Monday, September 22, 2008

The 8.5 miles

...without much opposition from the the badly divided Visigothic kingdom, the Moorish invasion of Spain came across the eight-and-a-half-mile channel that separates Africa from Europe.
they brought a new religion, new assurance of wordly pleasures. but soon, the Arabs divided into sects among themselves: Berbers, Syrians, Sunnites, Shiites,...before long, civil war broke out.
...born into the ruling Omayyad family in Arab world outside Spain, Abdu-r-Rahman was about 20 yr old when his grandfather, the caliph, was overthrown by the Abbaid sect. all family members were murdered, except Addu-r-Rahman who made a narrow escape and fled to Spain, where he was welcomed by loyal members of the Omayyad clan. forming a small army, he fought and defeated the emir Yusuf at Cordoba, and established the new Omayyad dynasty in Spain. it became independent of Damascus and continual warfare brought a degree of unity to the Arab states.
Abdu-r-Rahman III, by far the greatest Moslem to rule in Spain brought a state of comparative peace to the country with his impressive administrative and military leadership. under his central authority, Islamic Spain was declared a caliphate (empire), and himself the first caliph. Spain, under the caliphate, was the richest, most powerful state in all Europe. its capital Cordoba, estimated with up to 500,000 inhabitants, 200,000 houses, 600 mosques and 900 bathhouses, in the 10th century, was the largest city in Western Europe, and perhaps, in the world.
...the great Mosque of Cordoba had already become famous, for it was begun in the reign of Abdu-r-Rahman I. by the time of Abdu-r-Rahman III it had 21 gates and 1293 columns of jaspers and porphyry, each one with gilded capitals. (floor plan for first 3 phases, 870-975)
and by the time I visit it, it still remains dazzling ocean of 850 columns of granite, jasper and marble that melt my heart...and in the center - a peculiar 16th century catholic cathedral. (floor plan of present buiding)
music: Jalla man. Traditional Andalusian School. Oni Wytars Ensemble.
A big fan
Mezquita de Córdoba

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