The Mezquita — the great mosque built from 785-988 by the Umayyads in the city of Córdoba — stands as one of the earliest and greatest monuments of Islamic Spain, or Al-Andalus. Still remarkably well preserved, the mosque’s art and architecture tells the story of early Al-Andalus: how the Umayyads, the Arabs who first rose to power, legitimized their regime and established the ruler as the rightful heir to leadership of the Islamic world from their new western outpost. Even after the Umayyads had fallen, the Mezquita survived to shape the consciousness of subsequent Islamic empires for another 700 years. It is yours to discover.
What’s in this guidebook
- A mosque in six stages. The Mezquita was built in six stages, the final stage of which involved its conversion to a Christian cathedral. We trace this evolution stage by stage, so you can appreciate how the layout and appearance of the mosque changed over time.
- Comprehensive look at the Mezquita’s art and architecture. We examine the defining characteristics of the Spanish Umayyad style, isolating key features and concepts that you will see again and again as you make your way through the Mezquita. Along the way, we consider the contribution of Middle Eastern prototypes.
- A tour that goes deeper on the most important sites. Following our tradition of being the most valuable resource for culture-focused travelers, we provide a unique, detailed tour of the Mezquita. The tour walks you through the highlights, aided by high-resolution images and a discussion that ties it all together.
- Advice for getting the best cultural experience. To help you plan your visit, this guidebook offers logistical advice and provides links to online resources. Plus, we provide our personal tips for getting the most from your experience while on location.
- Information the way you like it. As with all of our guides, this book is optimized for intuitive, quick navigation; information is organized into bullet points to make absorption easy; and images are mocked up with text that explains important features.