Sometimes judging a book by its cover can be a good thing, as it opens you up to things that you otherwise would have ignored. Whilst planning a trip to the southern Spanish cities of Madrid, Seville, Malaga and Granada, a came across a smaller city lying at the cross roads of these cities called Cordoba that appeared to serve as the perfect base for my explorations. A quick google image search soon had me convinced that a stay in Cordoba needed to be written in to my itinerary, as I was bombarded with images of the byzantine arches of the Mosque-Cathedral Although I was originally drawn to the Mosque-Cathedral of Cordoba via the hypnotizing aesthetics, I soon discovered that its beauty ran far deeper.
Beginning as a catholic church, the site was converted to a mosque after the muslims conquered Spain in the 8th century A.D. Another 8 centuries later, the site was once again converted back to a renaissance cathedral under Roman Catholic rule. Today, the site stands as a holy site for people of both religions, and accordingly as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is a physical analogy for the beauty that can result from the union of two conflicting things, as the byzantine arches representative of the mosque are highlighted through their juxtaposition with the stained glass windows and neo-gothic architecture representative of the cathedral - and vice versa. As I peered beneath the picturesque byzantine cover of the Mosque-Cathedral that google image had presented me, I found a novel longer and more enticing than any Game of Thrones novel.
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