The Thesis Olagüe

Ignacio Olagüe
Synopsis of the chapter devoted to the Mosque of Cordoba.

-The Mosque of Cordoba is the only monument of the eighth century that has come to us without being disfigured.

-The literary evidence preserved from the history of its construction belong to the tenth and eleventh. Few or no news about the temple known primitive that forms the core of the Mosque.

-In the current state of knowledge can reduce the history of the mosque to the following data:

1. Contrary to tradition, there appears to have been on his old major construction site, sea ​​a Roman temple, be an early Christian church.
2. In the sixth century, time when southern Spain and the Levant belonging to the rule of Justinian, is built on the current site of the mosque a church. Its dimensions are the same as those of the primitive temple whose construction has been attributed to Abd al Raman I. According to Arab chroniclers much later than these dates was the church dedicated to San Vicente.
3. According to these authors, Abd al Raman, The Emigrant, had built to 786 primitive mosque, consists of nine ships, separated by eight rows of columns arranged in groups of four to twelve crossings depth. The central nave is wider than the other. It has built the mosque in a year, of 785 a 786.
4. At the end of the eighth century and the first minaret erige Hixem.
5. Abd al Raman II embarks on 833 the expansion of the mosque. No internal adjustment available; namely, without spoiling the outline of the existing forest of columns. I widened the contrary adding two additional ships to the eastern and western extremities of the primitive temple. Deepened the whole craft extending south with eight new crossings. Lifted a mihrab at the end of the nave whose columns are preserved and magnified the patio or fabricated from new plant.
6. Abd al-Raman II died without having seen the end of the works undertaken. Were completed by his son in 855.
7. Enlarge Abd al Raman III to the present northern limit the Patio de los Naranjos. Build a sumptuous minaret chosen by his predecessor Hisham I, most of which according to investigations conducted by Felix Hernandez was found inside, currently dedicated to Christian Campanile.
8. In 961, By Hakan lilac starts second extension of the hypostyle. It went in 95 elbows, or either more or less 50 meters in a southeasterly direction, where was built a new mihrab at the end of the nave. Undertook a major innovation Caliph. Ribbed domes were built in the nave and in the two preceding side mirhab. Its walls were coated with sculpted marble paintings and mosaics. They were sent from Constantinople by Nicephorus Phocas with the architects required for assembly.
9. In 977, for reasons of prestige again enlarged the hypostyle Almanzor. Eight new ships were built in the eastern part. Thus the mosque acquired its final disposition.
10. The 29 June 1236 Sign in Córdoba Fernando III, King of Castile. The mosque was converted into a Christian church without severe mutilations.
. In the fourteenth century was adapted a journey to serve the canons choir. It Villaviciosa Chapel, whose style 'Mudejar' represents the point end of the evolution of Andalusian art.
. In 1523, Carlos V, misinformed, sent disfigure the mosque having built in the woods of columns Renaissance style church.

– The chroniclers Arabs after the conquest of Spain had been divided the main church of Cordoba in two parts so that they could accommodate the two cults, Christian and Muslim. Something similar had been previously told the church in Damascus, later converted into a mosque.

-Arab authors claim that the invaders destroyed all Christian churches, when she was assaulted in the city of Córdoba 711. One was saved: the basilica dedicated to St. Vincent on the walls was proclaimed emir Abd al Raman, The Emigrant, in 756.

-If you discard the legendary character of these stories, stands a fact with clarity: It had taken considerable time to seventy-five years that the Basilica of San Vicente if finally transformed into a mosque. The real transformation of the mosque, as discussed later, took place about fifty years later still than they had supposed.

-Texts are unanimous: They started the work ordered by Abd al Raman I 775 and ended in the following year, in 776.

-Emir had found the temple with an inner disposition has subsequently retained. He had been content to 785 to undertake some minor modifications.

-In the eighth century there was a temple in this city, the mosque called the Emigrant, hypostyle hall which was composed of 108 columns arranged in fours, composing ships and cruises.

The original temple

-The existence of the Christian church on the site of the current mosque is confirmed by historical and archaeological.

– The-Somail (Samail acaso ¿ibn Fatím, one of the chiefs who opposed the party of Abd al Raman?) "Brings in his prisoners in a church that is located inside of Cordoba where danced today the Great Mosque and behead sixty of them»

-The wall has been erected in accordance with a procedure called in Spain rope and blight, whose use dates back to Roman times. It has been used frequently in the days of the Gothic kings.

-The Postigo de San Esteban was once the main entrance of the church and the mosque, before it was practiced giving the Patio de los Naranjos. This door has been renovated in the year 855.

-Above it are placed three small horseshoe arches.

On the sides are the remains of an important Byzantine plant decoration that stands out in particular on the imposts. His strange tau-shaped arrangement is remarkable. "Ever seen and rare thing", Gómez-Moreno.

-At the time of its construction was the basilica oriented from northwest to southeast. The north side with had a narthex portico composed of a horseshoe arches similar to San Miguel de la Escalada, constructed according to their models Cordoba. It is difficult to assess whether the ships were opened directly on the narthex or were separated by a wall; later as, when the church was transformed into a mosque, put in direct communication with the hypostyle hall courtyard. Then in the tenth century, as threatened ruin this part, was reinforced in 957 by Abd Al Raman III. Found old construction thus absorbed by the new.

-By its ornamentation Hellenistic work must be dated in the sixth century, in the days when Andalusia and Levante in part at least were ruled by the Byzantines.

-The exterior walls are dominated by a decorated battlements forming.

-The lattices are carved white marble lace. There is another similar window in San Juan de Baños.

-The rooting of the arches in the cushions has a Roman origin undisputed.

-Felix Hernandez was found on the floor of the mosque remains of arches whose decoration is similar to that of St. Stephen Postigo, that make up a sort of little depth niche. Although not well defined its purpose, escribe Helmuth Schlunk, is quite likely to serve these niches central support an altar table, Similar parts because we know they had this purpose in several churches in Ravenna VI ». Having regard to the place where these remains have been found niche, it can be assumed with Gomez Moreno he must be placed at the end of the nave.

-You can also forward another argument. There is definite, but adds weight to the mass of the above. These are 108 columns and as many capitals that make up the original forest primeval temple
Several times transformed to serve the worship of different religions, have always respected architects and their constituents the beginning of the forest of columns. It was the glory of the city. Both were identified Cordoba with its mosque genius in 1520, when the canons wanted and succeeded in building a church in the middle of the stony grove, council threatened with the death penalty any worker who dared to break down the columns.
It was Charles V, educated at the then Flemish and as usual intransigence misinformed, who commanded disfiguring. He later realized the folly, is fair to recognize, but when the damage was done.

Hypothesis heretical

-Several Muslim writers of the late X or XI that ensure the existence of a Christian church, dedicated to San Vicente, located in the eighth century on the same site of the Great Mosque.

-The basilica was built for Christian worship unit, ie for Arian worship dedicated to the Trinity and then the conversion of Reccared.

-We ignore the modalities of this liturgy so that we are unable to distinguish archaeological outward signs of their temples.

-The original temple and its mysterious forest have been built in the early V or VI. Indisputable fact, existed in the eighth century, long before the reform that made Emigrated to become mosque, as history suggests we clásica.Poseía then maybe the alleged notoriety Umayyad showed most interest to make himself emir in its walls; what took place in 756, much before processing. In other words, Temple received an endowment in this real-Religious allowed him to take against its competitors struggle to end thirty years making Spain own.

-With this consecration of the Emir in the temple of this city Cordoba became the capital of Spain, detriment of Toledo

We have reached the end of our discussion. It is now possible to reconstruct a glimpse into the origins of the Mosque of Cordoba.

1. The original temple was built in the late V or VI, in case of Leovigild times, when the Byzantines dominated southern part of Spain and its artistic influence was very great. The first time Arian hegemony in the country is known for its culture and wealth. Without being able to say positively, there is a high probability that has been built for Arian worship. It is inconceivable that it was for the Christian in the VII, during the Trinitarian and decay reaction of the public.

2. After the abjuration of Reccared or after the expulsion of the Byzantines in southern Spain, becomes the temple into a Christian church, consecrated to St. Vincent.

3– With the revolution of 711 becomes the temple to worship or rather Arian Arian syncretism, being stripped of his figures by iconoclasts.

. From this date until the coming to power of Abd al-Raman II in the ninth century, Temple suffers a series of architectural minor adaptations, according to the evolution of Arian worship to premusulmán.

5. In contrast to his father Abd Allah, Arian under the more skeptical, begins his son Abd al-Raman II pro-Islamic policy throughout the kingdom. With the caveats imposed by our lack of information, think it was the first truly Muslim monarch who ruled Spain. For this reason perhaps was a great builder of mosques. According to Ibn al Athir, built the Great Mosque of Jaén and part of Toledo and Seville. The works undertaken in the temple of Córdoba were so important that begun in 833, had not finished on the day of his death, occurred in 852.

6. His son the finished. An inscription in Arabic placed on the lintel of the St. Stephen Postigo testifies. It is dated 855. The Levi-Provençal been translated and Elle Larnbert as follows: MOHAMED BUILDING HAS ORDERED THAT HAS DEEMED NECESSARY IN THIS MOSQUE AND CONSOLIDATION OF THE SAME. According to this text was not simply the restoration of a door whose decoration had been spoiled by rain, Moreover door was the main entrance of the monument, but a construction in the same. Has been carried out in accordance with the Emir 'has deemed necessary'. Necessary. What does this but there was previously necessary? In other words, simply exposing this inscription that did not exist in the temple you need, earlier it was superfluous, frivolous, inadequate. For this reason the niche Hellenistic remains were buried. It was necessary to conclude that according to the criteria of contemporary contribution was precisely ordered Mohamed necessary. This was not the expansion of the hypostyle hall, but what makes a mosque is a mosque: the mihrab and other accessories exist before secondary. In other words, registration confessed what we have endeavored to show in the preceding pages, that the original temple was not of the Muslim faith.

7. Confirm this document epigraphic texts preserved from the School of Cordoba. Mohamed Toma power in 852. Four years earlier he had taken a trip to Navarra Eulogio, where reading the biography of Muhammad. Back in the land drawn up in 851 su Memorial martyrum, to counter his doctrine, actually ignores. That's when his friend Alvaro Cordoba we have news of the existence in the capital of Spain of the muezzin. We announced in 854 in its Indiculur. A year later, Mohamed inscription placed at the main entrance of the mosque. We already have evidence of Muslim worship.

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  1. point in history forogratis point are debatimos on this thesis apasionante, providing comments both for and against. It's a really suggestive thesis.

  2. unless this is not the door of the Viziers???? (my previous comment did not come out…, I repeat) . . . . . I see some symbols of Greek crosses(?) Above the door are four decorative stones, Malta are cross type framed in a circle. Are crossings arrianas?: That would mean that if they were there when the door was constructed, that would be a temple Arian, not?. A symbol very, very similar, exists Almonaster, where considered mosque, the oldest known in Hispania, input on its lintel, that, unless it is of much later construction, phase after mosque, would mean that also would have been an Arian church, o catolica. If it was or became a mosque, and even with the Almoravids and Almohads, as they left there these Christian symbols?: Then I became Catholic Church, but the cross and said it was Lisandros, Arian was before even being Mosque. Returning to the mosque Cordonba, it is the same: Symbols? Arians on the lintel? Is it only proves that detail was right Olagüe?, psss in it, but it is a good indication, not?.

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