The Grand Mosque of Córdoba
A glimpse of ancient splendour
Surely one of the wonders of the world, the Mesquita of Córdoba is a monument not only to the genius of the human animal but also to the power of faith to inspire people on a massive and remarkable scale. The Mesquita is an islamic mosque that was built during the height of Arabic power in the Iberian Peninsula and represented the apogee of a powerful empire that stretched from the northern provinces of Africa to the Pyrenees mountains in northern Spain.
Built over the foundations of a Visigothic church that was dedicated to San Vicente, the Mesquita grew in size under several arabic rulers until, with the fall of the last Arabic dynasty in the 14th and 15th centuries, emphasis changed from Islam to Christianity. Not without protest from no less august personage as Charles I himself, the interior of the Mesquita was transformed into a Christian shrine by the construction of an imposing alter.