“To Córdoba belong all the beauty and ornaments that delight the eye or dazzle the sight. Her long line of Sultans form her crown of glory; her necklace is strung with the pearls which her poets have gathered from the ocean of language; her dress is of the banners of learning, well-knit together by her men of science; and the masters of every art and industry are the hem of her garments…” – Stanley Lane-Poole, The Moors in Spain
The Calle Cardenal Herrero in Córdoba is an iconic cobbled street impossible to overlook, for it is home to the Andalusian city’s spectacular Mosque-Cathedral. Also known as “La Mezquita,” this one-of-a-kind Moorish and Christian place of worship reels in about 1.5 million visitors each year, most of whom find themselves spellbound by its hypnotic architectural features and the riveting history that has transpired and continues to within the beautifully weathered walls of the dual-church. That said, the Mezquita is far more than a mere tourist attraction. In recent years, the Mosque-Cathedral of Córdoba has become the crux of a complicated religious conflict resurrected by impassioned worshipers and patriotic locals who fear not only for the future of its legacy, but the preservation of its true history.
It is easy for those on the outside looking in to make hasty judgments about the ongoing dispute, considering the endless amount of information that is uploaded Online by the second. The contentious debates surrounding the Mezquita are often products of outdated prejudices, festering distrust, and whitewashing, all of which make it harder for the Mezquita to remain a non-discriminatory space serviceable to and appreciated by everyone today.