The Mosque-Cathedral of Cordoba is one of the most visited sights in Andalucia.
"The mosque structure is an important monument in the history of Islamic architecture and was highly influential on the subsequent "Moorish" architecture of the western Mediterranean regions of the Muslim world. It is also one of Spain's major historic monuments and tourist attractions, as well as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1984.
"...the present-day site of the Cathedral–Mosque of Córdoba was originally a Visigothic Christian church dedicated to Saint Vincent of Saragossa, which was divided and shared by Christians and Muslims after the Umayyad conquest of Hispania. As the Muslim community grew and this existing space became too small for prayer, the basilica was expanded little by little through piecemeal additions to the building. This sharing arrangement of the site lasted until 785, when the Christian half was purchased by Abd al-Rahman I, who then proceeded to demolish the church structure and build the grand mosque of Córdoba on its site. In return, Abd al-Rahman also allowed the Christians to rebuild other ruined churches – including churches dedicated to the Christian martyrs Saints Faustus, Januarius, and Marcellus whom they deeply revered – as agreed upon in the sale terms.
"Construction of the mosque began in 785–786 (169 AH) and finished a year later in 786–787 (170 AH). This relatively short period of construction was aided by the reuse of existing Roman and Visigothic materials in the area, especially columns and capitals. Syrian (Umayyad), Visigothic, and Roman influences have been noted in the building's design, but the architect is not known. The craftsmen working on the project probably included local Iberians as well as people of Syrian origin. According to tradition and historical written sources, Abd ar-Rahman involved himself personally and heavily in the project, but the extent of his personal influence in the mosque's design is debated.
"The original mosque's most famous architectural innovation, which was preserved and repeated in all subsequent Muslim-era expansions, was its rows of two-tiered arches. Much speculation has been offered on the inspiration for this particular design, including the alleged similarity of the arches to a forest of palm trees from Abd ar-Rahman's youth in Syria; however, a more technical motivation may have been the fact that the available columns being reused from previous buildings were not tall enough on their own to raise the ceiling to the desired height. The precedent of multi-tiered arches was also already present in the Iberian Peninsula thanks to remaining Roman aqueducts."
Over time the mosque was enlarged several times -
So that is just tiny bit of background- on this amazing historic site. Now on to the photos-
A truly amazing and beautiful structure that is unique to Andalucia and its history. Next post the cathedral details- all in the same building!