20 Years From Now...

"20 YEARS FROM NOW," Mark Twain said, “you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than the ones you did.”THIS online journal is dedicated to our next 20 years!

Monday, 24 April 2017

Cordoba's Great Mezquita-Cathedral

The Mezquita-Cathedral of Cordoba is an architectural, religious and historic wonder. It has been used for thousands of years by peoples from various cultures and religious beliefs and today combines a unique Muslim/Christian blend that is visually stunning.

Decoration on the exterior of the surrounding wall foreshadows what one will discover inside the gates.

Admission  tickets and audio guides are purchased at two separate kiosks inside the spacious gardens.  Oddly, one cannot get the audio without a ticket in hand, so that both complicates and slows the process. It's all somewhat confusing and the cues (visible below) are long, but eventually one realizes to just go with the flow! 

Audio guides dangling around our necks and tickets in hand we step inside the mosque and are overwhelmed by the intricate patterns and paintings. With all of these Christian saints and images one forgets its Moorish past. 

Then, one turns around and beyond the gold and glitter are the magnificent 856 coloured granite jasper and marble pillars.

At 258,333 square feet and said to be able to hold 40,000 people the mosque-cathedral's size is mind boggling.

It's almost impossible to see from one end to the other.

Meanwhile, overhead the beauty of the architecture inspires and awes.

All along the outer perimeters are a series of chapels.

Even their size or square footage is surprisingly spacious. Some are Moorish in design and detail...

While others are unmistakably Christian...

This particular chapel, dedicated to Saint Theresa, houses a gold monstrance. 

Courtesy of http://www.artencordoba.com/en/
At 8.5 feet tall, made of solid gold, and weighing more than 400 pounds the monstrance depicts a 12-sided gothic cathedral. Made in the 16th century by Enrique de Arfel it is opulent, ostentatious and perhaps a little over the top. I say that because I overheard one man cynically ask his wife how many Incas had to die for all that gold to find its way to across the Atlantic and into Spanish coffers. :(

The white domed ceiling is equally impressive.

Then, after contemplating this is the most amazing thing one will ever likely experience in a lifetime we came face-to-face with the cathedral. It is unlike anything we've seen before. Its detail, size, glitter and glitz are utterly breathtaking and all the more impressive because it is smack dab in the centre of a mosque!


It seems fitting that in 1984 the mosque-cathedral and historic centre of Cordoba became a UNESCO World Heritage site. If time allows we'd love nothing better to return and once more experience the grandeur of this amazing structure.

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