Unit 1. islam and al andalus The Great Mosque of Cordoba is such a fascinating and timeless piece of ancient history. [14] When Charles V later saw the result of the construction he is reputed to have been displeased, however, and famously commented: "You have destroyed something unique to build something commonplace. Built on a Visigothic site, which was probably the site of an earlier Roman temple, the Great Mosque of Cordoba was begun between 784 and 786 during the reign of 'Abd al-Rahman I, who escaped from Syria to the Iberian Peninsula after his family was massacred by a rival political dynasty. The Great Mosque of Cordoba is frequently cited by modern scholars as a major influence on the subsequent architecture of Al-Andalus and of the western Maghreb (mostly Morocco and Algeria) – in what is known as "Moorish" architecture – due to both its architectural innovations and its symbolic importance as the religious heart of the region's historic Cordoban Caliphate. [67] Over the choir area, the central area of the barrel vault ceiling is occupied by images of the Assumption, Saint Acisclus and Saint Victoria, while the sides feature images of David, Solomon, Daniel and Samuel along with the theological virtues. [31], According to traditional accounts, the present-day site of the Cathedral–Mosque of Córdoba was originally a Christian church dedicated to Saint Vincent of Saragossa,[32] which was divided and shared by Christians and Muslims after the Umayyad conquest of Hispania. These make a very distinctive color and formal whole. The development of the Great Mosque paralleled these new heights of splendour. [65], Notably, during the early period of the cathedral-mosque, the workers charged with maintaining the building (which had suffered from disrepair in previous years) were local Muslims (Mudéjars). In its construction shafts and Roman and Visigoth capitals for the formation of the columns they were reused. Today the courtyard is planted with rows of orange trees, cypresses, and palm trees. It is to Córdoba what the Alhambra Palace is to Granada and the Giralda tower is to Seville, a unique focal point of identification, appropriated by Christians through conquest. This could be due to the terrain along the river Guadalquivir, to the influence of the Great Mosque of Damascus, Syria; or the location of the Roman Cardo of Córdoba. [88][16]:73[13]:84 Scholars have argued that this use of Byzantine mosaics is also part of a general desire – whether conscious or not – by the Cordoban Umayyads to evoke connections to the early Umayyad Caliphate in the Middle East, in particular to the Great Umayyad Mosque of Damascus, where Byzantine mosaics were a prominent element of the decoration. The main hall of the mosque was used for a variety of purposes. Later in the century, under the Caliphate of Al-Hakam II, culture and the aesthetic and literary arts was encouraged. 1,300 columns also acquire different shades due to the variety of types of stone were used in the different phases of construction of the mosque: marble, jasper and granite. This is one of the reasons why the mosque, along with Cordoba’s historic center, were declared a UNESCO World Heritage site. It is characterized by the set of columns and arches that define bicolor. Celebrated for its harmony, balance, dra-matic use of light and decoration, and its overall unity and aesthetic sensitivity, the monument belongs to an es- This is one of the reasons why the mosque, along with Cordoba’s historic center, were declared a UNESCO World Heritage site. There are poly-lobed arches, horseshoe arches and interlacing horseshoe arches. The Great Mosque of Kairouan, Tunisia, is an archetypal example of the hypostyle mosque. [2] The building's original floor plan follows the overall form of some of the earliest mosques built from the very beginning of Islam. [16][13] The mosque was converted to a cathedral in 1236 when Córdoba was captured by the Christian forces of Castile during the Reconquista. The orientation of the mosque is particularly oriented to the south rather than towards Mecca, as occurs in the mosque of Damascus. [14] His son Abdallah (ruled 888-912) built the mosque's first elevated passage, known as a sabat, which connected the mosque directly with the Umayyad palace across the street. The cathedral has a Latin cross, and protobarrocas Gothic vaults and a Renaissance dome. [72][71] In 1727 the tower was damaged by another storm and in 1755 pieces of it (mainly decorative details) were damaged by the 1755 Lisbon Earthquake. The minaret has since disappeared after it was partly demolished and encased in the Renaissance bell tower that is visible today, which was designed by Hernán Ruiz III and built between 1593 and 1617. Martin Frishman, Hasan Uddin … It came about when Christian forces conquered Córdoba in 1236; the Great Mosque was immediately consecrated as the Catedral de la Asuncion de la Virgen (Cathedral of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary). The Mosque–Cathedral of Córdoba, also known as the Great Mosque of Córdoba and the Mezquita. [94][95] However, Spanish church authorities and the Vatican have opposed this move. The buildings on this site are as complex as the extraordinarily rich history they illustrate. It is a historical monument of brillianty developed architecture. The Great Mosque of Cordoba. Islamic architecture Abhishek Mewada. Upon the city's conquest the mosque was converted into a Catholic cathedral dedicated to the Virgin Mary (Santa Maria). [61] It is likely that the mosque's minbar was also restored at this time, since it is known to have survived long afterwards up to the 16th century. Temple/Church/Mosque/Church. In Córdoba, the Umayyad capital, the Mosque was seen as the heart and central focus of the city. The prayer hall was expanded into eight sections commanded by Rahman II (822). [78] A restoration project began on the bell tower in 1991 and finished in 2014, while the transept and choir of the Renaissance cathedral were also restored between 2006 and 2009. The altarpiece was designed in a Mannerist style by Alonso Matías and construction began in 1618. [61] The first precisely-dated chapel known to be built along the west wall is the Chapel of San Felipe and Santiago, in 1258. [74], View of the seats on the upper and lower rows, The upper part of the episcopal throne of the choir, featuring a life-size representation of the Ascension. It was initially funded with the help of a large bequest by Archdeacon José Díaz de Recalde in 1742. Moreover, it is a magnificent example of architecture combining two religions, Muslim and Christian. [18] This took place in the context of wider conservation efforts in Spain, starting in the 19th century, towards studying and restoring Islamic-era structures. [100] The diocese of Cordoba said in a statement: "We call on politicians and institutions to show responsibility and not to feed this false controversy which merely fuels division. Taking the form of a discrete chamber, and richly ornamented with carved marble and gold mosaics, the mihrab is the focal point of the mosque’s prayer hall as expanded during the reign of the second Andalusi Umayyad caliph, al-Hakam II (r. 961-76). One of the most memorable and influential buildings of Islamic Spain was the Great Mosque of Cordoba, built between the 8 th and 10 th centuries, and in its time considered a wonder of the world by both Muslims and Christians. [83][13] It had a rectangular prayer hall with aisles arranged perpendicular to the qibla, the direction towards which Muslims pray. What it is known is that it took its final shape under the leadership of Mohamed I. Al-Mundhir up the treasury, from which its final location is unknown. Kostof, Spiro. The central aisle houses the tabernacle (executed by Pedro Freile de Guevara) at its base, while its upper half is occupied by a canvas of the Assumption. The mosque introduced a fascinating technique (more elaborate than that of Quairawan) in extending the height of short columns to achieve a standard height of space (roof and ceiling). The Great Mosque of Cordoba vs. Hagia Sophia Religion has played a huge role in the history of the world of architecture. Sort by: Top Voted. From Cordoba, Mecca is to the east-southeast, but the Great Mosque of Cordoba is instead oriented more towards the south. The choir stalls, also of the eighteenth century, is the work of the Sevillian master Pedro Duque Cornejo. [17] Further restoration works concentrating on the former mosque structure were carried out between 1879 and 1923 under the direction of Velázquez Bosco, who among other things dismantled the baroque elements that had been added to the Villaviciosa Chapel and uncovered the earlier structures there. [15][61][66] (Their remains were later moved in 1736 to the Church of San Hipólito. Kostof, Spiro. In terms of architectural and ornamental innovation, the Cordoba mosque introduced several features and techniques that became part of late Muslim architecture particularly in North Africa. The complex is located in the historic city center, near the Guadalquivir River and next to the Roman bridge. The first part, patio or portico sahn houses the minaret beneath the Renaissance tower, which is the only intervention that Abd al-Rahman III was in the mosque. [61]:121, The first major addition to the building under Christian patrons is the Royal Chapel (Capilla Real), located directly behind the west wall of the Villaviciosa Chapel. Under Almoravid rule, the artisan workshops of Cordoba were commissioned to design new richly-crafted minbars for the most important mosques of Morocco – most famously the Minbar of Ali Ibn Yusuf commissioned in 1137 – which were likely inspired by the model of Al-Hakam II's minbar in the Great Mosque. Also noteworthy are the ornamental plaster work, especially in the mihrab. Other artists who were involved in its execution included Sebastián Vidal, Pedro Freile de Guevara, and Antonio Palomino. Edited by Gregory Castillo. Up Next. 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