The Mezquita of Córdoba
The city of Córdoba rose before us and opened a fairy-tale land of Arabs and Christians and beauty beyond the imagination.
If you ever go to Spain, Córdoba must make your itinerary. In this ancient city sits the Mezquita. Although the cathedral is named with the Portuguese/Galatian word for mosque, it is a church of exquisite proportions, and its history as rich as it is breathtaking.
During Visigoth times, the site hosted a simple church which can be glimpsed in one corner of the cathedral.
After their invasion, the Arabs built a mosque over the church.
With the Arabs vanquished, the Mezquita returned to its Christian roots and displays the glory of God in its blended architecture.
When you enter the cathedral, 850 red and blue columns surround you, a visual forest. At one time, archways opened to the Patio de los Naranjos and light poured in. When made into a cathedral, beautiful windows filled in the archway.
In the far corner the Mihrab, the mosque equivalent of a high altar, still sits. Ornate as all Arabic architecture, this altar consists of three thousand pounds of glass and enamel.
In the center of the room, sixteen columns were removed to make a chapel, fronted by the Royal Chapel—a burial place for kings—never open to the public. The dome and the walls can be glimpsed through a small opening—stunning.
The Tesoro hosts the largest monstrance I’ve ever seen—the Christians wanted something glorious enough to hold the body of Christ. During the Feast of Corpus Christi, sixty days after Easter, they still parade it through the town.
Then we come to the Cathedral itself—glorious in gold and silver and carved mahogany.
The layering of cultures makes the Mezquita grander than any I’ve seen in Spain.
Transplanted Tennessean Carol McClain is the author of two novels: DWF: Divorced White Female and Waters of Separation. Her works display her multi-facet interest in all things, both her humor in the former book and her passion for equity in the latter. Her popular blog, Character Counts, currently explores the bane of perfectionism. She’s the course coordinator for ACFW, a stained glass hobbyist, a bassoonist and runner. Next week she’ll find another passion. You can find more information about her at: http://christianauthorsnetwork.com/carol-mcclain/ and http://carol-mcclain.blogspot.com