In my 11-days stay in Granada, I thought it would be a good idea to visit the Mosque-Cathedral of Cordoba, a monument I had heard a lot about. It’s one of the buildings of the Muslim period that I wanted to see besides the Alhambra.
Arriving in Cordoba
The Cordoba bus station is about 2 km from the Mosque so, having little time, we decided to take the urban bus to get there. We were somewhat disoriented and didn’t know where to get off the bus.
I asked some people about the mosque, but they didn’t seem to know what I was talking about (or they didn’t want to help me). Until a woman and her daughter overheard me and kindly offered to tell us where to get off. I didn’t know that local people seem to know it more like the Cathedral of Cordoba. Even in the brochures that they gave us it’s appointed as the Cathedral, anyway…
Mosque-Cathedral of Cordoba
And it is that of the Mosque only remains only the shape because its ecclesiastical name is Cathedral of Our Lady of the Assumption. The administration has belonged to the Catholic Church For several years. Recently there has been a great debate around the ownership of the Great Mosque.
Its construction began in 786 as a mosque. It was built on the remains of the Visigothic Basilica dedicated to Saint Vincent of Lerins. During the Emirate of Cordoba and the Caliphate of Cordoba, they enlarged it and renovated it. After the Christian reconquest of Córdoba in 1236, Ferdinand III of Castile converted the mosque into a cathedral. From that moment they began to make modifications to adapt it to the Christian rites.
Buying our ticket
We entered to the Mosque-Cathedral of Cordoba‘s courtyard where we sat down to eat a sandwich. The ticket to enter costs €10.00 and you can buy it at the box office (We didn’t book ahead and it was not necessary). On the Official Website, you can check other prices and schedules. The building is quite large and impressive on the outside. In its time this Mosque was one of the largest, after the Sacred Mosque of Mecca.
The first thing you’ll notice when entering is the famous red striped arches. The original mosque and first enlargement belonged to the times of Abd al-Rahman I and Abd al-Rahman II. One of the elements that I liked the most was the golden door with verses from the Qur’an of the Mihrab. The decorative elements of the interior are impressive.
You can also visit the Villaviciosa Chapel and the Parroquia del Sagrario with its beautiful frescoes decorating the walls. Several remains of the ancient Basilica of Saint Vincent have been recovered. It will be possible to see them during your visit. Also, they have exhibited many Christian relics and treasures.
Concluding our visit to the Mosque-Cathedral of Cordoba.
We did the tour on our own, but I think it’s worth doing with a guide. There are several stages of construction that we did not appreciate because of our little knowledge.
One of the things that I didn’t like is that in general, it has very poor lighting, besides that it looks neglected inside. It was the impression that we had, at least it doesn’t look as cared for as the Alhambra in Granada. But hey, it should not be easy to maintain a building of its dimensions. Even so, this is one of the most visited buildings in Cordoba and throughout Spain. It’s worth a visit.
Walking around Cordoba and buying souvenirs.
After our visit, we went to eat something and to buy souvenirs. Around the Mosque-Cathedral there are several streets where you can get souvenirs. We only bought some postcards and magnets for the fridge.
I had problems with my camera and after visiting the Mosque I couldn’t take more pictures. Also, the day was quite hot and that didn’t allow us to appreciate and enjoy Cordoba as it should. We arrived at the Roman Bridge that crosses the Guadalquivir River. From there you can look at the Calahorra Tower. This is a tower of Islamic origin that was used to protect the Roman Bridge.
Alcazar de Los Reyes Cristianos
Another attraction that is worth visiting is the Alcazar de Los Reyes Cristianos (Castle of the Christian Monarchs). Actually, I didn’t research about the attractions in Cordoba before coming. My intention was to visit the Great Mosque. But if you have time, this is another of the emblematic buildings of Cordoba to see.
They built the castle in 1328 under the orders of King Alfonso XI of Castile. Its construction was made on the remains of the Caliphal Palace from the Muslim period. The most notorious of the Castle is its beautiful gardens of Mudejar style.
The Alcazar is less than 10 minutes walk from the Mosque-Cathedral of Cordoba. So it’s easy and comfortable to reach it. The price of the ticket for adults is €4.5 euros. On this site, you can check more prices and the schedules.