The Mosque of Cordoba is a mosque that was built between 785 and 836 in the Andalusian city of Cordoba.
The mosque is the oldest functioning mosque in the world and was built as a Christian church. It became a place of Muslim worship in 965, when Amir Abd-ar-Rahman III took control of Cordoba. The building is very popular with tourists, which explains why they offer free tours to the public, such as the Free Tours of the Mosque of Cordoba offered by Guruwalk.
The architecture of the Cordoba Mosque is a mixture of Roman Catholic, Moorish, Byzantine and Islamic architectural styles.
The original intention of the architect was to create an Islamic landmark in the Christian dominated city. Although it was not the first mosque built in Spain, it is the most famous and one of the most beautiful in the country.
The current building we see today was built on the foundations of its predecessor with an extension to cover more space than before, so it could be used for both Muslim and Christian rituals. Three large gates make up the entrance to the courtyard and are decorated with Arabic calligraphy. One gate has two lines: 'There is no god but God'.
The building has a single horseshoe arch and a minaret, which is decorated with glazed ceramic tiles and Qur'anic calligraphy. Inside, there is an ablutions fountain at the entrance, multiple naves on each side and a small courtyard with trees where worshippers can pray or rest during the service.
There are many peculiar stories about the building, one of which is that it was actually converted from a church to a mosque. But this is not true because the Mosque of Cordoba does not even have Christian symbols or features that would be needed for such a conversion.
Another story is that there are no minarets on the building because the Muslims could not build them, but again this is not true because there are minarets on mosques all over Muslim-ruled Spain centuries after they were built.
The Mosque of Cordoba can be visited any day of the week although opening times may vary depending on the day and time of year.