La Mezquita (The Mosque)

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Charlie: The top sight in Cordoba is the Mesquita, a huge mosque built in 785 and extended several times in the following centuries. Cordoba was reconquered by the Christians in 1236. In 1523, after three centuries of admirable restraint, and over the opposition of the town council, the Bishop of Cordoba convinced King Charles V (no relation to Charles Crowley)  to let them knock out a couple hundred of the columns and build a big cathedral right in the middle of the mosque. Scroll a little down on this page to see a 3D representation.

The cathedral is impressive but so much like a hundred others that I won’t include any photos. To his credit Charles V (this time possibly a relation to Charles Crowley) regretted his decision and said, quite eloquently, “You have built what you or others might have build anywhere, but you have destroyed something that was unique in the world.”

Of course, you can see they might have been pretty angry about the Muslims invading their country and occupying it for five hundred years, that is a legitimate grievance but that had ended three hundreds years before.

The story seems so contemporary to me. Secular official concedes to the demands of an interest group even though he knows it is wrong to retain support of the interest group for political reasons.

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