THE GRAND MOSQUE OF CORDOBA – EVOLUTION AND INFLUENCE
The Mosque-Cathedral of Cordoba is a World Heritage Site and is considered to be one of the most beautiful mosques in the world. Built in four stages between 785 AD and 987 AD, it is also the prototype for most of the Moorish and also Mudejar (hybrid Islamic-Christian-Jewish) architecture on the peninsula and beyond.
Its structure and significance can be understood by examining the influences of classical architecture as well as earlier mosques built by the Umayyad dynasty in Syria and Jerusalem. The disputed origins of the distinctive horseshoe arches also give us a fascinating insight into the transmission of architectural ideas in a period before architectural drawings on paper emerged. (Paper was introduced to al-Andalus in 11th C).
Ian Cockburn is an art historian with a BA (Birkbeck College) in art history and an MA (Courtauld Institute of Art) in medieval Spanish art history. Ian has been lecturing in Spain to customers of his business, Art & Culture Andalucia, since 2014. In 2019 he delivered a paper on Islamic textiles from Al-Andalus to an expert audience of academics at a conference at Madrid Complutense University. Also, he gave two lectures at both the V&A and the London Art History Society on textiles and ivories from Al-Andalus, delivered a paper at a Christies Education conference on ‘Recycling Luxury’, and been accepted as an accredited lecturer by The Arts Society. In a former life, initially as a chartered accountant and then as a business manager in large international IT companies, his work included extensive experience of giving business presentations to large audiences.