Friday, June 18

Cordoba - Mesquita and "almost nothing" more

Cordoba old town was both a positive and a negative experience. It was an Iberian and Roman city in ancient times. In the Middle Ages it was a capital of an Islamic caliphate and one of the largest cities in the world. In the 10th-11th centuries Córdoba was one of the most advanced cities in the world, as well as a great cultural, political, financial and economic centre.
Its population in 2008 was 325,453.
Córdoba was conquered by the Romans in 206 BC. In 169 the Roman consul Marcus Claudius Marcellus founded a Latin colony alongside the pre-existing Iberian settlement. The Roman bridge over the banks of the Guadalquivir river (Rio Grande), leads the way into the old town.I would say that except the huge Mesquita (Cathedral of Our Lady of the Assumption) the old town is only a place to eat local food and have a drink if you are not interested in tourist objects.The great mosque dates back to the time under caliph Al-Hakam II . Córdoba received what was then the largest library in the world, housing from 400,000 to 1,000,000 volumes. The photo above is from Patio de los Naranjos with the Bell Tower.
The double Arabic arches cover the ceiling of the "mosque". However, the cathedral of Cordoba is not a mosque or simply a monument or a temple of different cultures. It is a living church which carry the human history in it´s walls by thousands of years.
Under the cathedral we can see remains of mosaics from the ancient Basilica of Saint Vicente, and they have also discovered remains of it´s Visigoth origins. The (Visi)Goths are among the barbarians who disturbed the late roman empire during the Migration Period. They first emerged as a distinct people during the fourth century, initially in the Balkans where they participated in several wars with Rome. A Visigothic army under Alaric I eventually moved into Italy and famously sacked Rome in 410.
The Goths have had many names, possibly due to their population being composed of many separate ethnic groups. People known by similar names were key elements of the Germanic migrations. Nevertheless, the mainstream of scholarship believes that the names derived from a single prehistoric ethnonym owned by an uniform culture of south Scandinavia in the middle 1st millennium BC, the original "Goths". People with a modern form of that name still reside there.

Once again we can see the link back to the to Thor Heyerdahl´s Norwegian mythology which tells that the Scandinavian god Odin moved with his people to Norway from a land called Aser (from Azerbaijan, east of the Caucasus mountains and the Black Sea.), in order to avoid Roman occupation.
The mihrab ( محراب ) is a niche in the wall of a mosque that indicates the qibla; that is, the direction of the Kaaba in Mecca and hence the direction that Muslims should face when praying.
Mesquita is not any longer defined as a mosque and the church-mihrab is placed in a north-south direction, while Mecca is south-east. We were told that is is not allowed to perform islamic prayers in Mesquita. It is defined as a catholic church.
The main alterpiece in the cathedral inside the mosque made by Alonso Matias.
The ceiling (Dome) above the main chapel (work started in 1523), is a beautiful artwork.
Among the treasury in the cathedral we can see crosses from 15th, 16th, 17th and the 18th century together with an ivory sculpture of INRI.In the chapel of Saint Theresa you may find many beautiful treasures from the GOLDEN periode of Spain.
Maimonides also known as Rambam was a preeminent medieval Jewish philosopher, one of the greatest Torah scholars of the Middle Ages. He was born in Córdoba, and honored with a staue.
Maimonides promoted and developed the philosophical tradition of Aristotle, which gave both men prominent and controversial influence in the West, where Aristotelian thought had been lost for centuries. Albert the Great and Thomas Aquinas were notable Western readers of Maimonides.

However, any tour at a UNESCO World Heritage Site must end, and what is better than going to a local restaurant for lunch. At least I found that very important when the temperature outside is about +33C to +35C.

1 comment:

9na said...

Takk for fint guidet tur i Cordoba da!