Tag Archives: magic

Abracadabra… by CharlieJoe

Burj Khalifa and Downtown Dubai at sunset.
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Mosque of Cordoba by AnnaZinn_

The cathedral was originally Catholic Christian church dedicated to Saint Vincent the third.After the Islamic conquest of the Visigothic kingdom, the building was divided between the Muslims and Christians. When the exiled Umayyad prince Abd al-Rahman I escaped to Iberia and defeated the governor of Al-Andalus, Yusuf al-Fihri, he found the Cordovese divided into various sects, including the Gnostics, Priscillianists, Donatists, and Luciferians. His ambition was to erect a temple which would rival in magnificence those of Baghdad, Jerusalem, and Damascus, and approach in sanctity the fame of Mecca. Above a Christian church dedicated do Saint Vincent, Abd al-Rahman decided to raise his great mosque. He offered to buy the church and the plot. The negotiations for the sale were placed in the hands of the Sultan’s favourite secretary, Umeya ibn Yezid. Under the terms of the transfer, the Cordovese were permitted to reconstruct the church formerly dedicated to St Faustus, St Januarius, and St Marcellus, three Christian martyrs whom they deeply revered.

Abd al-Rahman allowed the Christians to rebuild their ruined churches and purchased the Christian half of the church of St Vincent.The Emirate was rich. Apart from the treasure wrested from the Goths during the recent wars, he also extracted a tithe upon the produce of the land and on manufactures. Muslims in Andalusia were asked to provide to pay the Zakat. A mandatory tax known as Jizya was also laid upon every Christian and Jew in Andalusia as a precondition for being allowed to practice their religion. The Jizya was far greater than the Zakat and it was one of the main sources of income for the Muslim rulers in lands occupied by Islamic tribes but populated still by Christians.Beyond this, the Moorish kings were greatly enriched by the acquisition of the valuable mines of Iberia, the quarries of marble, and other sources of wealth. From these revenues Abd al-Rahman and his successors, Hisham, Abd-al Rahman II, the greatest of the dynasty and the third of the line, and lastly the extravagant Almanzor, lavished large sums upon the designing, construction, and costly adornment of the Mosque. Abd al-Rahman I and his descendants reworked the building over the following two centuries to fashion it as a mosque, starting in 784. Additionally, Abd al-Rahman I used the mosque (originally called Aljama Mosque) as an adjunct to his palace and named it in honour of his wife. Traditionally, the mihrab (or apse) of a mosque faces in the direction of Mecca; by facing the mihrab, worshipers pray towards Mecca. Mecca is east-southeast of the mosque, but the mihrab of this mosque unusually points south.

The work of building the resplendent Mezquita employed thousands of artisans and labourers, and such a vast undertaking led to the development of all the resources of the district. Hard stone and beautifully veined marbles were quarried from the Sierra Morena and the surrounding regions of the city. Metals of various kinds were dug from the soil, and factories sprang up in Cordóba amid the stir and bustle of an awakened industrial energy. A famous Syrian architect made the plans for the Mosque. Leaving his own house on the edge of Córdoba, the Emir came to reside in the city, so that he might personally superintend the operations and offer proposals for the improvement of the designs. Abd al-Rahman moved about among the workers, directing them for several hours of every day.

The mosque underwent numerous subsequent changes: Abd al-Rahman II ordered a new minaret, while in 961 Al-Hakam II enlarged the building and enriched the Mihrab. The last of such reforms was carried out by Almanzor in 987. It was connected to the Caliph’s palace by a raised walk-way, mosques within the palaces being the tradition for previous Islamic rulers – as well as Christian Kings who built their palaces adjacent to churches. The Mezquita reached its current dimensions in 987 with the completion of the outer naves and courtyard.

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Magical Moment… by CharlieJoe

Same place, different scene. Burj Khalifa and Downtown Dubai at sunset. Lee Big Stopper, Lee GND 0.6 Hard and 0.9 Soft filters were used for this single frame of 180s.
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