On these pages you can learn about some of the curiosities of the Cordoba Mosque. Many of them are more or less famous and known to the people of Cordoba, but some of them may not have spread as much, you will surely be surprised.
The Mosque of Cordoba is not oriented towards Mecca
This is one of the hallmarks of this Temple. The orientation of the Mosque of Cordoba is to the southeast and not towards Mecca as would be logical. Several are the hypotheses that point to the poor layout of the building. There is talk that attempts are made to imitate the Damascus Mosque, although recent research suggests that it was established in this way so as not to alter the ordination of other adjoining buildings.
Captive or nail column
The story goes that next to a column of the Mosque a Christian was until he finally found death. This imprisoned Christian, showed his faith by making the sign of the cross in the column with his fingernails. Today you can see the column and see how the cross has been etched into it.
The Column of Hell
Very close to the captive’s column is another one that is called the column of hell. They say that if you scratch it with a coin, a strong smell of sulfur gives off. Apparently this is due to a chemical reaction, but who knows …
How many columns the Mosque has
This is another of the curiosities of the Mosque, how many columns it has. After successive renovations and expansions, the Temple has reached up to 1003 columns. Subsequently, many had to be removed to build the Cathedral inside the building, leaving the final figure at 856, counting the columns of the entire building.
The history of the construction of the Mosque and later Cathedral is well known. They were a series of buildings and extensions to terminal the unique building that we can enjoy today.
What is known less is the stoning phrase that Charles V would say after completing the works he himself had authorized. It tells the story he said after seeing the works finished: You have destroyed what was unique in the world, and you have built what can be seen anywhere
The yard didn’t always have orange trees
It is a fact that the courtyard of the orange trees must have received its name long after its construction. The reason is that the orange trees were planted between the 13th and 15th centuries. Previously, what was in the courtyard were palm trees.
It’s a cemetery of illustrious characters
One of the little curiosities that are said of the Mosque-Cathedral is the number of illustrious characters that are buried inside. Some of them are Luis de Góngora and Argote, Garcilaso de la Vega, Pablo de Céspedes, Reyes Alfonso XI and Fernando IV …
Franco wanted to restore the Mosque
One of the measures that General Franco wanted to implement after winning the civil war is to move the cathedral to another site and return the Mosque to its original state. In this case it had to be UNESCO who opposed this work and prevented the transfer.
The Star of Wishes
In one of the corners of the Mosque, specifically on the outer wall, there is a star set on the wall. Those who know her touch her as she passes so that she gives them luck or grants them some desire.
The Caliph Passage
In order for the Caliph to access the Mosque from his residence without passing through the street surrounded by the faithful, a passageway or Sabat was made. To locate its position you can see on the floor of the street some marks that indicate it.
These are some of the curiosities of the Mosque of Cordoba, a temple with many centuries of history that holds countless stories and secrets.