Andalusia: Cordoba and the City's Architectural Miracles

Islamic civilization affected the Arab and even the European world, and therefore had an impact in Andalusia, which was a center for the spread of knowledge in the countries of Islam and was one of the main reasons for the emergence of Europe.


7 min read
Andalusia: Cordoba and the City's Architectural Miracles

Andalus (Umayyad Caliphate)

Islamic civilization had a great influence on southern Europe, especially Spain and Portugal, while Europe was living in dark ages and the church took control of the science and its exploitation of the people of Europe. At the same time, Muslims had their own renaissance that started five centuries before the Renaissance (in Europe) and Muslims began entering the year 711 Gregorian led by Tariq bin Ziyad.

Upon entering the Islamic civilization, Andalusia became a state affiliated with the Islamic state, as it was the center of civilizational radiation that illuminated Europe in its dark ages. It is worth noting that the entry of Islamic civilization to Europe had an impact on Europe, a positive effect in getting rid of the civilized ages and the era of the rise of science and thought.

castillo de colomares andalucía

The Arabs entered Andalusia and ruled it for 8 centuries and became the center of Islamic civilization in the West, where Andalusia was the greatest and most prestigious state in Europe, where it was mentioned in history that Europe used the engineers, artists and architects in Andalusia to build their palaces, churches and ornament as an Islamic Andalusian decoration. [1]

Muslims entered Andalusia between 711 and 716 and entered a peaceful way without confrontation and great resistance, as the Arabs settled in Andalusia gradually and without any battle recorded. [2]

“The unity of religious belief in the Islamic world is stronger than it is in the Christian world, because Islam eliminated the differences that arise from differences of races and traditions, and meant to direct thought, morals and customs in different countries, and the matter was to publish the Qur’an in its original Arabic language,” said Ernst Konnel. Alone, what made her and the Qur’anic teachings absolute sovereignty in the entire Islamic world, so that was the forerunner of the factors that led to the creation and prosperity of many arts. »[1]

Emirate of Cordoba

The Great Valley Bridge in Cordoba

Cordoba during the era of the caliph, "Abd al-Rahman al-Nasser" was the largest European city with a length of ten miles.

Cordoba is distinguished by its architectural and artistic wealth, as it contained more than 13,000 homes, 600 mosques, more than 300 bathrooms, 800 schools, and more than 20 libraries. Its library is considered one of the largest libraries in Europe at that time.

The Emirate of Cordoba was considered as the capital of Andalusia in the period between 711 - 718 and its Arab population was composed and settled in the cities and Berbers who inhabited the rural areas where an ethnic civil war occurred between the Berbers and the Arabs with the aim of obtaining more lands, and this war ended with the emergence of Abdul Rahman I. [2]

It is worth noting that Cordoba and Andalusia were an example to follow in the example of European cities, where its streets were paved with stones and where there were lamps and hygiene works through garbage cars, so Paris took it as an example in paving the streets, then the rest of the European cities followed suit and improved their cities.

If there is a question, has the Islamic civilization been influenced by the European Renaissance?

I think the answer to this question is very clear. The Islamic civilization did not need a revival because it was actually a civilization of science, philosophy, architecture, and art that affected Europe because it was one of the reasons for the European renaissance, as I mentioned earlier, Cordoba was a city to be followed by European cities as France did in Medina Paris.

Witnessing The Renaissance: The Founders Of The Renaissance
Where science and art were considered a thing of heresy to the Church, they believed that these things were displays of insanity, atheism, and perversion. The artists of that era were the most humiliating to the church.

Cordoba was a scientific city that ranked high in education. Historians mentioned that King George had sent a message to his Muslim successor in the Kingdom of Andalusia asking him to study his daughters in various sciences in the institutes of Andalusia, and this is a picture of the message the king sent to his Muslim successor:

George's message to the King of Andalusia


On the other hand, when the Muslims came out of Andalusia, Cardinal Khomeenith ordered his soldiers to burn the Arabic manuscripts, and they were collected and placed in large piles in the middle of the big square in Granada. [1]

The real regulator of the Principality of Cordoba was Abd al-Rahman II, who changed some laws to delegate authority in the hands of the ministers.

The Christian kingdoms were organized because of the differences between the Arabs and the Berbers even after the proclamation of the emirate, where commercial operations began between the Christian and Islamic kingdoms.

The emirate deteriorated with Abd al-Rahman III assuming the throne in 912, imposing his authority and ending revolutions and conflicts in Andalusia. Then, the Caliph Abd al-Rahman al-Nasser, God of God, announced in 929 that the caliphate was established in Cordoba, and then the caliphate ended during the reign of "Hisham al-Mu'tad Billah" in the year 1031 [2]

Cordoba architecture:

Cordoba was distinguished by its distinguished architectural and artistic wealth, which made it a pioneer in the arts and architecture of its era

Qurtuba Mosque

Qurtuba Mosque 


The mosque was built during the reign of Abd al-Rahman I, and it was built from the western side of its palace, as it contained two parts, the first for the royal court, and the second for the prayer hall, where it contained eleven plates.

"The idea of ​​tall, vertically-built dishes was imported according to the qibla wall from Syria, the Umayyad country of Spain. This concept was clearly visible in Jerusalem in the Al-Aqsa Mosque and it complements a Christian tradition? Is it centered in the hall?"

Architecturally

The mosque consists of two internal and external courtyards, where the inner courtyard is twice as large as the outer patio. The outer courtyard is characterized by the presence of a courtyard planted with trees. The courtyard is surrounded by continuous paths from the entrance to the inner courtyard.

mosque-cathedral of córdoba

On the walls of the outer courtyard are a square minaret containing four layers, reaching the top of the minaret, where it is used to call for prayer.

The Romanesque and the Gothic Architectural Styles
Romanesque art was strongly inspired by Roman architecture and adopted the semicircular vault. It is a semi-circle with a central stone called the “keystone.”

As for the interior of the mosque before the church was built, inside it contains many overlapping arches of the "horse-footed" arc type, and they are many to carry the truss roof and also contain many vault.

Building operations

The building relied on a system of overlapping arches in the arches and its guest was to define the dishes and take this model from the Roman technical arches making the upper arches rest on the roof of the building and used the technique of placing the contracts one above the other to increase the height of the building.

The building has undergone several expansion operations:

  • The first expansion of the mosque

The building was expanded for the first time during the reign of Abd al-Rahman III, where the expansions extended to the south while maintaining the system of overlapping nodes. In this process, the mosque was provided with a large minaret, and the façade overlooking the courtyard was formed. [3]

The minaret of the Cordoba Mosque
  • The second expansion

The prayer hall was expanded between the years 962 and 962, and restoration operations inside the hall of the prayer hall were also expanded from the south and twelve courtyards were added. The multi-lobed arches, interlocking arches and sweaty domes used the Byzantine craftsmen to cover all parts of the building with either engraved panels or Byzantine motifs.[3]

The mihrab of the Cordoba Mosque
  • The last expansion

This expansion was less professional and less perfect, as it was intended to increase the area of ​​the building to double from the eastern side. This expansion was characterized by the fact that the low contract was replaced by overlapping contracts.

In 1236, Fernando III occupied the city of Cordoba, and a church was built in the center of the mosque to practice Christian rituals, and it was built in the renaissance style.[3]

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Sources:

كاظم شمهود طاهر , (5/2018),  "لاندلس والفن الاسلامي" نسخه وزاره الثقافه الاردنيه [1 ]

[2] "multiforo" , "Al-Ándalus",Retrieved: (31/7/2020) http://www.multiforo.eu/Archivos_Historia/AlAndalus/AlAndalus.htm

[3] qantara , "Cordoba Mosque" ,Retrieved: (31/7/2020)https://www.qantara-med.org/public/show_document.php?do_id=168&lang=ar


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