“CATHEDRAL OF CORDOBA”
Great Mosque of Córdoba is a beautiful and fascinating building which shows and symbolizes the religious changes Cordoba has faced over the centuries. This place is among the UNESCO’s world heritage sites. This awesome place is located in the Cordoba city of Spain. Formerly it was known and called The Great Mosque of Cordoba but these days inhabitants of Cordoba call it Cathedral-Mosque of Cordoba. Originally this site was a pagan temple then the time came it converted into a Visigothic Christian church. Later on the site was converted into mosque and a new mosque was built at the site. Now it is again a cathedral and is officially said Cathedral of St. Mary of the Assumption. Muslims living in Spain are trying to get the right of praying in the cathedral. But their request has been rejected by the Spanish Catholic authorities and by the Vatican.
The construction of the building took more than two centuries. Its construction was started in around year 600. At that moment of it was being constructed as Christian Visigothic church of St. Vincent. When the Muslims entered the Visigothic Kingdom as conqueror they divided the church between Muslims and Christians. Then it came the era of Abd-ul-Rehman I who defeated the Andalusian governor Yousuf Al-Fihri. He allowed the Christians to rebuild their ruined churches and purchased half of the St. Vincent church from the Christians. In 784 Abd-ul-Rehman and his descendants declared it a mosque and worked over it again for two years to rebuild & refashion the building. In 987 the mosque reached to its current dimensions with the completion of courtyard and outer naves. it is one of the major pilgrimage sites of the Muslims in the world. The reason behind it that in the era of Abd-ul-Rehman II, the mosque held original copy of Quran and the arm bone of Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him).
The great mosque of Cordoba is the heart of Cordoba city is the main focus and attraction of the tourists. You can not give any description to the dazzling beauty of the mosque. there is the forest of 856 columns which are made of jasper, onyx, granite and marble. These all were taken from the Roman temple which was built at the site previously and other destroyed roman buildings. The most notable thing in the Mosque of Cordoba are the giant arches.
In the whole building of the mosque the most interesting feature is the Mihrab which were built by Al-Hakim II. Mihrab is a masterpiece of Islamic architectural art. Maksoureh which is a kind of anteroom for the caliph and his court is certainly a masterpiece of Islamic art. It would be worthwhile to see the beautiful features of the building like open court surrounded by the arcades, screens of woods, minerates, colourful glass windows and colourful mosaics. Another feature of the mosque is the yellow tree courtyard outside. This courtyard has a beautiful fountain and blossoms with perfumed oranges in the spring.
Allama Muhammad Iqbal who is the one of the founding fathers of Pakistan visited Cordoba during his Europe visit in 1931-1932. He was really impressed with the architecture of the Mosque. He requested the authorities to offer Azan at the mosque. Iqbal was of the that the mosque is a cultural landmark of Islam. He wrote a poem with the title “The Mosque of Cordoba”.