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Cordoba. The Great Mosque

When the Moors conquered Spain in 711, they made Cordoba their capital. In 929 did Andalucia declare its independence from the caliphate of Baghdad. From this time on, Cordoba grew into becoming the largest and most cultural city of Europe. Centre of Cordoba was the jaami`u l-a`aZim, Great Mosque, which took up Roman architectural traditions, made use of columns from older buildings around, and added the Muslim sentiment of the abstract and the limitless room. The double arches are very representative for the architecture dominating all over North Africa. The change between dark and light large squares, adds an simplicity contrasted by details in the roof, where arabesques are mixed with Arabic writings. Sadly enough, this masterpiece of Western Muslim architecture is spoilt by a Christian cathedral cutting itself right into it. Even if this is a nice building, too, its a chock to the total construction, that has horrified even medieval Christians.
Another splendid example of the Muslim inheritance in Spain is the old Ummawiyy castle, Alcạr. This served as the headquarters of the catholic kings during the Reconquesta. The main attraction here are the gardens, lavish, extensive, and with water in a central role.

Tore Kjeilen, 1996