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THE GREAT MOSQUE OF CORDOBA-SPAIN

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The Cathedral took about two centuries for completion and resulted in a mixture of Baroque, Gothic, Renaissance, and Plateresque architecture. Architectural Features in Relation to Culture Patio de Los Naranjo A was a big and opened space, in the Islamic culture, where believers carried the ritual ablutions prior to prayer. The place has been greatly altered with time, and now it has combined two fountains under the shade of palms orange trees, and cypresses, with an arcade. Alongside the structure’s main entrance into the courtyard, just above the la Puerta del Perdon, the Gate of Forgiveness, there is the bell tower placed over the Arab minaret towards the end of the sixteenth century (Dodds, 2007). Figure 1: Patio de los Naranjos (www. mezquitadecordoba. org, 2015) Prayer room There are arrays of columns that rise in the prayer area designed and built by the crème de la crème architects of the period; it was an unprecedented art that later influenced Islamic architecture.

Top architects were hired to show the appreciation intellectual culture among the people of Cordoba; the different Emirs were constantly gauging themselves with other states for instance north Africa (Triano, 2005).

There are 856 columns within the nineteen naves rising with shafts made in beautiful forms and colors, and above which the curved horseshoe arches are topped with the semi-circular arches that are reminiscent of the Roman aqueducts (Dodds, 2007). The visible ochre hues on the stonework alternating with the red of the brickwork create an effect of a beautiful palm grove. Maqsura and Mihrab The Mihrab was the wall that the Muslim faithful faced when praying, and where the Koran was initially read from. The Maqsura is an adjacent space that was meant for the caliph.

The Mihrab is octagonal and has a shell-shaped dome with bright glittering floral mosaics as well as the Arabic inscriptions originating from the Byzantine artists. There is a glittering Mosque’s dome above the Maqsura made of marbles that are covered with mosaics (Triano, 2005). Figure 2: Maqsura and Mihrab (www. mezquitadecordoba. org, 2015) Doors and façades The north side of the Mosque is the main façade and faces Calle Cardinal Herrero with the Puerta del Perdon (the Gate of Forgiveness) and the Puerta del Caño Gordo. The west front has the Puerta de la Leche, Milk Gate, and the Puerta de Los Deanes, the Deans’ Gate opposite a hospital, the San Sebastian Hospital, that was commissioned at Abd ar-Rahman II time.

The east side has the Puerta del Sagrario, Gate of the Shrine, and the Saint Catherine Gate, Puerta de Santa Catalina (Irwin, 2004).

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