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A one day trip to Córdoba

Seville, 12 February 2005

Eliane Schmid with her parents in Córdoba.

We took the train to get to Córdoba, which may not have been the best decision because it can be quite expensive. Especially if you travel on the AVE high speed train (21 Euro per person, one way). Nevertheless it was a very comfortable trip and after just 45 minutes we arrived in Córdoba. We received a map and information about Córdoba in the tourist office at the railway station and were prepared to start our visit.

The most important monument in Córdoba is definitely the Mosque and the Cathedral in it. In the 8th century Abderrahmán ordered the Mosque be built, and in the 15th century after the Christian reconquest the Reyes Católicos established the Cathedral in it.

After buying the tickets and renting an audio guide we crossed the patio de los naranjos to enter in the mosque.

The most impressive site for us was the "forest" of about 500 columns with their double-tiered arches.

In this picture you see the mixture of the Muslim and Christian place of worship. The construction took place over nine centuries. It appears no generation missed the opportunity to leave their own mark on the building.

There are two singularities about the mosque. Its orientation is not to Mecca but to Damascus which reveals Abderrahmán's nostalgia he felt to that city. And secondly the Mihrab, which you can see in the picture, is not situated in the center of the building.

This mystical and historical place makes Eliane feel very special. The coloured light comes from one of the church's window.

Lots of the elements natural to the mosque were destroyed because of the construction of the cathedral. The section is made of mahogany in Baroque style.

After visiting the mosque we enjoyed a walk in the sun. It gets pretty cold in a building made of stone! We enjoyed Córdoba, a pleasant city with some beautiful houses. Thanks to my mother's Andalusian guide book we got to know some interesting details about the city. Córdoba served as an important port city during the Roman period because of its strategic location next to the Guadalquivir River.

It is said that this stone bridge, Puente de las Donadas was under construction for over 50 years, and was only finished because inhabitants of the city sold their own jewelry to raise the money needed.

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