Córdoba is a city in the southern Spanish province of Andalusia. It was an important Roman city and an Islamic cultural center in the Middle Ages. It’s best known for La Mezquita, an immense mosque dating to 600 C.E. featuring a columned prayer hall and Byzantine mosaics. The Great Mosque, or “Mezquita”, which – after several centuries of additions and enlargements – became one of the largest in all of Islam. When the city was reconquered by the Christians in 1236, the new rulers of the city were so awed by its beauty that they left it standing, building their cathedral in the midst of its rows of arches and columns, and creating the extraordinary church-mosque we see today.

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