It was not the first time I visited this city. I’ve been there in 1999 when I was travelling with my family from France to south of Morocco. But I had very few memories of the city without any pitures being taken by me at that time. The one of things I Still could remember is the special atmosphere of this gigantic place called Mezquita.
During the Muslim occupation of the Iberan Peninsula, Códoba became one of the largest and most enlightened cities in the caliphate. When the Catholic Kings conquered the city in 1236, the city saw a decline in prestige and population. Córdoba is one of the big three of Andalusia (with Granada and Sevilla), and the city is often overlooked despite deep-rooted Andalusian tradition like flamenco and bullfighting.
The old Al-Andalus capital
As being one part of UNESCO World Heritage Sites since 1984, the central neighborhood still retains a great deal of its architectural and cultural heritage during years and years.
Cordoba is also home to the Calleja de las Flores and Los Patios that grace the name of its famous festival. The small allewywat near the bell tower of the Mezquita is covered in flowerpots and leads to a breezy miniature place with a small fountain. Just adjacent to the mosque and crossing the Guadalquivir River, the “puente Romano” is a testamemt to the city’s dotted past. It has been also my favourite place to appreciate the beautiful sunset.
It would be almost criminal to visit Córdoba without stepping inside its Mezquita. The mosque was seen as the heart and central focus of the city, and its biggest symbol. The Great Mosque of Córdoba held a place of importance amongst the Islamic community of al-Andalus for three centuries. It is considered as one of the greatest works of architecture and after one step inside you will understand why. With heavy ornamentation, a blaze of colour and human images in paint, stone and wood, it contrasts shockingly with the understated simplicity, and lack of human images of Islamic design.
The reconquest meant that the Catholic Kings demolished the central naves to construct a lavish cathedral. Access is via an orange tree-filled patio laced with irrigation channels, and once inside the cool of the building itself, you’ll see the contrast between the simple architectural style of the mosque and the cathedral more ornate, it also sits at the Mezquita’s heart. Three layers of spirituality in one site. A tremendous experience should never be missed.
It has been a very hard place to be photographed due to the lack of light inside, based on the fact that tripods are forbidden. I had to shoot with hight ISO and slow shutter speed.