One of the Domes at The Mosque–Cathedral of Córdoba. Spain
The Mosque–Cathedral of Córdoba (Spanish: Mezquita–catedral de Córdoba, Mezquita de Córdoba), also called the Mezquita and the Great Mosque of Córdoba, or the Cathedral of the Assumption of Our Lady is a medieval Islamic mosque that was converted into a Catholic Christian cathedral in the Spanish city of Córdoba, Andalusia. The mosque is regarded as the one of the most accomplished monuments of Moorish architecture. Since the early 2000s (decade), Spanish Muslims have lobbied the Roman Catholic Church to allow them to pray in the cathedral. The Muslim campaign has been rejected on multiple occasions, by both Spanish Catholic authorities, and the Vatican.
The Great Mosque of Córdoba held a place of importance amongst the Islamic community of al-Andalus for three centuries. In Córdoba, the capital, the Great Mosque was seen as the heart and central focus.Muhammad Iqbal described its hypostyle hall as having "countless pillars like rows of palm trees in the oasises of Syria".To the people of al-Andalus “the beauty of the mosque was so dazzling that it defied any description.”
The Great Mosque of Córdoba exhibited features, and an architectural appearance, similar to the Great Mosque of Damascus, therefore it is evident that it was used as a model by Abd ar-Rahman for the creation of the Great Mosque in Córdoba.
Mihrab of the old Mosque (now converted to a Cathedral )which is preserved as a holy place and not allowed for visitors to enter.
The building was begun around the year 600 as the Christian Visigothic church of St. Vincent.
After the Islamic conquest of the Visigothic kingdom, the church was divided between the Muslims and Christians. When the exiled Umayyad prince Abd ar-Rahman I escaped to Spain and defeated the Andalusian governor Yusuf al-Fihri, he allowed the Christians to rebuild their ruined churches, and purchased the Christian half of the church of St. Vincent. Abd ar-Rahman I and his descendants reworked it over two centuries to refashion it as a mosque, starting in 784.
The mosque underwent numerous subsequent changes: Abd ar-Rahman III ordered a new minaret, while Al-Hakam II, in 961, enlarged the building and enriched the mihrab. The last of the reforms was carried out by Al-Mansur Ibn Abi Aamir in 987. It was connected to the Caliph's palace by a raised walk-way, mosques within the palaces being the tradition for the Islamic rulers of all times. The Mezquita reached its current dimensions in 987 with the completion of the outer naves and courtyard.
The main hall of the mosque was used for a variety of purposes. It served as a central hall for teaching and to manage law and order within al-Andalus during the rule of Abd ar-Rahman.