearance the characteristic features of the two religions. The interest that the UNESCO-protected Cordoba Cathedral Mosque arouses among tourists: every year the flow of those wishing to get acquainted with the valuable Christian relics preserved in the interiors of Maghreb fairy tales increases many times over.

Where is Mesquita located

The city of Cordoba is the capital of the province of the same name in Andalusia, on the Guadalquivira River, and occupies the slope of the Sierra Morena Mountain. The temple is built in the center of the Old City, surrounded by the Moorish and Jewish quarters.

The history of the cathedral

An ancient Roman temple once stood on the site of modern Mesquita - the remains of its masonry can still be found in the interior of the temple. At the beginning of the VII century. on its ruins began to erect another, in honor of St. Vincent of Saragossa, but his age was short-lived and was interrupted by the Arab invasion. The leader of the conquerors, Abd ar-Rahman I Umayyad, announced the creation of the Cordoba Caliphate and began to build a mosque of unprecedented beauty and grandeur, not destroying, but skillfully integrating a Christian basilica into its complex. Each new emir supplemented the building with new additions and elements, leaving all the best that he inherited from his predecessors.

A sharp turn occurred during the reign of the Castilian king Ferdinand III, who liberated these lands and understood the need to build a Catholic cathedral in Cordoba. But the hand of the glorious king also did not rise to destroy the beautiful creation of Arab architects with a thousand columns, an elegant minaret and richly decorated prayer niches. Architect Hernan Ruiz Sr. took on a difficult task - to restore the religious complex in European traditions while preserving the Moorish style. The result, according to many connoisseurs of beauty, exceeded the wildest expectations.

The main areas in the religious complex Mesquita

  • The Hall of a Thousand Arches is a huge room in the "Muslim" part of the cathedral, decorated with skillfully selected plates of semi-precious stones and marble. Part of the interior has been preserved since the days of the pagan temple, the main one was created by Umayyad masters
  • Mirhab - a prayer hall overwhelming with its grandeur, on the golden walls of which sayings from the Koran are applied
  • The Catholic Church is a Gothic cathedral that is successfully integrated into the Moorish interior, the abundant wall decor and painting on the dome belong to a later style. The retablo depicting the Mother of God is framed with precious red marble
  • Choirs - the mahogany from which the choirs are made, decorated with beautifully preserved carved scenes from the lives of the saints
  • Chapel of St. Teresa - a unique tabernacle of Mesquita is exhibited here: a two-meter vessel made of gold and silver
  • The Treasury is a kind of Mesquita museum exhibiting ritual and festive church artifacts, vestments of bishops and church officials from different historical eras
  • The Forgiven Gate and the Fountain of Forgiveness
  • The main bell tower - the baroque tower crowned with the sculpture of St. Raphael, which formerly housed the minaret
  • Chapel of Villavicios is the earliest of the Christian chapels attached to the mosque
  • Royal Chapel - Ferdinand IV and Alfonso XI were buried here.

Palm garden - courtyard of the Mesquita

During the Caliphate, a palm garden was laid out in the courtyard of the cathedral complex in accordance with all the canons of park art of that time. The share of citrus trees was a very small part, and now the courtyard was called, rather, orange. Emirs liked to lie in the shade of palm trees: here they met guests, prayed and rested from state affairs. The fountains located here were used for ritual purposes: they received water from a huge cistern, which can still be seen at the eastern wall.

The object belongs to the temples.

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