Translate

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

La Mezquita interior and details

When first entering La Mezquita, it appears to be a never ending sea of double arched columns. (There are actually 850 columns) The double arches are neeed for the thin columns to be able to support the weight of the large roof.
Conquering Christians closed the arched entryways around the building, and in midday, with lights on inside, the darkness is hard to eliminate. The mosque was able to hold 20,000 praying muslims at once. Like the Alhambra, you see the repetition - in the columns, in the large stones in the floor, in the intricate pattern in the ceiling.
It was fascinating to be in a building so immense, to see one corner of it and know that as I moved through it I would see more or less the same thing as I could where I stood. I wanted to sit and meditate on the space where I was, yet I was also compelled to move through it and see the rest. A column grid of this size is interesting to move through since what I was seeing constantly shifted and changed as I walked.
This mosque was one of my four favorite of my trip. The spirituality of the space was papable and being in it brought tears to my eyes. I felt the same in La Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, and in the Church of San Lorenzo in Florence. All very different architecturally. All very simple and elegant and clear designs.


the ceiling...


The Mihrab (above & below)




Sixteen columns were removed in the mosque and replaced by Gothic arches to build the baroque cathedral erected in the center of the mosque (done by Charles V, in 1236). While the ceiling in the mosque rises about 30 feet, the ceiling in the cathedral reaches 130 feet. The gothic insertion picks up the ryhthm and scale of the mosque where the two meet....


The edges, where the two architectural style mixed were incredible...

(below) ...a place where the roof was taken out and the gothic arches placed instead, eventually moving higher as I got to the center of the cathedral...

entering further into the cathedral....

Unbelievable....I am in the center of the mosque now, in the cathedral - change in color, change in light, change in scale, change in feeling. The spiritual essence was gone; instead this felt heavy - not at all what gothic architecture is striving for...

Another edge with the mixing of the architecture.





No comments:

Post a Comment