Located in Andalusia, it’s a stunning example of Islamic architecture mixed with Christian influences.
Built by Abd al Rahman I in 785 AD on the site of an old Visigoth church, the mosque was originally designed to be a place of worship for Muslims living in Córdoba. The original structure featured 856 columns made from marble and jasper stones that were arranged into rows and topped with horseshoe arches. It soon became one of the largest mosques in all Europe – so large that its minaret could be seen from miles away.
In 1236, following centuries under Muslim rule, King Ferdinand III conquered Córdoba and converted the mosque into a cathedral. He added two bell towers to either side and built chapels inside to honour Catholic saints. This transformation created what is now known as one of Spain’s unique buildings: part mosque, part cathedral – or mezquita catedral (Mosque Cathedral).
Standing at over 200 feet tall and measuring 250 feet wide at its entranceway alone, this grand building has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1984 due to its cultural significance, both historically and architecturally speaking. Inside you can find artworks spanning several eras, including Roman mosaics dating back to 300 BC alongside Renaissance frescoes painted by local artists during Ferdinand III’s reign.
Today, visitors can explore this breathtaking monument, which continues to embody both religious faiths while offering insight into centuries past through its many artefacts on display within its walls.