Cordoba’s religious history is as rich as its vibrant culture. Because it has been home to different settlers that introduced their own religion into the city, it had at one time been home to the Moors, the Jews and the Christians. All of these religions that have been part of the city left their religious history behind. Up until this day you could see the great structure that is the Great Mosque of Cordoba, the Cordoba Synagogue and a lot of churches that are of great architectural and cultural significance.
Great Religious Structures
The Cathedral of Our Lady of the Assumption was once the Great Mosque of Cordoba, or the Mezquita. Originally, it was built as a Christian Visigothic church in 600 AD. Then it was bought by Abd ar-Rahman I during the Islamic rule and was transformed into a mosque. The transformation of the church took more than two centuries and was done by his descendants. The most notable feature of the building is the giant arches which had columns that were made up of marble, onyx, jasper and granite. After the recovery of the city of Cordoba by the Christians, the building was then converted back into a church and is now used as the house of the cathedral of Cordoba’s diocese.
The Cordoba Synagogue, which was built in 1315, is another great structure that is witness to the city’s great religious history. It can be found in the Jewish quarter of the city. It was built by the architect Isaac Moheb and follows a Mudejar style. It was used by the Jewish believers of the city until 1492. After that it became a home for different purposes. It was once a hydrophopic hospital and a nursery school. The building was proclaimed as a National Monument in 1885 and is now a museum.
Though Islam, Judaism and other different religions are practiced by the people of Cordoba, it has now become a predominantly Christian city. This is evident in the numerous religious festivals that are practiced up to this day.
The Semana Santa or Holy week is a very important occasion in the city. There are more than 30 parades that will happen during the observance of this occasion. People will line up on the streets to witness these parades as figures and pictures of different Saints are showcased and a group of men, known as Nazarenos, which are cloaked in dark robes join the procession.
The Crosses of May Festival is another religious festival that is witnessed in Cordoba. This is a competition for the most beautifully adorned and the flower decorated cross. These crosses are placed all over the city.
There are also different pilgrimages that happen throughout the whole year.
The great historical structures and the numerous religious festivals that can be seen and experienced in the city are only some of the testimony to the city’s rich religiosity.