Centuries of Worship: A Roman, Visigothic, Muslim, and Christian Temple

The previous MIT chapel is beautiful in its contemporary simplicity. On the other hand, there are ancient places which fill your senses with calm, and love, and peace, like the Mosque in Cordoba.

I’m fortunate enough to walk past it every day on my way to work. Sometimes I pop inside. just for a few minutes, to remind myself how ‘small’ I am compared to over two thousand years of history and culture represented in this magnificent building, and how lucky I am to be able to observe its beauty.

I took this picture a few days ago, at 9 o’clock, when there were not many tourists yet.

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The Spanish city of Córdoba was founded by the Romans in the first century BC, and called Corduba. There was a Roman Temple in honour of the Roman God Janus after whom the Romans named the month of January.

After the Romans, the Christian Visigoths who invaded the city built the basilica of Saint Vincent in the 5th Century AD.

Inside the Mosque we can see the remains of this Christian Temple.

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In the eighth century, after the Islamic conquest of the Visigothic city, the Mosque was built on the site of the Christian temple.

in the thirteenth century, Cordoba was reconquered by the Christians from the north of Spain, and added many Christian chapels and images within the Mosque, as can be seen in the picture I took recently.

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Finally, in the 16th century, a Catholic Cathedral was built inside.

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I love the combination of religions, art,  and history enclosed in this building which merges so beautifully and effortlessly.

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I’m fascinated by how the Roman pillars, medieval Arabic arches, and Renaissance and Christian features blend so easily and beautifully.

Art and architecture is good at being inclusive. It seems humans have more issues, unfortunately.

 

Posted on June 27, 2014, in Personal Posts and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 14 Comments.

  1. Beautiful place and beautiful pictures! One day I’ll visit! One day…

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  2. Tell you what, Luccia, I’ll show you the Brick Lane mosque with its similar history (http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/caring/listing/heritage-centenary/landmark-listings/brick-lane-jamme-masjid) and buy you the best curry in Europe next door and you can show me this fabulous building you’ve highlighted! I will have to post a comparison!

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  3. That is beautiful, and so very complex, both in history and style. Thanks for sharing.

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  4. Thank you for reading and commenting. I’m glad you liked it. It is an amazing place.

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  5. Amazing, am really curious to visit it one day maybe.

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  6. Beautiful photos. If I ever return to Europe, I want to visit Spain and Italy. The architecture looks so amazing.

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  7. I agree with you, both are so beautiful if you like art and history. Venice and Florence are my favourites. I haven’t been for a few years, but I need to go back and share some pictures!

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  8. What a beautiful combination of Christian and Muslin architecture!. Cordoba played a huge role in the transfer of medical knowledge from Arabic to Latin after the conquest of the city by Isabella and Ferdinand.and the founding of one of the most important and greatest of the eary European universities. Much of our knowledge of medicine from the Greek and Romans was lost with the burning of the library at Alexandria. But a lot of that knowledge was preserved in Arabic! If this sounds like a lecture, it is….from one I did on the history of anatomy. You are living in a wonderful, amazing place!

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    • Yes. Wow. I can see you are very knowledgeable. The history of anayomy must be a fascinating subject. I’ll post a little surprise about not so famous but very important arabic doctor from Córdoba. 🙂

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  9. Wow…The history and architecture is just amazing…I would love to visit some day…for now, I will keep observing such things trough the eyes of my fellow bloggers…many thanks for sharing this 🙂

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  1. Pingback: Upcycling buildings: if only it was as easy with people | TanGental

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