Last week’s post on Córdoba alluded to one of the highlights of my trip to Spain – finally finally seeing the Great Mosque.This AMAZING piece of architecture is a must-see for anyone visiting Andalusia, the southern region of Spain that is heavily influenced by the Islamic culture that once called the peninsula home.
The Great Mosque is actually much more than a mosque. Originally the site was home to a basilica built by the Visigoths. After the Moors conquered Spain at the turn of the 8th century (!), the basilica was demolished and in its place the Great Mosque was built. After several additions to expand the Mosque, and after the Reconquista, it was eventually converted back into a church. In the 16th century, a Renaissance cathedral nave was actually inserted into the former mosque. In the photos below you can see the contrast between the Mosque and Cathedral sections of the complex.
After studying Islamic history in college, the Great Mosque was something that I had been dreaming of seeing for years. It is a standing symbol of the cultural clashes, transformations, and mergers of different people and traditions that really reflects the Andalusian region as a whole.
I was feeling pretty under the weather the day we spent in Córdoba, but I managed to rally because I was NOT going to let anything get in the way of me seeing this amazing place!
The mosque is a very affordable addition to any visit to the region. Entrance to the mosque is only 8€. We went during regular visiting hours and had no issue with lines or purchasing tickets. If you want to visit the mosque for free, you can between 8:30 and 9:30 am, but they enforced strict silence during this time. For 20€, you can reserve a spot in a guided tour (you can purchase tickets here). However, I really recommend the self-guided audio tour for 4-5€ , which was extremely comprehensive!
What is something on your travel bucket list?