Visit Cordoba’s Mosque-Cathedral: tickets, prices, opening hours

Mosquée Cathédrale Cordoue

Would you like to visit the Cathedral Mosque of Cordoba, one of the world’s most astonishing monuments? Here’s everything you need to know about this magnificent Mosque-Cathedral of Cordoba!

Located in the city of Cordoba, Andalusia, the Mosque-Cathedral of Cordoba is one of the Spanish city’s main tourist attractions. It is the most accomplished building in the art of the Umayyads of Cordoba, then called the Great Mosque of Cordoba, or Mezquita de Córdoba, before being converted into a Cathedral in the 12th century after the Reconquista by King Ferdinand III of Castile. It was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1984, and is a superb testimony to the past history of Andalusia and Spain, which was Muslim for a time before being reconquered by Catholic forces.

To help you visit Cordoba’s Mosque-Cathedral, we’ve put together a mini tour guide!

History of Cordoba’s Cathedral Mosque

Mosquée Cathédrale Cordoue

Photo credit: Flickr – piet theisohn

Cordoba’s Mosque-Cathedral was originally a Roman temple dedicated to Janus. In 572, the city was conquered by the Visigoths, who built the Church of St. Vincent Martyr on the site of the temple. With the arrival of the Muslim conquerors in Andalusia, part of the church was bought and destroyed to build a mosque. Abd-Al-Rahman I, founder of the Umayyad dynasty, later had the rest of the church destroyed to build the Cordoba Mosque. In exchange, he authorized the construction of new churches in the region for a time.

The original building was very simple, but over the years and with the successors of Abd-Al-Rahman I, it grew to its present size. The Cathedral Mosque of Cordoba is, according to some, the culmination of Umayyad art, a blend of styles and cultures.

When Cordoba was retaken from the Muslims by the Castilians in 1236, the Mosque of Cordoba was converted into a church and then into a cathedral. Although a few rows of columns were knocked down to make way for chapels or to clear the way for the Royal Chapel, decorated with Mudejar stucco, it was in the 16th century that the main alteration to the building took place. The canons demolished a large part of the center of the former mosque to build a cathedral in Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque styles. It now appears to be embedded in the old building, breaking the perspective of the original forest of columns. Charles V himself declared: « You have destroyed what could be seen nowhere else to build what can be seen everywhere.

What to see and do at Cordoba’s Cathedral Mosque?

Mosquée Cathédrale Cordoue

Photo credit: Flickr – S Kaya

A visit to Cordoba’s Mosque-Cathedral will enable you to discover the main sites of Spain’s most surprising monument. Cordoba’s Mezquita is a spectacular building, combining Moorish and Western architecture in a sumptuous, spellbinding complex of rooms.

Your visit begins with a tour of the original grand mosque. It comprises two different areas: the patio and the prayer hall. It’s in this interior space that you’ll find the famous two-tone columns and arches: red and white arches offering a magnificent chromatic effect. It’s these arches that have made Cordoba’s Cathedral Mosque famous the world over! The uniformity created by the mosque’s arches gives the impression that the building is endless. All the art of the Umayyads can be seen in this fantastic interior space.

The patio, meanwhile, is known as the Cour des Orangers. With its fruit trees and fountains, it offers shade for relaxing and pleasant coolness in summer.

Cathédrale de Cordoue

The tour also includes a visit to Cordoba Cathedral. This building is the synthesis of two centuries of architectural evolution: the Latin cross-shaped cathedral houses both Gothic and Baroque vaults, as well as a Renaissance-style dome.

Your guided tour will also take you to the Tower of the Mosque of Cordoba: the minaret built by Abd Al Rahman III is preserved inside today’s bell tower. It was partially destroyed by a storm, which explains why it was rebuilt as a Baroque tower.

To round off your visit to Cordoba’s Mosque-Cathedral, a collection of objects and reliefs found during excavations, as well as treasures accumulated by the cathedral, await you to complete your discovery of one of Spain’s most remarkable monuments!

How do I visit Cordoba’s Mosque-Cathedral?

Mosquée Cathédrale Cordoue

Photo credit: Flickr -Trevor Huxham

The Mosque-Cathedral of Cordoba is located in the heart of Cordoba’s historic center. The Alcazar de los Reyes Cristianos is just a stone’s throw from the Mezquita. You can also visit Cordoba’s Mosque-Cathedral during your strolls through the Old Town. You won’t want to miss it: Cordoba’s Mezquita rises magnificently above the city’s rooftops, as it is forbidden by law to build higher than this so as not to obstruct the view of the city’s emblematic monument.

There are several ways to get to Cordoba’s Mosque-Cathedral:

  • By car

If you came to Córdoba by car, or rented a car on arrival, the monument is located at the following address: C/ Cardenal Herrero n. º 1. 14003. Cordoba.

  • By bus

The nearest bus stop to the site is « Puerta del Puente », served by urban lines 3 and 12.

  • By cab

Cab stop « Ensemble Monumental Mosque – Cathedral of Cordoba », C/ Torrijos n. º 6.

Cordoba’s Mosque-Cathedral is a religious site, so it’s important to observe a few rules. Click here for more information! The site is accessible to people with reduced mobility, and broadcasting equipment for the blind is also available on site.

Also read in the Cordoba guide :

Opening hours and prices of the Mosque-Cathedral of Cordoba

Mosquée Cathédrale Cordoue

Photo credit: Flickr -Trevor Huxham

There are several options for visiting Cordoba’s Mosque-Cathedral. Single tickets can be purchased on site. Guided tours of Cordoba’s Cathedral Mosque can be purchased on the mosque’s patio, or online in advance. Several packages are available, some of which include visits to other important monuments in Cordoba, such as the Cathedral Mosque, the Alcazar of the Christian Kings and the Jewish Quarter! We invite you to visit the official Cordoba Mosque-Cathedral website to find out more about these guided tours.

RATES

To visit Cordoba’s Mosque-Cathedral, prices are as follows:

  • Adults: €10
  • Children aged 10 to 14 and disabled persons: €5
  • Children under 10: free

You’ll need to add an extra €2 to visit the Bell Tower (the Mosque’s former minaret).

Good to know: Monday to Saturday, from 8.30am to 9.30am, the monument is open to visitors free of charge, except during certain religious celebrations.

SCHEDULES

Opening hours vary according to the season. The Cordoba Mosque-Cathedral is generally open from 10am to 6pm. However, please consult theschedule and availability tool on the Cordoba Mezquita website before visiting. Depending on religious events, it may not be possible to visit the Cordoba Mosque-Cathedral. This is the case for Easter festivities, for example, or for certain masses.