In 2010, my two friends and I travelled from Australia to Europe, with a half day layover in London. During this trip we visited Seville, Cordoba, Grenada, Barcelona, Ibiza, Paris and then I continued to Scotland, ending in London for three days. This post covers our short trip in Cordoba to see the Mezquita.
This morning we were all feeling a lot more chipper than yesterday! I woke up before the others so I thought I’d walk to a nearby shopping mall to get some groceries (almost 30 minutes each way). I didn’t bother to check when it was open because I assumed it would be open by 9:30am. I was wrong, so I waited a half hour (in the sporadic rain) for it to open.
I love going to grocery stores in different countries, especially in countries where a language other than English is spoken. It’s always fun to guess what you’re buying, though the pictures (usually) give it away. Though sometimes there can be surprises!
We decided to visit Cordoba on our short trip to see the Mezquita. It is one of the most unique buildings I’ve ever visited for several reasons, with only one of them being the uncountable number of stripes and arches (with 856 columns!). The other being the fact that it’s a mosque with a cathedral built inside. After exploring the rows and rows of striped columns, you come to a full functioning cathedral that would be a gorgeous building on its own. The two styles are such a contrast that feels almost harmonious at the same time.
The Mesquita (or Mosque) was mostly built in the 10th century when Cordoba and the surrounding area was ruled by Muslims. The building has had several owners over the centuries, with each adding their own additions. Once the Christians conquered Cordoba in 1236, the Mesquita was used as a Cathedral but was mostly unchanged. About 300 years later, parts of the centre were removed to make way for the main alter area.
So it makes for a very unique building, which is huge I might add! As you walk through the building, there are red and white stripped arches pretty much as far as you can see. Walking inside, I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I was definitely impressed.
Yesterday we had wandered around the Jewish Quarter, which is a maze of narrow streets, with most of the buildings painted white. It’s quite pretty but very touristy. I found Seville to be more of a liveable city and this area in Cordoba is what I called “tourism on crack“* with tourist shops everywhere.
We wanted to leave Cordoba as early as possible in the morning so we thought it would be a good idea to buy bus tickets today. So in the 30+ degree heat we walked over to the bus station and bought tickets to the bus we wanted with a 8:30am departure (the online site said they were sold out so don’t believe it!).
The rest of the day has been pretty lazy, which is good because it’s been raining off and on all afternoon!
*not an official term
Next stop, Granada!