Cordoba. Great Mosque (La Mezquita). Entry portal.
10th c Spanish Hispano-Moresque Architecture
(661 - 1031)
Although the Abbasid dynasty defeated the Umayyads in Damascus, they did not obliterate the old dynasty. One member escaped the general slaughter and arrived in Spain in 755. On the periphery of the Moslem world, Abd al-Rahman was able to reestablish an Umayyad state which remained quite distinct from the rest of Moslem culture.
Spain housed a large Jewish minority in addition to the Christian population. A lively interchange arose between Christians, Moslems and Jews which created the most enlightened and tolerant society in Medieval Europe.
Abd al-Rahman established his capital at Córdoba, where he and his successors were great patrons of the arts. The Great Mosque of Córdoba was constructed there in 785 on the site of a Christian church. It continued to expand until the 15th century when the Moslems were finally expelled from Spain, at which time a large Christian church was incorporated into several of its sprawling aisles.
This is one of the entrances to the mosque, which is richly decorated with a variety of elaborate arches. The most characteristic is the HORSESHOE ARCH seen over the door. Horseshoe arches, like the scalloped arch and the interlaced arches above it were copied by the Christians, as well as the Jews. The Islamic style in Spain is known as MOORISH, and the Moorish style copied by Christians is known as MUDJHAR.
UMAYYAD | Great Mosque of Cordoba (La Mezquita). Entry portal. | 9 c | Umayyad
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