Córdoba

In the old cities of Córdoba, Granda and Sevilla, yellow ochre trim is ubiquitous. Córdoba hotel walls are adorned with cobalt blue painted flower pots and streets, sidewalks and plazas are punctuated by black and beige pebble mosaics. The city of Córdoba‚Äôs interest in reviving the theme of Convivience is evident in the night sound-and-light display in the Alcazar and in the exhibition at the Calahorra Tower. Convivience refers to a peace that existed in medieval Islamic Spain when Christians, Muslims and Jews coexisted in Andalucia without conflict and with an apparent appreciation for and tolerance of unique cultural expressions. The Sinagoga of Córdoba built in 1315 is an example where the aesthetic of two cultures is blended effectively. Here Islamic artisans were employed to execute the design

for Jewish patrons. Hence, the Arabic calligraphy that is ubiquitous on Islamic monuments is instead in Hebrew and the content is from the Psalms, but the aesthetic has the same stylistic qualities that blend the calligraphy with the vegetal ornament. On the opposite end aesethetically, one cultural layer simply covers another and the effect is incongruous in the case of La Mesquita. The Córdoba Cathedral layers Christian chapels on top of or in front of an architecture originally intended for a different form of worship. The stylistic qualities of the architecture are not blended, but interrupted abruptly or obscured altogether. The Capilla of San Bartomeo is a more successful blend of Mudejar sensibilities and Chrisitian iconography.