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.