Córdoba is the rightful heir to the architectural gems left by the different cultures that settled in the Iberian Peninsula. Below is a list of the highlights of the rich artistic legacy of this beautiful city.
The Great Mosque embodied the power of Islam in the West. Its construction commenced in 785 AD on the site of a church consecrated to St. Vincent. The original mosque had several extensions in the consecutive periods of Al-Andalus and more changes were introduced by the Christians following the Reconquista. The Mosque has an architectural forest populated by columns and arches. The Mihrab in this old place of worship is a richly ornamented prayer niche that held a gilt copy of the Koran. Other outstanding features are the coffered ceiling and the arches and pillars with decorated bases and shafts in a variety of colours that create a dazzling visual effect.
The Jewish temple’s construction began in 1315. On the upper level is the women’s gallery. The prayer room has three richly decorated balconies with small multi-lobed arches, and on the east end there opens a tabernacle for holding the Torah.
Built for Caliph Abd al-Rahman III, this glorious palace just a few kilometres north of Córdoba was to become the seat of the Caliphate government and symbol of its power. However, its glory was short-lived and today only the ruins remain. The Medina Azahara featured a rich hall, a huge portico, the house of Yafar and the mosque.
Alcázar of the Catholic Monarchs
King Alfonso XI had the alcázar (palace-fortress) built in 1328. During the reign of the Catholic Monarchs it was royal residence for eight years. The Mudejar style is apparent in the tranquil courtyards and gardens of this construction defended by four turrets named Paloma (dove), Homenaje (tribute), Leones (lions) and Inquisición (Inquisition) that make a square-shaped structure. The main hall or Mosaic Hall, with magnificent tiles and an ancient third-century sarcophagus, is really remarkable.
Built across the river Guadalquivir, it links Campo de la Verdad and Barrio de la Catedral and connected Córdoba with the rest of the Peninsula. It’s also known as Puente Viejo (Old Bridge). It’s 331-m-long and is supported by 16 arches.
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