[PHOTO ESSAY] A detailed look at the Mezquita in Cordoba: Mosque versus Cathedral

in photofeed •  7 months ago

I explained two days ago the magic of walking into a centuries old mosque that through time got expanded more than once and finally ended up as a cathedral. The mystery lies in the knowing you walk in what originally is a Mosque, but at the heart of that huge building lies a cathedral including a monstrous organ.

I will never be truly capable of explaining the experience of walking in the lovely 'Mezquita' in Cordoba, and I must say I even can't show it all through pictures. But I decided to share some architectural and decorative details of the 'Mosque' and 'Cathedral', just to show you some of the differences between the two.

With every picture, realize: this is a Mosque-Cathedral. It's still used daily for holding Mass. Where in the world can you find a special place like this?

The post shows:

  • Architectural details of the Mosque
  • Architectural details of the Cathedral
  • A side-by-side where I could find them in the building


The architecture and graphical details of the Mosque were my favourite. I'm just a sucker for 'clean' design and geometry. I love the minimalism and 'modesty' in the Mosque parts of the Mezquita. There is clearly a lot of attention put into the architecture without overdoing it.

[You might think I'm a bad photographer that can't center her pictures, but literally no wall in the Mezquite is perfectly aligned with the others :-)]



[Gorgeous ceilings with elaborate geometric figures]

[Well decorated gate to a little chamber]

[The red and white and gold combinations repeats itself many times in the Mosque part of the Mezquita]


I've seen many more Cathedrals in my life than I have Mosques, so that might skew my impressions a bit. But the Cathedral is impressive in it's own right: very overwhelming in size, portrayal of gold and the huge organ. The decorations are not compliant with my own taste, but they must be admired as well: the work that has been put into this!

[For those who have seen Cathedrals before: this round roof top is certainly a recurring shape in most of them]

[Gold paint, curly decorations, pristine white in the background]




It was hard to pinpoint the exact transitions from Mosque to Cathedral. Most of the time the scale of the architecture is so that I need to use special equipment to capture it the right way. And since I was here in my 'tourist' photographer form, I wasn't that prepared. But right when you find the center of the Cathedral and look up you'll see the ceiling on the right is phenomenally different from that on the left, showing a 'transition' that's both well matched in colours, but also undeniably different.

[Left: Mosque. Right: Cathedral. Same for the pictures below.]




The tourists in the 'Mezquita' were both Muslim and non-Muslim. It's less obvious to 'spot the Catholics' but I'm sure they were there. Both Catholics and Muslims share this building through it's history and shared stories. However: it's currently appointed as a 'Cathedral', and daily Masses are held. While wandering through this history filled building and spotting the many Muslim tourists I couldn't help but wish for this place to have daily religious events for Muslims as well. Where in the world would we have a place where both religions share a building? Even more: a building that was built people from both religions?

I'm sure some more adaptations should be made to be able to tend to the needs of both. But still: that would be a lovely symbolic transformation for this amazing building in the South of Spain.

All photography on steemit.com/@soyrosa is created and edited by me, Rosanne Dubbeld, 2005-2018. Contact me if you want to discuss licensing or collaborations on creative projects :-)

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Beautiful shots @soyrosa, I'd really like to visit Cordoba and Andalusia in general, so much history, I feel specially connected to it as is the homeland of some of my ancestors and place of a large mixture of cultures much like latin america is.


Thanks a lot @melooo182! :-) I appreciate your comment. I love Andalusia in general indeed, there is so much to see, nature is beautiful, cultural remnants of different people... It's gorgeous.

Beautiful images indeed...


Such beautiful and creative work of art.
The design in the mosque and cathedral are similar in decorations but different in building structure
Thanks for sharing such beautiful photos. They look amazing.


Thanks a lot for commenting @cyntibellar! Some similarities and a lot of differences indeed, it was truly amazing to see that come together in one building :-)

I can only imagine how much time it took to create this opulent structure with such details. This transformation is amazing!


In the end it took them centuries @lymepoet! :-) I'm always amazed by the dedication people have while building these gorgeous buildings in general :-)

What a glorious post. I think I also prefer the mosque architecture but the cathedral is well represented, too.

Just wonderful photography of an absolutely intriguing subject. Thank you.


Thanks for stopping by to appreciate the photos @bigtom13! I couldn't stop looking at all the tiny details :-)

What an amazing topic and incredibe photography ! Thank you for this !


Thank YOU for stopping by @pennydread! :D


Well of course darling, this is what this amazing site is all about <3 Supporting each others thoughts and work <3

Fabulous shots @soyrosa
I especially like the transition from mosque to cathedral photos.


Thank you @cizzo! Glad you liked them! :-)

This is such a beautifully written piece, and a truly amazing place!
Muslims and Christians coexisted for centuries at certain periods but this is a part of history that we tend to forget.


Yes, and it's such a shame we have forgotten that... I would love to see this one building as a symbol of 'better times' if we can call it that :-) Thanks for commenting @fotostef!

Wow the pictures are breathtaking.. such detail.. beautiful!


Thanks for the nice words @anouk.nox! Glad you can appreciate it :-)

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It is so amazing to see the melding of different religious traditions in one building. Thank you so much for sharing!


Thank YOU for commenting @rachelhanson10! I've never seen a melding of traditions on this scale and it was amazing indeed :-)


My pleasure!

Hello. I am very pleased to see your photos. I see how you admire the beauty of this mosque. I was here, too. And this is one of the places that gave me very great impressions. I visited 20 countries and have something to compare with. This is one of the great works of art of the East!


Oh wow! You're the first person here on Steemit who comments they have been there too :-) I'm so glad you were able to see it, and I agree, it's one of the most beautiful places I ever visited :-) Thanks for stopping by @marymik23! :-)


I studied sculpture, made reliefs, I liked this activity. Therefore, this architectural structure so impressed me.

That's gorgeous!


<3 It truly is!

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This interior of building and its combination of Christian and Arabic elements and decorations are unique .


Yes, I've never seen anything that compares @philfreetotravel!

OH my goodness, all this beauty. It's always humbling when you step into buildings such as these. To marvel at all the beauty and work and majesty of these places and that they also hold all this belief 'chi' from all those who attend them and believe in their own religious beliefs, it's just so moving. Wonderful shots, thanks so much for sharing these.


I always say "you don't have to be a religious person to feel a 'presence' in buildings like this" @donnadavisart! Very true for the Mezquita as well :-)

Me encantan los detalles que lograste captar del acabado, los colores y fascinante las texturas. Me encantó esta serie de fotos @soyrosa. Saludos


Muchas gracias para su palabras @zailecita! :-)

That's what I'm talking about !!!
I LOVE this post !!!
I'm very much into architecture as you know, if religion is involved (just like my studies) then it gets even better! :D