Mundane Monday #115

The Sacred and the Profane #1

Still-life with rocks and shell casing

I find bullets and weapons so contrary to nature. I was recently camping near Fairbanks, Alaska. Numerous shell casings were scattered throughout our site. It distressed me to think that the peace and serenity of the park could be disturbed by indiscriminate gunfire. It was not a location where hunting was allowed. The juxtaposition of nature and destruction is telling and demoralizing.

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Travel Theme: Abroad

Moorish Magic

Sunlight filtering through the dome above the mihrab, Great Mosque of Cordoba, Spain

Sunlight filtering through the center dome above the maqsura (royal enclosure) in the Mosque-Cathedral of Córdoba, Spain. The screened off maqsura is an elongated space in front of the mihrab, the mosque’s prayer room. The elaborately decorated walls and domes of the maqsura were part of the 962–966 CE mosque expansion by al-Hakam II,  the second Caliph of Córdoba. He ruled al-Andalus from 961-976 CE. During his reign, Cordoba flourished as an international center for the arts and science. Hakam amassed a library containing over 400,000 volumes.

Hakam is said to have imported Byzantine artisans  to complete the gilded mosaics.

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B&W Sunday: Typical

Moorish Arches in Cordoba

The Mosque/Cathedral of Cordoba, Cordoba, Spain

The prayer hall of the Mosque–Cathedral of Córdoba, also known as the Great Mosque of Córdoba and the Mezquita, combines typical yet innovative features of Moorish architecture in Spain and other regions.  The double arches, a new innovation, combined a typical horseshoe arch and an upper semi-circular arch. The double arches allowed a higher ceiling and more light.  The Mezquita, begun in 784 CE and finished in 997 CE, was completed in four stages. The mosque was expanded both to accommodate the growing Muslim community in Cordoba and to reflect the importance of the city as the capital of al-Andalus, the Arabic name for the Iberian Peninsula. The crude Corinthian capitals and painted stripes on the arches (rather than actual brickwork) mark this section of the mosque is one of  later additions.

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