Thursday, June 10, 2010

Cordoba In A Day

After a night out at probably Cordoba's only bar/club where we mingled with people of all ages as well as a wedding party, we woke up to a town much sleepier than Madrid. We met on a bridge along the river and headed to our first spot, Alcazar De Los Reyes Cristianos whose exquisite gardens and ancient ruins made for a great place to sketch.
We then went to the Great Mosque of Cordoba, a strange fusion of Mosque and Church whose architecture varies widely, giving a lot of material for budding architects to sketch. Here we studied the different doorways to the cathedral-the careful geometries of the old Mosque entrances verses the ornate Baroque style doorways added when the church was added. The interior is even more intriguing-a forest of columns and arches surrounding a dazzling, light-filled church at the center which seems to have just been plopped in the mist of a mosque. Here, the careful geometries of the mosque align almost perfectly with the pointed arches and high ribbing of the church, however, the two make clear they are not one and the same. It is this contrast that makes the cathedral so beautiful-setting up a conversation between two religions and how they perceive spirituality.

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