The Great Mosque of Cordoba and the Splendor of the Caliphate with Tiago Neiva

The Great Mosque of Cordoba and the Splendor of the Caliphate with Tiago Neiva


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Córdoba has served as a leading cultural capital for more than 1000 years. This conversation will serve as an introduction to the Islamic medieval city of Cordoba, with a spotlight on the creation and evolution of the Cordoba Mosque-Cathedral set amid the backdrop of the Umayyad Caliphate.

Thanks to its large and well-preserved historic center, a UNESCO World Heritage site, Cordoba provides a wonderful glimpse into the melting pot of civilizations so characteristic to Andalusia and the Iberian Peninsula as a whole. We’ll learn how the artistic, political, and military highlight of this presence was the Caliphate of Cordoba, which was ruled by the Umayyad dynasty from 929 to 1031 AD.

Besides the huge Palace of Medina Azahara, the several mosques, libraries, hammams, markets, and universities, the most important and symbolic architectonic achievement of this period was La Mezquita, or the Great Mosque, which began being built in 785 AD. We’ll examine up-close this crown jewel, an architectural splendor that serves as a living example of the city's history of innovation and evolution. We’ll discuss how it was conceived, (re)built, and the symbols attached to religion, power, and politics during the Medieval Ages.

Led by an expert on Architecture and Art History, Tiago Miranda Neiva, this interactive seminar will explore the medieval Islamic city of Cordoba, the Umayyad Caliphate - as the most powerful period of al-Andalus and, in particular, contextualize the Mosque of Cordoba, with its central role in urban, artistic, religious and political dimensions. Designed to inform curiosity as well as future travels, participants will come away with a better knowledge of the medieval Islamic Cordoba, highlighting the multiple architectonic principles and the aesthetics of the Mosque of Cordoba, from its conception and evolution to its legacy.

Tiago Miranda Neiva was born and raised in Lisbon. For several years he was Professor of Arts and Art History, having a Master's degree in Teaching of Visual Arts. He is currently working towards a PhD focused on the Art and Architecture of al-Andalus: the confluence between the Arab, Jewish and Christian medieval world. In recent years he has been working as a tour guide in his hometown, seeking to show and reveal its most intimate secrets through an authentic and passionate local vision.

This conversation is suitable for all ages

90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.

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