The Roman Cathedral of the Mezquita of Cordoba, located in the Andalusian city of Cordoba in Spain, is the third-largest mosque in the world!
With a spectacular display of mix of Muslim and Christian cultures, the Mosque of Cordoba's site was first a temple, then it was converted into a Christian cathedral!
Later on, it was transformed into a mosque under the Islam rule. But, after the Spanish Reconquista, the mosque was again converted into a church but its few elements were preserved! Phew, the list of transformations finally ended with the church!
The main church of the diocese of Cordoba is present at this Mosque-Cathedral.
The Cathedral that is built inside the mosque was known as the 'Lady of the Assumption' from the 16th Century!
The mihrab of the mosque was built using golden cubes that were imported by Byzantium sculptors! This mosque's mihrab faces south instead of facing southwest, where the Mecca is supposed to be.
Inspired by architectures of all the cultures whose rulers transformed the site from one religious structure to another, the striped arches inside the Mosque is supported by 856 marble and granite pillars, that are a reflection of Roman and Visigothic ruins!
None of the pillars that used to build the Mezquita were of the same height, posing a challenge to the architects!
The Orange Trees courtyard which served as the Mosque's main entrance is a common site in other Cathedrals in the South of Spain. There's a fountain in the courtyard under the trees, that once served as water for purification for people coming to the mosque!
The old minaret site now houses the 93-meter high, Torre del Alminar which is visible from the Orange Trees courtyard.
Covering an area of 24,000 meters, the ground plan for the entire building is about 180 by 130 meters rectangular shaped structure, which is just a few meters less than the St Peter's Basilica in Rome.
Inspired by the Dome of the Rock and Aachen Cathedral, the iconic red and white voussoirs of the arches are a delight to watch!
Under the rule of Abd ar-Rahman II, who built the Mezquita of Cordoba in 784-786, the mosque had the original copy of Koran as well as an arm bone of Prophet Mohammed. It was one of the major Muslim pilgrimage sites during his times!
Approximately 1.5 million tourists visit this UNESCO World Heritage Site.
There are 3 small museum spaces inside the Mosque-Cathedral named Museo Visigodo de San Vicente, Tesoro de la Catedral and Museo de San Clemente.
A copy of the famous painting by Julio Romero de Torres that represents the Assumption of the Virgin Mary, is present outside the north facade of the Patio de Los Naranjos!
Legend says a Christian captive was successful in scratching the hard marble of the Column of Saint Christ of the Captive and the Nail. It was due to his faith that he was successful in forming a cross on the column!
The La Puerta del Perdon door is one of the most monumental doors that lead of the Patio de los Naranjos!