#AtoZChallenge ‘V is for Vault’ #Tanka #NaPoWriMo #PoetryMonth

Gothic Vaults
Double arches hold
Gothic vaults pointing to sky.
Carved stone capitals
On proud marble columns guard
Centuries of synergy.



The Mosque-Cathedral in Cordoba, was originally a Visigothic Catholic Church, shared with Muslim invaders for religious rites until 784, when it was solely used as a Muslim place of worship, until 1236, when it was again used as a Catholic church.

In 1523, Emperor Charles I, approved a project to refurbish the now fragile Mosque-Church and integrate a Christian Cathedral within its walls.

The architect, Hernán Ruiz (believed to have been born in Cordoba in 1514), integrated existing elements of the original Mosque with late Gothic architecture.

The Cathedral was inserted with great architectural precision and artistry. Both Muslim and Christian spaces merge beautifully in two seemingly opposing places.

In the first picture you can see the lateral nave. New Gothic vaults are supported by double arches, and below marble columns, many of which are of Roman origin.

A magnificent building which houses the synergy of well over a thousand years of history, art, culture and religions.

If any of you ever visit Cordoba, let me know. I’d love to show you around the Old Town!


This year is my fourth AtoZ Challenge. My theme this year is poetry once again. I’ll be writing a haiku a day, but I’m also adding a new hobby to the posts, photography. I will post one of my photos, or a donated photo, every day to accompany my haiku (today I’ve posted a Tanka instead of a Haiku).

This April, I’ll also be sharing my poems and joining another group of poets at National Poetry Writing Month, organised since 2003 by Maureen Thorson. Write 30 poems in 30 days. I’m in! What about you?

#ThursdayDoors The Mosque-Cathedral of Cordoba, Spain. Part I

Thursday Doors is a weekly feature allowing door lovers to come together to admire and share their favorite door photos from around the world. Feel free to join in on the fun by creating your own Thursday Doors post each week and then sharing it, between Thursday morning and Saturday noon and linking up on Norm’s blog here.

The main door of the outer walls of the Mosque. called La Puerta del Perdón, or the Door of Forgiveness.

There was originally a Visigothic Christian Basilica of Saint Vincent, on this site. Some remains are preserved inside the Mosque.  After the Muslim invasion of Spain, the church was divided into Muslim and Christian halves from 711 – 784, when Abd al-Rahman I, bought it from the Christians, demolished the original church and started building the the Great Mosque of Cordoba.

The Mosque has since undergone numerous extensions until 1236, when the building was repossessed by the Christians and used as a Catholic place of worship. The Christian conversion included the insertion of a Cathedral within the mosque in the 16th century.

More information about the Mosque-Cathedral of Cordoba here.

A close up of the door knockers.

The Belfry Tower, above the main door, was a Christian addition in the 13th century.

Another view of the belfry Tower of the Mosque-Cathedral taken from a nearby street.

It’s a fascinating place. It’s like looking at hundreds of years of history, offering different and complementing ideas of architecture, art, beauty and religious worship in one building.

The Mosque-Cathedral has many more doors on the outer walls and inside. I’ll be showing you others in the coming Thursdays.


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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.


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.


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.


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



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


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.