Posted by: debrakolkka | May 9, 2011

Cordoba’s magnificent Mezquita

The Mezquita was my favourite place in Spain, which is why I have saved it until last. I thought it was stunning. I hope you like it too.

Cordoba is rightly famous for the magnificent Mezquita. The well preserved mosque dates from 784 A.D.  During the Dark Ages, when most of Europe was illiterate, Cordoba was a centre for religious tolerance, learning and art.  I had no idea what to expect. I was not disappointed.

part of the exterior wall

the massive doors leading to the Mezquita

incredible doors

open sesame

the courtyard in front of the mosque

inside the mosque

There are 850 columns inside topped with double arches made from red brick and white stone. The arches remind me of nautilus shells. The columns were recycled from Roman and Visigoth ruins. This place is breathtaking.

I love the arches

The mihrab is like a christian church’s high altar and this is truly spectacular. More than 20,000 people could pray in the mosque at once. It must have been an incredible sight.

the Mihrab

detail above the arch

looking up

the ceiling


inscriptions on the columns

is this not incredible?

so much detail


As  if all this wasn’t enough a christian church was built in the middle of the mosque in 1523.

christian and muslim

the altar of the church


another one

the organ in the choir

carved wooden seats in the choir - check out the haircut on the right

woman with dove

angel on a pillar

knight on a pillar

lots of gold

a knight in an alcove

doesn't he look jolly

I prefer the islamic style to the christian. It somehow seems more calming.

I love these arches


more arches

and more

last one - I hope you weren't bored

back in the courtyard

This is one place I want to come back to – once is not enough.



  1. I agree – it is stunning. Must put it on my long list of things to do..

    • You won’t be disappointed.

  2. Awesome photos. This place looks absolutely stunning! Having never been to Spain I can see why so many are enthralled with it! Thank you for a little glimpse!

  3. It is amazing isn’t it? You have to go.

  4. Amazing, amazing, amazing. You know, some of those pictures of arches look for all the world like Escher drawings…where you don’t know what comes first or what’s in front of what…fantastic.

    • Funny you should say that about Escher. He was actually inspired by the Palace at Alhambra – a post I did the other day.

  5. Cordoba was certainly one of my favourite places in Spain. We were there in April last year, a lovely time as far a temperature goes and the orange blossoms in Seville were magnificent. Wouldn’t it have been interesting if the Christians had left the Mezquita as it had been first designed! The Muslim architecture is far more interesting – complex yet simple and very soothing, if that is the right word.

    • I love the Islamic style. It would have been excellent if it had been left alone. However, the alcazar in Seville is actually copied from the Moorish style to great effect.

  6. That is one stunning building. I particularly like the red and white candy colours which you don’t often see.

    • I could have stayed in there all day.

  7. Bored – NEVER !!!!!. I am pleased to have joined you in your travels to Bagni di Lucca and beyond. From the simplest forms of beauty in your pansies and peonies to the great architecture of palaces. Now I must be away on a short travel of my own.

    • Have a great time. Are you going somewhere lovely?

      • Thanks Deb,
        We are leaving on Thursday for France (10 days) Eastern Europe (15 days) London (5 days). Look forward to your next blog.

        Regards Helen

      • That sounds great. Have a wonderful holiday.

  8. Debra I was thinking the other that you should publish a book with all the pictures from around the word that you collected.
    It is amazing the collection you have!
    Your blog should be listed as one of the best travelling blogs!

    • Thank you for your very kind comments. I certainly have gathered lots of photos along the way.

  9. I love Escher by the way………….great place and the photographs are inspiring.

  10. Ah Cordoba – I thought that like in the Lorca poem we might never get there 😉 What a fine set of photos you have taken. You are such a good photographer as others have said before me, Oh my, I loved that place and wanted to stay and wander under the arches forever. I looked it up just now on Wikipedia and read a little of the background and the current political issues surrounding it. I hope they are resolved peacefully. I remember being told that in Moorish times the many open doors around the sides of the building were left open and the interior was flooded with light, it really must have been like walking through a forest with long shadows falling from the pillars. I hope to go back one day too 🙂

    • I would love to have seen it in its prime. I too, could have stayed forever wandering under those arches.

  11. Wow. What a stunning place. Now why don’t we have architecture like that here?
    All those arches are beautiful… I could have one of them in lounge room.

    • I love the arches. It shouldn’t be too difficult to install one of them in your lounge.

  12. The Mezquita must have been an awesome place to be in with so many people praying at once.

    • It is the most incredible place I have ever seen. It would have been most impressive when full of people.

  13. […] posts from Spain didn’t attract all that much attention. I was especially disappointed that Cordoba’s magnificent Mezquita didn’t rate well as I think it is one of the most amazing things I have ever seen. Palacios […]

  14. How interesting to see Islam and Christianity under the same roof! Lovely architecture, all of it – but I love the ornate details in the Mosque 🙂

    • I liked the Arabic stuff the best.

  15. I’m glad I didn’t read these posts until after I went to Spain – now I can look at them and let them call up all my memories.

    There is something so serene and calm, and yet solid about the Islamic architecture in this mosque/church, it’s just amazing to feel it around you.

    • I loved the Islamic architecture in Spain. You are right, it is serene and calm.

  16. […] Toledo and saw the magnificent cathedral (click here), Cordoba to see the amazing Mezquita (click here) and we just loved Seville (click here)  and the Alcazar in Seville made us want to stay forever […]

  17. […] here to see more of this incredible building and look in the Spain category to see Madrid, Ainsa, Toledo, […]

  18. Your photos Mezquita very bright and cheery as opposed to mine.

    • There was plenty of light when we were there. I don’t know what happened on your visit. I think the mesquita is one of the most amazing places I have ever seen.

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