The Great Mosque of Córdoba, which became the present Cathedral of Santa Maria de Córdoba in the XIIIth century,
is the most important monument of Cordoba and also of the whole Andalusian architecture, along with the Alhambra.
Built from the eighth century on a Visigoth basilica, was the subject of extensions during the Caliphate of Córdoba,
and after the Christian conquest in 1236 was converted into a cathedral. This changes were made, the most controversial
in 1523, when the central part of the old room was transformed with the criteria of Renaissance architecture.
With 23,400 square meters square, it was the second largest mosque in the world in area, behind the Mosque of Mecca, later reached
by the Blue Mosque (Istanbul, 1588) and the Hassan II Mosque (Casablanca, 1993, of 23,000 square meters). The mosque is composed
of three parts: the Patio de los Naranjos, in time of the Caliphate was the "Court of the Ablutions" (retains much of its original
appearance) accessed through the Door of Forgiveness, where you look at the rows of orange trees and palms.
The door of Las Palmas gives access to the mosque: a forest of eight hundred fifty columns of marble, jasper and granite which are
based on three hundred sixty horseshoe arches and five bicolor. It is a measure of the splendor of the art of the caliphs at its
peak. The mihrab, a holy place of the mosque that indicates the direction South and not in Mecca, according to the will of Rahman.
In the skylight it preserves the lobed arches of the walls and dome. At the head stand the arches, mosaics and wall structure and
decoration of the domes on the basis of crossed arches.
After the conquest of Cordoba by the Christians, they used the mosque to celebrate their worship. But in the sixteenth century, when Islam was
permanently expelled from the Iberian Peninsula, the victors wanted to adapt it to their beliefs: they built a Renaissance cathedral
in the heart of the mosque, led by Hernán Ruiz and after by his son. Nowadays, it is a catholic cathedral.