Thursday, September 24, 2009

Córdoba, Andalucía [Part I of V]

“I HAVE got to check out the Mezquita in Córdoba”. That was my thought back when I first arrived in Madrid and eagerly marked out all the ‘must see’ places in Spain. So I went, three weeks ago.

What intrigued me about Córdoba were its origins and that the richness of its mixed heritage can still be seen and felt today. And yes, it is also listed under UNESCO's list of World Heritage sites. Read about it here.

The Mezquita (also known as The Cathedral) is one fine example of a unique architectural space having been through the test of time, embodying Córdoba’s fascinating history. During the days of the Romans (169 BC), a basilica once stood at that same space, only to be destroyed by Islamic invasion (711 AD), and in its place, a mosque was built over it. The construction of the massive Mezquita was broken into 4 stages, spanning over a period of 200 years (785 AD to 987 AD). Finally in 1236, King Ferdinand III re-conquered Córdoba, and constructed a Gothic-style Cathedral within the Mezquita, thus maintaining much of its original architecture.

From the outside, the Mezquita looks almost uninviting. In fact I was walking along its exterior wall, passing some huge & heavy looking doors that were all sealed shut. I finally came to the main door that opens, revealing a pretty orange tree courtyard inside.

Bordering round the courtyard is the cloister and hanging on its walls, I suppose are the preserved pieces of the building’s original materials.

What you’ll see inside the old mosque today are beautiful rows of repeated pattern of red & white arches supported by marble pillars (much like christmas candy canes to me!), and right in the center of it, several arches & pillars were removed and the ceiling raised to create the main body of the Cathedral.

All over, you can see the unique fusion of Islamic motifs and Baroque elements.

The Mezquita truly represents a magnificent masterpiece of architecture which no photograph can do it enough justice - as to capture it appropriately is, indeed a huge challenge.

Apart from the Mezquita, traces of Roman and Moorish influences can also still be observed all over the city.

Above: Puente Romano, or the Roman Bridge.

Above: Torre de la Malmuerta

Bold colours of old buildings contrasting against the blue sky

Above: Plaza de las Tendillas, an attractive area where people come to eat and shop.

Above: The remains of Templo Romano

Above: Plaza de la Corredera

Stay tuned for more on Andalucía.


  1. Fantastic shot of the Plaza de la Corredera! I like the way you use the tables leading to the view point. I think that would be the big poster near the plaza where you want your viewer to see? Or is it the plaza where you have the warm sun set lit on it :).

    Either way, i like the framing, use of warm lighting and the way the shot is taken using the tables and chairs! Excelente!

    Travelling as part of your photojourney?


  2. Hi Adrian, thanks for leaving a comment :)
    When I took this picture there were hardly anybody around so the table & chairs helped to add some interest to the Plaza. And yes the center part of the building kinda lit up thanks to the setting sun otherwise it'll possibly appear a lot duller.


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