I spent my last days of 2008 road-tripping with Naoko to Andalucia, the South of Spain. During some of my trips, I had noticed that there were many cool places I had/have never been to in Spain. For example, in Morocco I discovered the Mosque of Cordoba was the ideal model all mosques tried to follow!! that means the best old mosque in the world was in Cordoba and I had never visited it! quite a shame, isn't it... Same for Sevilla. So, we got into my car and drove the 800km that are between Almansa and Sevilla. The trip went through La Mancha, where we could see some wind mills, and the famous mountain pass of Despeñaperros, which was impressive.
But before getting to Sevilla, we stopped in Cordoba for one day. Cordoba is a really beautiful city. The old town, the Jewish Quarter is a maze of narrow streets and beautiful Andalusian houses. We walked a bit around and made for the most important sight in the city: La Mezquita (mosque) de Cordoba.
La Mezquita is an impressive place. It is actually huge, but the fact that you cannot see high ceilings makes it look smaller. The interior is full of beautiful red and "white" columns which create the renown "forest of columns". But before, we passed by the beautiful patio entrance full of orange trees (with oranges at this time of the year!) and saw the nice Christian tower outside.
And finally, we got in the mosque and saw the famous forest of columns... so nice!!
This is the place which indicates where the Arab saint city of Mecca. Quite gorgeous!
After the reconquest of Cordoba by the Spanish in 1248, the mosque became cathedral. Therefore, it was conveniently reformed for Catholic cult. Now, there are chapels and crosses in many places. It is quite an interesting contrast to see Jesus Christ in such an Moorish context.
And yet, again the nice columns inside... ;)
Outside there are also some beautiful gates.
Then, we tried to get into the Alcazar, where Columbus' proposal to go to India through the Atlantic was financed by the Catholic Kings. However, it was closed!
It was a pity, but then we had some time to enjoy a nice tea in a typical Andalusian house patio and that made us forget about it :)
Finally, some more wandering in narrow streets and back to our car. That night, our hotel was in Sevilla, so we still had to drive one hour and a bit more.