The Mihrab of Córdoba's Mezquita (Masjid/Mosque) indicates the direction of Mecca for Muslim prayer

You grow in a land to which you are a stranger,

we are alike in our distance from home

May the rain clouds water you and nourish you in exile

Abd al-Rahman ibn Muyawia – the founder of Al-Andalus (Islamic Spain) – was a gifted poet. He penned these verses when he planted a pomegranate tree that he had received as a gift from his native Syria. And thus began the transformation of Visigothic Córboda into Arabo-Islamic Qurtuba.

Outside the walls of Córdoba's former Great Mosque

The first order of business was to establish a mosque. This was done at the site of a 6th century Byzantine Basilica. Built in the image of the Prophet's ﷺ mosque in Medina, the striking Mezquita became a potent symbol of Córdoba's political and religious status at the center of growing Islamic power in the West.

Mezquita by night

Let's talk about palm trees.

In his book "Kingdoms of Faith", Brian A. Catlos writes:

One of the most striking features of the mosque – the double arches that bridged the pillars – was probably inspired by surviving Roman aqueducts, like that of Segovia. The interior evoked a thicket of palm trees, resonating with the Arabs' desert origins