It is believed that the site of the Mosque-Cathedral was originally a Christian church which was divided and shared by Muslims and Christians with each owning their side of the church. In 784, the then current Emir purchased the Christian side of the church, demolished the whole structure and in its place began to build the grand Mosque of Córdoba. Over the next 200 years the mosque was enlarged 4 times to the size it is today. In 1236, Córdoba was conquered by King Ferdinand III of Castile, and the centre of the mosque was converted into a Catholic cathedral.
This amazing structure is most recognizable and memorable for the 856 columns of jasper, onyx, marble, granite and the redish porphyry stone and of course the glorious red and white brick arches that sit atop all those columns. It is huge inside and for the most part relatively open and empty but it is the cathedral that draws you in.
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