Thursday, March 28, 2019
My last blog ended when we arrived at Seville. I’ve tried to post blogs twice since then; both times my blogs evaporated. Here’s hoping the third time is a charm!
We traveled to Cordoba, which is a walled city that is a UNESCO heritage site. The Guadalquivir river is crossed by an old Roman Bridge.
And the walls of the old city are impressive.
The large buildings on the main plaza contrast with the narrow winding streets of the former Jewish quarter.
We toured the former synagogue, which was turned into a church after the Inquisition. I certainly appreciate the separation of church and state; there is so much sad history and discrimination in the past (and in the present too, in some places). Of course Spain now has separation of church and state.
The former synagogue
And absolute highlight of our trip was the Mezquita , which is also called the Mosque cathedral. It is huge. It was built as a mosque around 1000 A.D. when the Moors were occupying Spain. After King Ferdinand defeated the Moors in Cordoba in 1276, the mosque was converted to a cathedral. Unlike Seville, where the mosque was torn down and a cathedral built on top, in Cordoba the cathedral was built inside the existing mosque. It is huge, and a beautiful example of moorish architecture. It is still an active cathedral. It is open to the public when the services are not in session.
The cathedral belltower was built on top of the minaret (tower where the Moslem muezzin calls the faithful to prayer). The garden courtyard is a part of the original mosque design. The trees in the foreground are orange trees. Our guide told us the orange fruit is very bitter; Spain exports the oranges to Britain where they are made into marmalade jam.
A glass panel in the floor of the Mezquita showed an ancient Roman tile floor below. Additional interesting historical evidence were the signatures from the stonemasons on the columns. Each signed their name in order to get paid. A few of the signatures were not in Arabic script; instead they were Christian signs like a fish or a cross.
I loved the expanse of history and culture in Cordoba!