Tuesday 2nd February
Whenever we talked about going to Spain I had an image of a building in my head that I was going to visit. I thought it was the Alhambra in Granada but it wasn’t there. I eventually found it today. I knew where it was a year ago but our route had never taken us near here.
Up early for us and we catch a bus in to town.
First impressions are good. Nice city walls, nicely landscaped and we are warm.
Through the town walls and everything is looking great. I particularly liked the hanging baskets inside the arch. The roads got narrow at this point, never more than 6 feet wide, twisting and turning and we came to our prize.
Not quite what I was expecting to see, my impressions were slightly different. The building is the Torre Alminar and we are in the orange tree courtyard.
And looking the other way is the building that we have come to see, nearly. This is the Cathedral of Cordoba which was built slap bang in the middle of the Mezquita de Abd Al-Rahman.
And this is the iconic picture I have of Spain as we walked through the doorway. I won’t apologise for the number of arches photos to follow, there were so many, over 800 columns, stretching out in all directions.
A good site for a Mosque or Cathedral has many layers of history. Below ground level are fantastic Roman mosaics.
The Mesquita was built in four stages and could house up to 12,000 worshippers at a time. Construction of the mosque originally started in 785.
Catholic shrines have been placed along the outside walls, some dating back to 1236 when King Ferdinand III reconquered the city, luckily for us he didn’t destroy the Mezquita.
This is the El Mihrab where the Iman would lead the prayers.
And above him a fantastic arched roof.
Then the tour takes you to the centre where in 1523 the decision was taken to build a cathedral right in the middle of the mosque.
From the shaded areas of the mosque you are suddenly standing in the light of God, (that’s what the audio guide said).
Super duper stitching of photos, the circular dome is immediately overhead and then behind is a barrel vaulted ceiling over the choir.
The workmanship is outstanding, everywhere you look is fantastic detailing.
And another view artistically framed of the Torre Alminar.
The Mesquita is a fantastic building, you’ve got a fraction of the photos that I took inside. Make sure you fully charge up your batteries and work out how you’re going to take photos in a darkened space before you go. On my camera I have a scene mode which takes four photos at a time and blends them together to give a photo with the correct exposure.
After our tour we had to find lunch and Lucy now has a new favourite liqueur to add to her ever expanding list of favourite liqueurs.
We had a little issue with finding a bus to get home and in the end got a taxi. It’s not often that I ask someone to slow down, the last time was our son in law but he wasn’t a patch on this driver. Wheelspins at the traffic lights, two wheels round the roundabouts, we think he was having a race with his mate and then he charged us €15 for what could have been a €2.40 bus ride.
I’ve got to fill Frankie up with diesel in the morning, we’re not impressed at the high cost around here, 98.9c per litre!