| The Great Mosque of Cordoba was considered a wonder of the medieval world by both Muslims and Christians. Built on a Visigothic site, which was probably the site of an earlier Roman temple, the Great Mosque of Cordoba was begun between 784 and 786 during the reign of 'Abd al-Rahman I. At this time Córdoba was the largest, most prosperous cities of Europe, outshining Byzantium and Baghdad in science, culture and the arts.
The build vistas of columns and arcades that stretch into the dim recesses of the prayer hall create a mysterious space that is often described as a forest of stone. The comparison is heightened by rows of trees planted in the courtyard (Patio de las Naranjas or Court of the Oranges), which create a visual continuation of the rows of columns within the prayer hall.
After conquering Cordoba in 1236, Ferdinand III king of Castile consecrated the Great Mosque as the city's cathedral. The Christian population of Cordoba used the former mosque with relatively minor changes for the next three hundred years.