One of the Moorish doorways into the Mezquita in Cordoba, Andalucia, southern Spain

- Image ID: ACWCR6
One of the Moorish doorways into the Mezquita in Cordoba, Andalucia, southern Spain
Barry Mason / Alamy Stock Photo
Image ID: ACWCR6
From Wikipedia the free online encyclopedia The construction of the Mezquita originally the Aljama Mosque lasted for over two centuries starting in 784 A D under the supervision of the first emir of Cordoba Abd ar Rahman I The site was that of the Visigothic cathedral of St Vincent The Mosque underwent numerous subsequent changes Abd ar Rahman III ordered a new minaret while Al Hakam II in 961 enlarged the plan of the building and enriched the mihrab For unknown reasons the Mihrab does not point towards Mecca as it does in every other mosque The last of the reforms was carried out by Al Mansur Ibn Abi Aamir in 987 It was the most magnificent of the more than 1 000 mosques in the city and was at one time the second largest mosque in the Muslim world The city in which it was built was subject to frequent invasion and each conquering wave added their own mark to the architecture The building is most notable for its giant arches with over 1 000 columns of jasper onyx marble and granite These were made from pieces of the Roman temple which had occupied the site previously as well as other destroyed Roman buildings The poly lobed arches pictured above were a new introduction to architecture and helped support the tremendous weight of the higher ceilings Besides these horseshoe topped arches the Mezquita also features richly gilded prayer niches A centrally located honey combed dome has beautiful blue tiles decorated with stars The mihrab is a masterpiece of architectural art with geometric and flowing designs of plants It reached its current dimensions in 987 with the completion of the outer naves and orange tree courtyard The very year 1236 that Cordoba was recaptured from the Moors by King Ferdinand III of Castile and rejoined Christendom the mosque was reconsecrated a Christian church Alfonso X oversaw the construction of the Villaviciosa Chapel and the Royal Chapel within the structure of the mosque but later repented of this addition The kings who followed added furt
Location: Cordoba, Andalucia, Spain