October 7, 2022
During our time in Seville, the Standly’s, Karen Paluch, and we took a day trip to Cordoba, the medieval capital of Moorish-controlled Spain. It was a marvelous day filled with unexpected surprises. The train ride was direct and only 45 minutes. The train stations in Spain are top notch and the trains excellent. Security is efficient and tight. There are plenty of places to eat or relax and getting to the train is done via escalators that have no steps, just a downward or upward moving sidewalk. We all said Spain train system gets an A plus.
Cordoba is know for two main structures—the Roman era bridge and the Mesquita or Mosque/Cathedral. Both are wonderful experiences; however, the Mesquita was awe inspiring! First a church, it was taken down by the African Muslim Moors after they invaded Iberia and parts were reused to build a mosque on the site. Later, after the Reconquista (the European invasions that pushed the Moors back into Africa after their 700 year occupation of Iberia), the mosque was rechristened a Christian Church (Roman Catholic Cathedral) and parts of it remodeled to reflect Christian symbolism. The result is a phenomenal sight. Row upon row of burnt red and white striped arches supported with columns in perfect symmetry reach, seemingly endlessly, in every direction. The ceiling is relatively low, casting a dark shadow into the distance. It is a mysterious sight. Then, all of the sudden, you walk into a central area with white high sculpted ceilings with windows that flood the area with light. Beautiful wood carved choir stalls with a pipe organ stand in the distance and a beautiful altar beckons worship. A guide explained that light and enlightenment piercing darkness are central teachings of Christianity, and Islam teaches shadows and mystery and this explains the difference in the architectural styles exhibited in the cathedral. We were enthralled and spent several hours exploring the Mesquita that can now hold 40,000 people within its walls.
After walking the bridge, eating in a restaurant in a building from 800 A.D. and enjoying a visit to the alcazar palace and gardens, we headed back to Sevilla. It was a glorious day!
WOW. The church is wonderful. What craftsmanship!! Don’t build ’em like that anymore. Thanks for sharing.
Absolutely gorgeous! What a great day.