Back in May, I did a post on La Alhambra, a group of palaces built by the Moorish people in Granada, Spain back in the mid to late 1300s. My awesome blogging buddy Julie Glover left me a very excited comment – I had mentioned Córdoba, she said. Apparently, her aunt was from there and Julie would love to visit some time.
Your wish is my command!
Here’s something to gaze at while I give you a little history lesson. Córdoba is a city in southern Spain and was – at one point in time – one of the largest cities in the world in terms of its population. Having been under Islamic rule for quite a while, it was only in the mid 1200s that it came under Spanish/Christian rule.
Shortly after, new churches were built within the city. However, some mosques were actually converted into churches, such as the one that goes to this bell tower.
This is called the Great Mosque of Córdoba, and it actually has a more interesting history than that. It was first a pagan temple. Then it was turned into a Christian church. Then it was converted into a mosque, and later a new mosque was built on the same site. Following that, it became a Roman Catholic church.
Talk about an eclectic building.
Maybe you’ve never heard of this building before – at least you think you haven’t. Chances are, if you’re into architecture or art history, you’ve seen this shot at some point in your life:
This building has what is called an arcaded hypostyle hall. That sounds complicated, but it’s not. “Arcaded” simply means arches (as you can see in the picture), and “hypostyle” just means that the roof is supported by columns (hypó meaning ‘under’ and stŷlos meaning ‘column’). The famous red and white striped arches are made of limestone and brick, except for the section you see above. They were a little short on cash, apparently, so they just painted the red parts in here to make it match.
The columns are made of jasper, onyx, marble, and granite. In the picture below, you can see that one of the artists signed his name on this one!
Our guide then took us to the Street of Flowers, which provides a classic view of the bell tower.
And that was a little slice of Córdoba for you! Hope you had a great time!
There you go, Julie! Hope you enjoyed it. Can’t wait till you get to go there for real! Did everyone else enjoy the trip? I know I did. I don’t want to go to work now.