La Mezquita was first a pagan temple in 600 a.d.,
then a Visigoth (nomadic Hebrew) church, then
a Moorish mosque, then a Catholic church.  King
 Ferdinand built a chapel smack in the middle
of the mosque, likely saving it from demolition
during the Spanish Inquisition.  It is now a 
UNESCO World Heritage site. 
The mihrab, or niche in the wall
that points the direction to Mecca,
was left intact.
Skylights let in abundant natural light.  The hall
contains 856 columns built of jasper, onyx,
marble and granite.  The colors still glow,
after thousands of years!
Parts of the hall were made from
Roman ruins previously on the
site.  The double arches were a
new introduction to architecture,
permitting higher ceilings with
shorter columns.  


Posted by Picasa