As I previously mentioned, the group I'm studying abroad with (International Studies Abroad) not only serves as the liaison between the students and the International schools, they do lots of other things for us too! One of the reasons I chose ISA was because (included in the base price) they organize excursions for us to go on throughout the semester. All of them are in Spain, and while not all of them are overnight trips, they all include historic tours, free time for shopping and sightseeing, and advice on the best things to see and do. Two weeks ago we went to Córdoba, Spain.
Like many of the other towns we have visited, I had never heard of Córdoba. It's not a huge town today, but at one point it was actually the capitol of Spain! We just had a short day to see the city, and we spent most of our time in the Cathedral.
La Catedral de Córdoba was actually built as a mosque. Up until extensions were made on the mosque at Mecca, the mosque in Córdoba was bigger, which is not surprising considering that the inside felt bigger than a city block. It was mindblowingly large. Like many other mosques in Spain, it was converted to a church after the Christians took over the area. The way they converted it was a little surprising though. Most of the building is more or less the same. There are added decorations and structural support, minor changes in flooring, etc. Then, all of the sudden, there's a church, build right inside the mosque. I tried to get pictures, but it's hard to describe without actually visiting. The picture above shows the entrance to the church "section" among the arches.
Although Córdoba wasn't my favorite city in Spain, it was really neat to visit. After posting pictures onto my facebook account, one of my friends actually commented that he had just been studying the Córdoba Mosque/Cathedral in his history class!