Southern Spain- Cordoba

This past weekend we had a group excursion to the south of Spain. We stayed in three different main cities there; Cordoba, Sevilla and Granada for a grand total of five days of traveling. It was a busy trip, but we saw SO many wonderful things! I am going to dedicate one post to each city and will include the highlights of each.


Cordoba is a medium-sized town about 7 hours south of Segovia. The most famous monuments there are the Mosque-Cathedral of Cordoba and the Real Alcázar (palace) of Cordoba.

Mosque – Cathedral

The Mosque-Cathedral of Cordoba is the second largest mosque in the world, next to the Mecca. Its construction was ordered in 784 by Muslim ruler Abd al-Rahman I and was expanded over the years by other Muslim rulers. In 1236, the city of Cordoba was taken over by Christians during the “reconquista” and the mosque was converted into a Catholic Cathedral.

The red and white arches here are characteristic of Muslim architecture, and make up the majority of the interior of the Mosque-Cathedral


I tried to capture the expanse of the building with these photos but they can only begin to give an idea of how large it was.


As part of the ‘reconquista’, Catholics took over the city of Cordoba, and with it the Mosque. They repurposed the building as a Catholic Cathedral, constructing a church in the center of the Mosque, and ‘capillas’ around the perimeter. ‘Capillas’ are basically mini personal churches that were owned by the wealthy of the community. They had their own personal priests and would have their own personal mass in their capilla. Some are even buried in front of their capillas. It was interesting to see the Mosque interspersed with Catholic icons and contrast between the Muslim architecture and Christian architecture within the same building.

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Today the Cathedral still functions as the Cathedral of Cordoba. There are masses and weddings there regularly.

Alcázar de Los Reyes Cristianos

This Palace was constructed by order of Alfonso XI in 1328 and was the residence of Christian Kings when they stayed in Cordoba. Over time, different parts were added by different kings, and some of the towers here were used as a seat of the Inquisition. It was an interesting historical site with beautiful gardens.

Thanks so much for reading. Stay tuned for Sevilla and Granada!

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