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Spain has a long and colorful history, having first been conquered by the Roman Empire until the Middle Ages. During the 8th century, Spain became a part of the ever-expanding Umayyad Caliphate. Then later in the 15th century, Imperialism invaded Spain, followed by wars for liberalization in the 18th century, leading to the Spanish civil war and finally establishing Spain as a democratic country.This Islamic reign by the Muslim Moors in the Iberian Peninsula indelibly left its mark on modern-day Spain, resulting in the Spanish kingdom being dotted with some of the most beautiful mosques with an awe-inspiring architecture of that era. Thus, for the Muslim traveler on a holiday in Spain, some of the world's most amazing Mosques await you. Visiting these wonderous Spanish Mosques must be on the ‘to-do’ list for any Halal trip to Spain.So, review these renowned Mosques, and locate them on your mobile, to experience a prayer place which has been standing for over a thousand years! 1) The Great Mosque of Córdoba The Great Mosque of Córdoba located in the Spanish region of Andalusia was originally a small Christian Visigoth church. When the Moor Muslims came to rule Spain, Abd al-Rahman I ordered the construction of the Great Mosque in 784. This Mosque was further expanded by later Muslim rulers. This Mosque of Córdoba was important to the Islamic community of al-Andalus for three centuries. In 1236, Córdoba was converted to a Roman Catholic church. Since the early 21st century the Spanish Muslims have been lobbying the Roman Catholic church to allow them to pray at this site, but have however to date been denied permission. In its heyday, the Great Mosque of Córdoba was used as the main place for prayer, it was also a hall for teaching Islam and the site for Sharia Law cases. Architecture And DesignThe architectural design of the Great Mosque of Córdoba is inspired by the Great Mosque of Damascus, the Dome of the Rock and the Aachen Cathedral. Architects also incorporate Roman columns of Gothic structure and others sent from different regions of Iberia as gifts. The Columns, arches and other decorative aspects of the Mosque were incorporated with ivory, jasper, porphyry, gold, silver, copper, and brass. Mosaics and azulejos were also incorporated in the design of the Mosque. The walls were also decorated with Quranic inscriptions. The mihrab of the Mosque was considered an architectural masterpiece with its geometric and flowing designs of plants.However, when Córdoba was conquered by King Ferdinand III of Castile, the centre of the Great Mosque was converted into a Catholic cathedral. As time passed other Christian features were added such chapels and a nave. The minaret of the Mosque was also converted to the bell tower. Interesting Facts It is reported that Abd al-Rahman I is buried under the site of the Cordoba Mosque. Abd al-Rahman I initially named the Mosque ‘Aljama Mosque’ in honour of his wife. Mosque's StatusThe Great Mosque of Córdoba was added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites as a part of the Historic Center of Córdoba in 1984. Although Muslims are not allowed to pray at this Mosque, it is a must visit with its amazing architecture and remarkable historical significance. Opening Hours:Monday to Saturday - 10:00 am to 06:00 pmSunday and Religious Festive Days - 9:00 am to 10:30 am, 02:00 pm to 06:00 pm. Tickets: Guided Tours - 40 € per person and free for children under 8 years old | Tours without a Guide - 10 € per person, 5 € for children between 10-14 years old and free for children under 10 years old.Click here for more information about The Mosque of Córdoba 2) Mosque of Cristo de la Luz The Mosque of Cristo de la Luz has remained nearly unchanged since its construction in 999 and is the only remaining former Moorish Mosque in the city of Toledo, Spain. Originally named the Mezquita Bab-al-Mardum, it is located near the Puerta del Sol, a city gate of Toledo, Spain, built in the late 14th century. Architecture and DesignThis Mosque was built over a Visigoth church measuring approximately 8m X 8m with four columns dividing the interior into nine parts. The designs in each of these nine parts are unique and follow Islamic design concepts. This Mosque, which was converted to a chapel in 1186, is constructed of brick and small stones. The overall architectural design and formation is a blend of Moorish style and local building techniques. However, much of its influence can be attributed to the caliphate in Córdoba and the Great Mosque of Córdoba.After the conversion of the Mosque to a church, the qibla wall and mihrab were lost when an apse was built in the Mudejar architecture style. Today, this building also features many Christian themed decorations and murals of Christ and other figures.Mosque StatusToday, this building functions as a church. However, Muslim travellers will get a feel the Mosque that it was, especially with the inscription in Kufic script on the facade of the building that reveals the details of the Mosque's origin. Opening Hours: Monday to Sunday 10:00 am - 06:45 pm (March 1st to October 15th) | 10:00 - 05:45 pm (October 16th to February 28th). Tickets: General – 2.80 € | Accredited Groups – 2.40 € | Free for under the age of 11.Click here for more information about The Mosque of Cristo de la Luz 3) The Mosque of Almonaster la Real This Mosque was built in the 10th century from the origins of a Visigoth basilica of the 5th century. Hailed as one of the few surviving Spanish rural Mosques, it is an oddly shaped building made of brick and stone. This Mosque sits on top of a hill within the castle overlooking the village of Almonaster la Real in the province of Huelva, Spain. This beautifully preserved Mosque was converted to a church as Islamic rule changed to Christian rule. Over the centuries this Mosque has gone through numerous changes, but its Islamic features have been retained while new Christian elements were added on. Architecture and Design This Mosque was built during the reign of Abd al-Rahman III. It is trapezoidal in shape and has three parts - the prayer hall, the courtyard of ablutions, and the minaret tower. The prayer hall has five small naves. The central nave is covered by a half-sphere dome and brick arches. The courtyard of ablutions is built-into the facade of the rock. Most of the minaret has been built over due to the additions made over the years. The Mihrab, however, still stands, but has over the years lost its paint, and only the brick and stone remain today. Interesting Facts 16 undated tombs were found in the oration room of the Mosque. The Mosque of Almonaster la Real is the focus of the annual 'Jornadas de Cultura Islamica' which takes place in the town of in Almonaster la Real in the month of October. Mosque StatusDespite the changes over the years, the building retains its ‘Moorish character’ to date. It was declared a National Monument in 1931 and was further renovated between 1970 and 1973. The Mosque of Almonaster la Real is a must-visit place while on your Halal trip to Spain. Opening Hours: Every day from 09.00 am to 08.30 pm. Tickets: Entrance is free.Click here for more information about The Mosque of Mezquita de Almonaster La Real 4) Mosque at Alcazar of Jerez de la Frontera Picture Credit - www.flickriver.comThe Mosque within the Alcazar of Jerez de la Frontera in the is the Cadiz province of Spain is the only remaining one in the region from the original 18 Mosques. It was built in the 11th century but was converted to a church in the 13th century when the Christians conquered the region. The entire Fortress was designated as a world heritage site in 1931. Opening Hours: Monday to Friday 09:30 am - 02:30 pm (October 1st to June 30th) | Monday to Friday 09:30 am - 05:30 pm (July 1st to September 30th) | Saturday and Sunday 09:30 am - 02:30 pm Tickets: General - 5 € | Groups - 4 €Click here for more information about Mezquita de Jerez Other Former Mosques of Spain Apart from the above famous historic Mosques of Spain, there are much more Mosques or Mezquita (as known in Spanish) which can be visited. While many have been converted to churches or put to other uses today, the architecture and splendour still remain. So, while holidaying in Spain and visiting these regions/cities, take the time to visit these magnificent mosques in Spain. Mezquita de las Tornerías | Toledo, Spain Santa Maria de la Sede Cathedral (also known as Seville Cathedral) | Seville, Spain Modern Mosques in Spain For those Muslim travellers are looking for Mosques with the express purpose of prayer, these modern Mosques of Spain are your answer. A quick search on Google Maps should give you its location. 1) Basharat Mosque Address: Mezquita Basharat, 14630 Pedro Abad, Córdoba, Spain | Opened: 1982Click here for more information about Basharat Mosque 2) Madrid Central Mosque Address: Calle Anastasio Herrero, 5, 28020 Madrid, Spain | Opened: 1988Click here for more information about Madrid Central Mosque 3) King Abdul Aziz Mosque Picture Credit - marbellaazul.com Address: s 29602, Urb. Lomas Marbella-S, 18, 29602 Marbella, Málaga, Spain | Built: 1981Click here for more information about King Abdul Aziz Mosque ...
The Netherlands – a stunning country famous for its picture-perfect tulip filled fields, quaint towns, beautiful canals, iconic windmills, and numerous other renowned attractions, is a must-visit for every individual in search of an unforgettable holiday destination. Home to a multicultural society, Islam in the Netherlands is the second largest religion, after Christianity. With Muslims from across the globe now calling the country their home, finding Muslim-friendly facilities in the Netherlands is possible. Those planning to visit the country in the near future will find that Halal restaurants and mosques can be found at many of the Netherlands’s major cities, but what about at its airports? Read on to discover the airport facilities for Muslims offered at the busiest airports in the Netherlands. . Amsterdam Airport Schiphol The main international airport of the Netherlands, and the biggest, is Amsterdam Airport Schiphol. Also one of the busiest airports in Europe, Amsterdam Airport Schiphol serves passengers from all over the world. It is therefore no surprise that the airport offers a variety of stores and services, and facilities for passengers of different faiths and backgrounds. Muslim travelers will therefore be able to find Muslim-friendly facilities at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol. The multi-faith prayer room at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol or the ‘Meditation Centre’, meant for all religions, can be found in the transit area of the terminal. Also impressively, there is a Halal restaurant at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, as well as a lounge, namely Servisair Lounge that has Halal options for Muslim travelers. Click here for a Muslim-friendly guide to Amsterdam Airport Schiphol . Eindhoven Airport The second largest airport in the Netherlands is Eindhoven Airport. It offers a wide variety of facilities and services to suit the needs and wants of its passengers who come from different backgrounds and religions, just like Amsterdam Airport Schiphol. Muslim travelers will therefore be able to offer their prayers at the prayer room at Eindhoven Airport. The ‘Meditation Centre’ at Eindhoven Airport is a multi-faith prayer room. They will however not be able to locate any Halal restaurants at Eindhoven Airport. Muslim passengers can therefore dine on suitable seafood and vegetarian dishes at one of the many cafés and restaurants found at the airport. Click here for a Muslim-friendly guide to Eindhoven Airport . Rotterdam The Hague Airport Rotterdam The Hague Airport, the third largest airport in the Netherlands, handles millions of passengers each year. The airport however does not offer as many facilities as the above two airports do. Muslim travelers looking for prayer facilities at Rotterdam The Hague Airport will not be able to find any. They will also be unable to locate any Halal restaurants at Rotterdam The Hague Airport, although there are several cafés and restaurants. Muslim passengers will however be able to find eateries that serve suitable vegetarian and seafood dishes, at the airport. Click here for a Muslim-friendly guide to Rotterdam The Hague Airport . Some of the Netherlands’s other busy airports include Maastricht Aachen Airport; a regional airport, and Groningen Airport Eelde; a civilian international airport. While both airports do see their fare share of passengers each year, neither is known to have Muslim-friendly facilities such as prayer rooms or Halal restaurants. ....