Cordoba City - Fascinating Fact 1

Cordoba is best known as being home to one of Andalucia's great monuments: the Mezquita © Michelle Chaplow
Cordoba is best known as being home to one of Andalucia's great monuments: the Mezquita.

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When first built in the 10th century, the Mezquita was (and still remains) one of the largest mosques in the world - at 24,000m2, it accommodated 10,000 worshippers, being second only to Mecca as a pilgrimage site. The building's existing 865 columns (originally 1293, before the cathedral arrived) were recycled from various sources, including the Visigothic basilica over which the mosque was built (look out for their carved capitals), as well as Roman temples. Hence the pillars' differing materials and heights - the taller ones were sunk into the floor, while the shorter ones had square columns added to create the distinctive red-and-white striped horseshoe-shaped arches. These sit below the second row of semicircular arches, to raise the height of the ceiling - an improvised, innovative and ingenious architectural style which produced one of Spain's oldest and most recognisable monuments.

 

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