The Full Wiki

Great Mosque of Córdoba: Wikis

Advertisements
  
  

Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.

Encyclopedia

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Cathedral of the Assumption of the Virgin
Basic information
Location Córdoba, Andalusia, Spain
Geographic coordinates Coordinates: 37°52′45.1″N 04°46′47″W / 37.879194°N 4.77972°W / 37.879194; -4.77972
Affiliation Roman Catholic
District Córdoba
Architectural description
Architectural type Mosque
Architectural style Islamic, Renaissance
Groundbreaking 784 AD
Year completed 987 AD
Specifications
Muslim architecture of the Mezquita.

The (Great) Mezquita (of Córdoba or Cordova), now known as Catedral de Nuestra Señora de la Asunción (English: Cathedral of the Assumption of the Virgin) is a Roman Catholic Cathedral originally built as a Mosque on the place (and partly with materials) of what previously had been a Christian Visigothic Church[1] in the Andalusian city of Córdoba, Spain. It is regarded as perhaps the most accomplished monument of the Umayyad dynasty of Córdoba. After the Spanish Reconquista, it was turned into a church, with a Gothic cathedral inserted into the center of the large Moorish building. Today the entire building is used to house the Cathedral of the diocese of Córdoba in Spain.

Contents

History

The building was begun in approximately 600 AD as the Christian Visigothic church of St. Vincent.[2] Emir Abd ar-Rahman I bought the church,[3] and he and his descendants reworked it over two centuries to refashion it as a mosque, starting in 784. Additionally, Abd ar-Rahman I used the mosque (originally called Aljama Mosque) as an adjunct to his palace and named it to honor his wife. According to some authors[4] the church of St. Vincent was demolished after it was bought from the local Christian community.

Several explanations have been proposed to explain the mosque's unorthodox orientation. Traditionally, the mihrab of a mosque faces in the direction of Mecca; by facing the mihrab, worshipers pray towards Mecca. Mecca is east-southeast of the mosque, but the mihrab points south. Some have suggested the mihrab faces south because the foundations of the mosque were taken from the old Roman and Visigoth constructions. Others contend that Abd ar-Rahman oriented the mihrab southward as if he were still in the Ummayyad capital of Damascus and not in exile.

The mosque underwent numerous subsequent changes: Abd ar-Rahman III ordered a new minaret, while Al-Hakam II, in 961, enlarged the building and enriched the mihrab. The last of the reforms was carried out by Al-Mansur Ibn Abi Aamir in 987. It was connected to the Caliph's palace by a raised walk-way, mosques within the palaces being the tradition for the Islamic rulers of all times.

The city in which it was built was subject to frequent invasion and each conquering wave added their own mark to the architecture. The building is most notable for its giant arches, with 856 columns of jasper, onyx, marble and granite. These were made from pieces of the Roman temple which had occupied the site previously, as well as other destroyed Roman buildings. The double arches, pictured above, were a new introduction to architecture, and helped support the tremendous weight of the higher ceilings. The double arches consist of a lower horseshoe arch and an upper semi-circular arch. The Mezquita also features richly gilded prayer niches. A centrally located honey-combed dome has blue tiles decorated with stars. The mihrab is a masterpiece of architectural art, with geometric and flowing designs of plants. The Mezquita reached its current dimensions in 987 with the completion of the outer naves and orange tree courtyard.

Patio de los Naranjos, inside the Mezquita.

In 1236, Córdoba was recaptured from the Muslim army by King Ferdinand III of Castile and the mosque was reconverted into a Christian church. Alfonso X oversaw the construction of the Villaviciosa Chapel and the Royal Chapel within the mosque. The kings who followed added further Christian features: King Henry II rebuilt the chapel in the 14th century.

The most significant alteration was building a Renaissance cathedral nave in the middle of the structure. It was constructed by permission of Charles V, king of united Spain. Its reversion to a Christian church (officially the Cathedral of the Assumption of the Virgin) may have helped to preserve it when the Spanish Inquisition was most active.[citation needed]

Artisans and architects continued to add to the existing structure until the late 18th century.

The Great Mosque of Cordoba placed its importance amongst the Islamic community of Al-Andalus for three centuries. In Cordoba, the capital of Al-Andalus, the Great Mosque was seen as the heart and central focus of the capital.[5] The master piece was created by Abd-Al-Rahman in the 8th century.[6] The mosque’s floor plan is seen to be parallel to some of the earliest mosques built from the very beginning of Islam.[7] The main hall of the mosque was used for a variety of purposes. It served as a central hall for teaching and to manage law and order within Al-Andalus during the rule of Abd-Al-Rahman.[8] The Great Mosque had a rectangular prayer hall which had 9-11 aisles standing pendicular to the qibla, the main direction towards which Muslims pray.[9] The wall facing towards the qibla had an indent on it representing the direction of Mecca to be facing that wall.[10] The prayer hall was large in size, flat with timber ceilings help up by arches of horseshoe-like appearance. The arches came from reused Roman and Visgothic columns.[11] The walls of the mosque had Quranic inscriptions written on them.[12] Some of the most prominent features were: an open court (sahn) surrounded by arcades, screens of wood, minarets, colourful mosaics, and windows of coloured glass.[13] The Great Mosque of Cordoba held features and architectural appearance similar to the Great Mosque of Damascus,[14] therefore it is evident that it was used as a model by Abd-Al-Rahman and the creation of the Great Mosque in Cordoba. 150 years following its creation, a staircase to the roof was added to the mosque, along with an extension of the mosque itself southwards, and a bridge linking the prayer hall with the Emir’s palace.[15] The mosque was later expanded even further south, as was the courtyard which surrounded the Great Mosque. The mosque itself was built in four stages,[16] each Caliph and his elite contributing to it. It is seen as a trademark of Islamic architecture. To the people of Al-Andalus “the beauty of the mosque was so dazzling that it defined any description.”[17] The Great Mosque, upon the reconquest of Spain by Ferdinand and Isabella, was adorned with Santiago de Composela’s captured cathedral bells and turned into a Cathedral.[18]

Gallery

  • Photographs of the Mezquita architecture.

See also

References

  1. ^ La Mezquita Primitiva
  2. ^ God's Crucible: Islam and the Making of Europe, 570 to 1215, David Levering Lewis, published by W. W. Norton & Company, 2008 , p. 272 ff.
  3. ^ Medieval Islamic Civilization, Josef W. Meri and Jere L. Bacharach, Published by Routledge, 2005, p. 176 ff.
  4. ^ The Legacy of Muslim Spain (Handbook of Oriental Studies : the Near and Middle East, Vol. 12), Salma Khadra Jayyusi and Manuela Marín, Published by Brill Academic Publishers, 1992, p. 129 ff.
  5. ^ Khadra, Salma, and Ed. Jayyusi. The Legacy of Muslim Spain, 2 Vols.. Leiden: BRILL, 599.
  6. ^ Anwar, G. Chejne, Muslim Spain: Its History and Culture. MINNE ed. Minnesota: University of Minnesota Press, 272.
  7. ^ Khadra, Salma, and Ed. Jayyusi. The Legacy of Muslim Spain, 2 Vols.. Leiden: BRILL, 600.
  8. ^ Jan, Read. The Moors in Spain and Portugal. London: Rowman & Littlefield Pub Inc, 56.
  9. ^ The Literature of Al-Andalus (The Cambridge History of Arabic Literature). New Ed ed. New York: Cambridge University Press, 159.
  10. ^ The Literature of Al-Andalus (The Cambridge History of Arabic Literature). New Ed ed. New York: Cambridge University Press, 159
  11. ^ The Literature of Al-Andalus (The Cambridge History of Arabic Literature). New Ed ed. New York: Cambridge University Press, 159.
  12. ^ Khadra, Salma, and Ed. Jayyusi. The Legacy of Muslim Spain, 2 Vols.. Leiden: BRILL, 3.
  13. ^ Anwar, G. Chejne, Muslim Spain: Its History and Culture. MINNE ed. Minnesota: University of Minnesota Press, 364
  14. ^ The Literature of Al-Andalus (The Cambridge History of Arabic Literature). New Ed ed. New York: Cambridge University Press, 161.
  15. ^ The Literature of Al-Andalus (The Cambridge History of Arabic Literature). New Ed ed. New York: Cambridge University Press, 161.
  16. ^ The Literature of Al-Andalus (The Cambridge History of Arabic Literature). New Ed ed. New York: Cambridge University Press, 162.
  17. ^ Anwar, G. Chejne, Muslim Spain: Its History and Culture. MINNE ed. Minnesota: University Of Minnesota Press, 364.
  18. ^ Chris, Lowney A Vanished World: Muslims, Christians, and Jews in Medieval Spain. New York: Oxford University Press, USA, 11.

External links

Advertisements

Advertisements






Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address
Message