Tuesday, November 9, 2010

history, culture, politics, and religion. oh my.

I have the pamphlet from the Mosque-Cathedral of Cordoba! Actually my travel companion graciously sent me these photos of hers, which she managed to carry back to the States. I re-read the pamphlet and it confirmed the feelings I had when I first read it standing under the red and white striped arches. The Church has a narrative of Andalucia's history and it's eager to let the visitors know that it has the moral high ground. 

According to the pamphlet, the Church is protector of other cultures. It preserved the mosque by converting it into a church.
It is the Church, through its Cathedral Chapter, that has made it possible to keep the former mosque of the Western Caliphate, the oldest cathedral in Spain, and a World Heritage Site, from becoming a heap of ruins. In fact this has always been one of the missions of the Church, to safeguard and inspire culture and art.
On the other hand, Moors destroyed the first church that was at this site in order to build the mosque on top of it: "Following the Islamic invasion of Cordoba, the dominating Muslims proceeded to the demolition of the [unintelligible] church of San Vicente and in the year 785, began construction of the Mosque..."

Therefore, everyone should be grateful that the church was so generous in preserving the mosque even those the Muslims destroyed the previous church.
It is a historical fact that the basilica of San Vicente was expropriated and destroyed in order to build what would later be the Mosque, a reality that questions the theme of tolerance that was supposedly cultivated in the Cordoba of the moment.

1 comment:

melonontwotendrils said...

In one my classes for Madison last year, we watched a quick video on the Muslim influence in Spain. To put it simply, the video that I watched definitely gave a different take on the experience than this pamphlet does.
It's sad to see that the Islamic history of Spain is at times forgotten or divorced from the Spanish experience.

Here's the show if you ever want to take a gander when you need a break from studying medical terms!: