Córdova, Spain – Monday, April 20, 2015
After the breakfast buffet in the hotel dining room, we quickly crossed the street to the Mezquita, the Great Mosque-Cathedral of Córdoba, whose ecclesiastical name is Cathedral of Our Lady of the Assumption. Prior to mass, we could tour it free of charge and the organist was rehearsing. Hear the music and watch a video here:
Here, briefly, is its history.
1. Originally built as a Catholic christian church by the Visigoths.
2. In 711 the Muslims conquered Spain, and the two faiths SHARED (for over 7 centuries!) the building until 784 when the Caliph purchased it, demolished it, and built the grand mosque of Cordoba on its ground.
3. After the Reconquista, a period of about 700 years during which the Muslims ruled and the Catholics fought and finally reconquered Spain, King Ferdinand led Spain to reconquer this area, just prior to the discovery of the new world in 1492. The church was a Muslim Mosque at the time.
4. When King Ferdinand claimed all of Spain as his, it was converted to a Roman Catholic church. Instead of destroying the mosque, he added a Roman Catholic Christian nave, and converted it back to a Christian church.
5. Despite petitions and pleas from the Muslim leadership, they are not allowed to worship in it.
The interior architecture is phenomenal, as you can see in the pictures below.
After some wandering… Back to the sculpture garden and to Calles de Las Flores, we headed off to Aldomodar’s Gate, one of the sections of the wall that once surrounded this city.
We wandered through Aldomodar’s Gate and into the Jewish Barrio for lunch at Restaurante El Choto – Norm had these tapas: potato omelet and creamy gaspacho with a slice of hard boiled egg. Mary’s tapas: brie with honey on toast and croquettes langostino (actually shrimp). Both of us had una copa de tinto (one glass of Rioja red wine).
Norm returned to Calles de Las Flores to get a picture of the geranium-walled street with the Mezquita Bell Tower in the distance. I did the only sensible thing… Bought a coconut and mint-chocolate chip gelato and returned to the hotel lobby until it was time to grab a taxi and board the AVE train to Valencia.
We arrived in Valencia at 10:30PM and were picked up by our host’s son, in two shifts due to all our baggage, and delivered to the Russafa Barrio condo where tomorrow (Tuesday, April 21, 2015) will find us getting settled and acquainted with our new home and neighborhood. Right now, we are all a bit bleary-eyed and ready for rest.