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Photographer's Note

A closer look at one of the ornamental doors that line one of the external walls of Cordoba Cathedral, a picture of which I showed earlier in this series. The Moorish design provides evidence that the cathedral was originally built as a mosque..

The Mosque–Cathedral of Córdoba, also known as the Great Mosque of Córdoba and the Mezquita,whose ecclesiastical name is the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Assumption is the Catholic cathedral of the Diocese of Córdoba dedicated to the Assumption of the Virgin Mary. The structure is regarded as one of the most accomplished monuments of Moorish architecture.

According to a traditional account, a small temple of Christian Visigoth origin, the Catholic Basilica of Saint Vincent of Lérins, originally stood on the site. In 784 Abd al-Rahman I ordered construction of the Great Mosque, which was considerably expanded by later Muslim rulers.

The work of building the resplendent Mezquita employed thousands of artisans and labourers, and such a vast undertaking led to the development of all the resources of the district. Hard stone and beautifully veined marble were quarried from the Sierra Morena and the surrounding regions of the city. Metals of various kinds were dug up from the soil, and factories sprang up in Córdoba amid the stir and bustle of an awakened industrial energy. A famous Syrian architect made the plans for the Mosque. Leaving his own house on the edge of Córdoba, the Emir came to reside in the city, so that he might personally superintend the operations and offer proposals for the improvement of the designs. Abd al-Rahman moved about among the workers, directing them for several hours of every day

The mosque underwent numerous subsequent changes: Abd al-Rahman II ordered a new minaret, while in 961 Al-Hakam II enlarged the building and enriched the Mihrab. The last of such reforms was carried out by Almanzor in 987. It was connected to the Caliph's palace by a raised walkway, mosques within the palaces being the tradition for previous Islamic rulers – as well as Christian Kings who built their palaces adjacent to churches. The Mezquita reached its current dimensions in 987 with the completion of the outer naves and courtyard.

Córdoba returned to Christian rule in 1236 during the Reconquista, and the building was converted to a Roman Catholic church, culminating in the insertion of a Renaissance cathedral nave in the 16th century.

(Source: Wikipedia)

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Additional Photos by Stephen Nunney (snunney) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 9186 W: 63 N: 25838] (114475)
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