Great Mosque

The Great Mosque of Cordoba was considered a wonder of the medieval world by both Muslims and Christians. During that time, many people considered it as the Eight wonder of the world. The Great Mosque was built on a Visigothic site, which was probably the site of an earlier Roman temple. The Great mosque began being built in 785 in the Ummayyad dynasty, during the reign of Abd al-Rahman I, a survivor of the Ummayyad dynasty who escaped from Syria to the Iberian Peninsula after his family was massacred by the Abbasids. The function of the Great Mosque was to provide a place forworship and prayer for those who practice the Islamic faith. The structure of the mosque was a blend of Umayyad, Abbasdi, and pre-Islamic influences. The mosque's hypostyle plan, consisting of a rectangular prayer hall and an enclosed courtyard, followed a tradition established in the Umayyad and Abbasid mosques of Syria and Iraq. (pg. 346 prayer hall) The marble columns and capitals in the hypostyle prayer hall were reused from the ruins of classical Roman buildings in the area. The two-tiered system of arches is similar the Roman aqueducts. It's purpose was to increase the height of the interior space to allow light and air to come in. The upper arches are semi-circular and the lower arches have a horseshoe shape and are know as horseshoe arches. The horseshoe arch had been used by the Visigoths in Spain, but its use was greatly expanded by the Muslims. The curved arch was formed by alternating placement of pale stone and red brick voussoirs which was a technique adopted from the Romans and Byzantines.Al-Hakam II, who ruled from 961-976, commissioned expensive and luxurious renovations that displeased many of his subjects. His most lavish renovation was concentrated in the maqsura, the prayer space reserved for the ruler. It's lavishly decorated with carved marble, stucco, and elaborate mosaics. The maqsura is visually separated from the …


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