I’ve been to a fair share of churches and cathedrals in my life, and yet none of them left such an impression as this one – the Mezquita Cathedral (Mosque-Cathedral of Cordoba).
It’s no ordinary place.
It was a revolutionary building for its time and designed as a simple, spacious place where the spirit can roam free and communicate with God. Originally designed as an Islamic building, which was converted into a Christian cathedral in the 13th century.
The sheer contrast of the two religious influences along with the cathedral section in the middle is breathtaking.
The original building dates back to 784 – 786 and is constructed around a spacious courtyard, filled with – as its a custom in Andalusia – orange trees bursting with fresh fruit (Patio de Los Naranjos – Orange Square).
The building has an impressive history, which I have no intention to cover in full detail, but you can read about it in this article from Lonely Planet.
There is also a beautiful visual simulation of the architectural evolution on the mosque’s website here.
The visit includes a steep climb to the 54m high Bell Tower (which I didn’t do). Up to 20 people are allowed in the tower at a time, and you have to buy an additional ticket to visit.
My trip in October 2020 happened to be just the right timing – the city has just been opened after being shut off due to COVID-19 and there were only a handful of tourists in the city.
You may think that a place as popular as this one will be overcrowded, but it’s unlikely to happen thanks to the sheer size of the mosque.
Bellow are a few helpful tips to plan your visit and I will let you enjoy the rest of the story through the photos.
Visiting Mezquita Cathedral in Cordoba
Tickets: Book your tickets online to avoid disappointment. The ticket office is located by the entrance close to the Bell Tower, but you can only get tickets for the day (not in advance) and in the summer there is no guarantee that any will be available.
Bonus tip: there is a free entrance to the Mosque Monday to Saturday, from 8.30am to 9.30am. No group visits are allowed during this time.
Visit rules: Do not enter with luggage, remove hats, its prohibited to photograph with a tripod or stand to film, no pets allowed inside. Respect the religious place by supervising your kids and talking quietly.
Mezequita at Night: The mosque hosts a regular evening visit show which consists of lights & music. Check their website for availability and times.
More from Cordoba:
Southern Spain Travel Tips
BEST CAR RENTAL
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BUS & TRAIN TICKETS
To get the cheapest bus or train tickets, take a look at Omio to find the timetables and prices.
Local travel companies offer many day trip options from almost all the destinations in Southern Spain. You can check them out here.
I have been using booking.com for all my trips in Spain and abroad, and it’s the best place to book your hotel.
If you would like to leave your luggage behind to explore the city on your last day, you can use Radical Storage service, which lets you book luggage storage in all the destinations in Spain.
LOCAL SIM CARD
If you want to avoid surprising extra charges from your operator, you can use a service like Airalo, where you can buy digital packs for e-sim cards.
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