The Mezquita – Mosque–Cathedral, Córdoba, Spain

In En-Route, Europe, Our Journeys, Spain, Trip-Types, World Travelby JanisLeave a Comment

As far as the eye could see

The interior of the Mosque–Cathedral of Cordoba, Córdoba, Spain

The Mezquita was one of the reasons we picked Córdoba for our 2016 Spanish road trip.

However as I entered I couldn’t believe what I was seeing; I had already seen pictures of the Mosque–Cathedral in Córdoba, which looked amazing, and to be perfectly honest externally it is quite impressive as well, particularly the Bell Tower (which I had no intention of climbing, it had been a long day, and it was hot!).

However, I wasn’t prepared for the stunning sight that appeared before me when we walked in. I looked at Gary in disbelief – wow!!!

Admire the arches, Mezquita – Mosque–Cathedral, Córdoba, Sp

I knew, however good Gary’s photo’s would be, we could never convey to my Mother, who loves a good church, how impressive this place would be.

A sea before you

I just didn’t expect to see the magnificent sea of columns in such numbers, all symmetrically laid out one after the other; it almost looked like you were in a hall of mirrors. People have referred to them like a forest of columns, and they are right.

Like a hall of mirrors, Mezquita – Mosque–Cathedral, Córdoba, Spain
Dont forget to look up too, Mezquita – Mosque–Cathedral, Córdoba, Spain
Beautifully lit, Mezquita – Mosque–Cathedral, Córdoba, Spain

There are over 850 of the towering pillars, built of jasper, marble, onyx and granite. All linked with sweeping dusty pink and white striped arches to the next pillar. Everyone was walking around with their eyes staring up or taking photos.

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Did you know?

The Mosque–Cathedral in Córdoba was added, as part of the Historic Centre of Cordoba, to World Heritage List in 1984.

Behind the doors

The original mosque was built in a large square design, as you could imagine a mosque would be. If you wander around the outside of it, you’ll see that there are some amazing ancient doors. All the time though, if you hadn’t stepped inside you wouldn’t even know what is beyond them.

Another Entrance to the Mezquita,Mosque–Cathedral, Córdoba, Spain
Into the courtyard of the Mezquita,Mosque–Cathedral, Córdoba, Spain
The door knocker, Mezquita,Mosque–Cathedral, Córdoba, Spain

I might be being slightly biased as I’m quite a fan of Moorish architecture, so that’s probably another reason why I loved it so much.

Borrowed from the Romans

Building first began on the Mosque back in 785, part of the stonework used within the Mezquita was from the Roman temple which occupied the site previously. But also, some of the ruins of the ancient Mérida amphitheatre were used, which we had actually visited a few days beforehand.

The scale is amazing, Mezquita – Mosque–Cathedral, Córdoba, Spain

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Just so you know

It was certainly worth the €10 (2019), stroll in and see for yourself…

Arrival of the Nave

Then if the immense number of columns wasn’t enough to impress everybody, when Córdoba returned to Christian rule in 1236 it became a Catholic Church, and during the 16th century, an imposing Renaissance Cathedral nave was built in the centre.

Breathtaking detail, Córdoba, Spain
The gothic styling of the Mezquita,Mosque–Cathedral, Córdoba, Spain

That’s what is so amazing, you have the mixture of Gothic, Renaissance & Baroque styles and it all works together so well.

The detail in the choir is amazing, Cordoba, Córdoba, Spain

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Mihrab & Chapels

Inside it is quite dark, there are just a few rays of sunlight streaming through the nave and some side windows, but it’s the darkness that adds to the whole atmosphere.

The amazing Mihrab in the Mezquita, Cordoba, Córdoba, Spain

As with most Cathedrals, there are individual chapels within it and this is no exception. However, what is noticeably unusual, is that there is also a Mihrab amongst the chapels and even more uncommon is that it doesn’t face Mecca.

The Capilla de la Concepción, Mezquita,Mosque–Cathedral, Cór
The Mihrab inside the Mezquita,Mosque–Cathedral, Córdoba, Spain

Patio de Los Naranjos (Court of Oranges)

Before you step into the Mosque–Cathedral, you stroll into a very pleasant courtyard “Court of Oranges”. This courtyard is actually free for anyone to stroll around, even if you weren’t visiting the Mezquita.

The Patio de los Naranjos, Cordoba, Córdoba, Spain

It contains 98 orange trees, along with Cypress and Palm, and a great place to take the weight off your feet.

Why not?

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Could be my favourite!!!

Looking back on our pretty full on Spanish road trip in 2016, I think the Mezquita was possibly the highlight, just for the fact I really didn’t expect it to be.

The beautiful columns of the Mezquita, Cordoba, Córdoba, Spain

I know some of you may be able to reel off a list of other Spanish wonders and believe me Plaza de España in Seville does come a close second. However, the old saying of it “has to be seen to be believed” is certainly true in this case.

Don’t take my word for it

Add it to your ‘Wish List’.

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Have You

Seen the Mezquita? Did it have the same impact on you? Or is there somewhere else that's taken your breath away? We'd like to know, as it may make it onto our bucket list.

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The Mezquita – Mosque–Cathedral, Córdoba, Spain

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About the Author


Janis, the co-founder of Our World for You, was born in London and raised in Kent and the Isle of Wight. Along with Gary her partner, they have been travelling part time since 1995. In 2016, they decided that enough was enough with the 9 to 5, so armed with the knowledge and experience that they had gained on their adventures, that they wanted to inspire others to travel the world near and far.

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