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1. The Great Mosque

2. Exterior

3. The Courtyard

4. The Mihrab

5. The Columns


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The Great Mosque. The Columns

Cordoba, Spain

The story of the columns of the Great Mosque is quite intriguing. And surprising. To the eye of the visitor, the interior of the Great Mosque appears to be the product of zealous planning. In reality it is made up entirely of columns taken from the old Visigoth cathedral and several Roman buildings. And the columns came in different shapes and sizes, and somehow the architect, Sidi ben Ayyub had to find a solution to this. He had been given little time, and dared not go to the ruler and ask for permission to make replacement columns.
Some columns were too short, some too long. The long ones were buried into the ground, while the short ones had a second row of square columns on the apex. In order to create strength and stability, horseshoe arches were built above the lower columns. In order to compensate for this "unnecessary" addition, the arches were decorated with alternate red brick and white stone. The result was; fantastic. From compromises one of the most beautiful buildings in the world was created.

Cordoba, Spain

By Tore Kjeilen