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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