Harmony

Harmony

This was taken in The Cathedral and former Great Mosque of Córdoba, locally known as Mezquita-Catedral. Originally a temple, it was converted into a Mosque by the Ummayad Moors who occupied that area. They added to it, and eventually became - and still considered by some - to be one of the most impressive Islamic Architectures in the world. After conquering Cordoba in 1236, Ferdinand III king of Castile consecrated the Great Mosque as the city's cathedral. It was was used as a Church for a long time after that, until the 16th century when the Bishop and Canons of the cathedral proposed the construction of a new cathedral, and proposed to destroy the mosque to build it. Given the attachment the townspeople had to this building, they staged a huge protest, and eventually got the blessing of the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V, to insert an entire Gothic "chapel" into the very heart of the former Great Mosque. This was an unprecedented decision at the time - some would say even now - and required a lot of planning. The result is nothing short of stunning, as the architects and engineers enacted a church that is so in sync with the mosque, that it is hard to tell where the mosque ends and where the church begins. The walls and floors of the church seamlessly flow into each other, and statues of Christ adorn the pillars that support the Islamic arches. It's a very peaceful place, and walking there made me forget about all the hate that you get to see these days. It was a perfect example of how two different groups can co-exist, and I wondered why it couldn't happen elsewhere...