Cordoba's Mosque

What was once the second largest mosque in the world, just behind Mecca, is currently the most important monument of Islam in the West. It was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1984. Initially built by the Umayyad emir Ab al-Rahman I in 785, the mosque we know today is the result of successive enlargements and, finally, the Christian intervention, which turned part of it into a Cathedral. Here you'll feel an indescribable emotion.

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4 things that makes this place really special
Patio de los Naranjos

This charming courtyard, with its orange, palm and cypress trees, forms the entrance to the mosque. It was the site of ritual ablutions. From here spread the custom, imported from Damascus, of planting trees, especially orange trees, in the mosque's courtyards.

A forest of date palms

The arcades' simplicity and number give a sense of endlessness. These striped arches, suggestive of a forest of date palms, rested on, eventually, 1293 columns (of which 856 remain today). The final Mosque had 19 doors along its north side.

The Maqsurah's dome

The mihrab and the maqsurah are the most beautifully and intricately decorated parts of the whole mosque. The maqsurah was the space intended for the Sultan. Its dome is considered one of the most beautiful in the world.

A Mihrab inspired in Damascus

Caliph Alhakam II asked the Byzantine emperor to send him craftsmen capable of imitating the golden mosaics of the Great Mosque of Damascus. The Emperor sent not only the craftsmen but the different color tessera. The result was marvelous.