Modern-day visitors to the Mosque-Cathedral will notice a curious mix of Christian and Muslim traditions. A large cathedral sits at the center of the mosque, crosses are situated alongside mihrabs, Spanish Catholics attend weekly services while Muslim tourists take in the beauty of the traditional Islamic architecture.
Originally a small Catholic church, the Mosque-Cathedral was converted into a Mosque during the Islamic rule of southern Spain (or al-Andalus). During this time period, the Mosque-Cathedral’s minaret and mihrabs were constructed and the Mosque-Cathedral became one of the largest religious spaces and grandest Mosques in all of Spain, second only to the Alhambra in Granada.
However, when the Catholic reconquering, or reconquista, of Spain began, the grand structure fell back into Christian possession.
To top off the religious diversity, the Mosque-Cathedral is located in the center of Cordoba’s judería, Jewish Quarter, bringing together all the religious traditions and cultures that have lived in and once contributed to Spanish culture and identity.