Mihrab at the Great Mosque of Córdoba

Categorized as Topics

Mihrab at the Great Mosque of Córdoba

Glaire Anderson


This talk briefly introduces the architecture and decoration of the mihrab of the Great Mosque of Córdoba. Taking the form of a discrete chamber, and richly ornamented with carved marble and gold mosaics, the mihrab is the focal point of the mosque’s prayer hall as expanded during the reign of the second Andalusi Umayyad caliph, al-Hakam II (r. 961-76).


Calvo Capilla, Susana. “The Visual Construction of the Umayyad Caliphate in Al-Andalus through the Great Mosque of Cordoba.” Arts 7, no. 3 (2018): 36. 

Dodds, Jerrilynn D. “The Great Mosque of Córdoba.” In Al-Andalus: The Art of Islamic Spain, edited by Jerrilynn D. Dodds, New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1992, 11–25.

Khoury, Nuha. “The Meaning of the Great Mosque of Cordoba in the Tenth Century.” Muqarnas XIII (1996): 80–98.

Marfil, Pedro. “The Great Mosque of Cordova.” In The Splendour of the Cordovan Umayyads. Exhibition in Madinat Al-Zahra, Cordova, from 3 may to 30 September, 2001. Cordoba: Consejería de Cultura de la Junta de Andalucía for Fundación El Legado Andalusí, 2001, 45–48. 

Ruggles, Fairchild D. “From the Heavens and Hills: The Flow of Water to the Fruited Trees and Ablution Fountains in the Great Mosque of Córdoba.” In Rivers of Paradise : Water in Islamic Art and Culture, edited by Sheila Blair and Jonathan Bloom, New Haven: Yale University Press, 2009, 81–103. 


A worksheet for this video is available here.

Also visit the Khamseen Worksheets page here.


Glaire Anderson, “The Mihrab of the Great Mosque of Córdoba,” Khamseen: Islamic Art History Online, published 19 October 2020.

Glaire Anderson is Senior Lecturer in Islamic Art at the University of Edinburgh. Her scholarly work explores the art of al-Andalus and the early Islamic West. She is currently finishing a second monograph that explores medieval Islamic science and visual culture through the career of the ninth-century Cordoban polymath ‘Abbas Ibn Firnas, who is famous for an experiment in early human flight. She is also pursuing research on digital art history and heritage, and the Islamic visual culture of the Philippines.