Cordoba Mosque .. Witness the grandeur of Islamic art in Andalusia | mix

The Cordoba Mosque was modeled after the Umayyad Mosque in Damascus. It consists of a sanctuary, 73.5 meters wide and 36.8 meters deep, divided into 11 porticoes by 10 rows of arches.


The Mosque of Cordoba is the most famous of the Moorish monuments (architectural method found in the Maghreb and the Iberian Peninsula after Islam) and even topped the list of 12 Spanish Treasures in 2007.

It was founded in 170 AH by the Sakr of the Quraysh Abd al-Rahman al-Dakhil; He is Abu al-Mutref Abd al-Rahman ibn Muawiyah ibn Hisham ibn Abd al-Malik al-Umeyyad al-Qurashi (113-172 AH / 731-788 AD). He spent 100 thousand dinars for its construction and was told 80 thousand dinars.

The Mosque of Cordoba is known as the Grand Mosque or Cathedral and Mosque of Cordoba. The reason for linking the mosque to the cathedral is that the Muslims, when they conquered Cordoba, prayed near the church and over time built a mosque on the site. When the number of Muslims increased and the mosque was narrowed for them, Abdurrahman bought that place from the Christians for 100 thousand dinars, and erected the mosque in it and finished its walls for a year.

The mosque has a ornate ceiling that adorns the existing building of 856 columns of marble, granite and onyx (Reuters)

mosque architecture design

The Cordoba Mosque was modeled after the Umayyad Mosque in Damascus. It consists of a shrine 73.5 meters wide and 36.8 meters deep, divided into 11 porticoes, by 10 rows of arches, each of which consists of 12 arches that rest on marble columns and extend vertically to the wall. rear; Following the rules of Moorish architecture (architectural method found in the Maghreb and the Iberian Peninsula after Islam) in terms of the presence of 4 gardens in the courtyard of the building called riad, geometric decorations and arabesques made of wood and mortar.

This architectural style spread to the major capitals of Islamic empires such as Cordoba, Cairo and Granada.

A canal was also built to send water from the feet of Jabal Al-Arous, near Cordoba, to the mosque. He is also adorned with walls and columns of many phrases and most of which are Qur’anic verses, including “God, who is no god other than He is the Holy King, the believer of peace dominates the mighty mighty mighty. (Surah Al-Hashr, verse 23).

The Mosque of Cordoba in southern Spain includes 11 porticos, each of which includes 12 arches based on marble columns (French)

The mosque has a ornate roof that adorns the building, which is based on 856 columns of marble, granite and onyx. As for the dome; Abd al-Rahman al-Nasir ordered its construction in the farthest courtyard of the mosque from the north. It is a large tower with two balconies for the call to prayer, attached to it by an internal staircase that still stands to this day, but the tower began to ring for the cathedral after placing its hand on the mosque after the departure of the Muslims.

After that, a number of divisions were added to the mosque, including the “Dar Al-Sadafa” cabin west of the mosque, inside which Abd al-Rahman became the center for the distribution of alms and another division in front of the mosque. the western door where the poor and passers-by lived so that people would not be beggars.

Tourists visit the Cordoba Mosque, which is a masterpiece of Islamic architecture modeled on the Umayyad Mosque in Damascus (French)

yard or yard

The courtyard of the mosque has 4 large gardens and these gardens were considered as a transitional stage in which the believers rested from daily work before entering the mosque to pray. Sakr Quraysh also ordered the construction of a fountain in which water is renewed through small canals and contains many fountains with which worshipers can perform ablution.

Originally, the courtyard was planted with lemon and orange trees, a perennial evergreen tree known in the Levant as the “Abu Sapphire tree.” The place still contains many bitter orange trees to this day, while the courtyard is called the bitter orange dish.

The mosque in Orientalist paintings

The American painter Edwin Lord Weeks (1849-1903), best known for his Orientalist works, painted an interior of the Cordoba Mosque in 1880 while living in Cordoba. It is a large painting measuring 142.2 cm high and 184.3 cm wide. It shows a group of believers performing Friday prayers in front of a preacher holding a green flag.

This work, located in the Great Mosque of Cordoba of the 8th century in Spain may have begun in 1880 while Weeks was staying in that city.  In Weeks's property sales catalog, the scene was described as follows: Preaching the holy war against Christians, the old Moor above Muhammad's green flag as he curses
A painting by American painter Edwin Lord Weeks showing a group of worshipers, some of them praying in front of a preacher holding a green flag (Wikipedia)

The panel features ornate arches that characterize the mosque, along with phrases that adorn the qibla site above the imam. But Weeks did not do well. The scene looked like a realistic interior decoration of the mosque during the Friday prayer, if not for one thing.

Weeks added a note to his catalog of paintings related to this particular painting in Arabic: truly religious, and calls on Muhammad’s followers to expel them from Spain. “

Weeks Edwin enters the mosque 1885 Image via
Another painting by artist Weeks for a group of worshipers entering the Cordoba Mosque (Wikipedia)

The Walter Museum in the United States – which currently owns the painting – has reported that many of the elements and even the announcement Walter left with the painting are fabricated and that the stage was for a worshiper gathering in a Friday prayer, and that Weeks is tried to reinforce the misconceptions of European and American viewers that the places of Islamic prayer were filled with possible violence and holy war (jihad). This was the prevailing cultural tendency of most Orientalists in the 18th and 19th centuries.

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