When I think, a day later, about what I take away from the overwhelming experience of the Mezquita, I think it is understanding who has control of the light. The arches are dimly lit with hanging lamps and some sunlight comes through the openings in the ceilings, but the brightest spot is the Cathedral, uncomfortably situated inside the mosque.
So I totally get the symbolism. Before the Catholics closed up the sides of the mosque with chapel after chapel after chapel, there was light everywhere. It came in through windows and arches. I could imagine, yesterday, as the bells rang noon, what it must have been like to hear the call to prayer and to see or be one of the many men facing Mecca or Damascus.
It is amazing in there. I shared a bench with an older (than I) gentleman who spoke Spanish to me. He asked me if he could sit next to me. His feet could go no further, he suggested. Claro.
It is very very hot here. It’s actually cooler in Granada, which is further south. I welcomed the shade of the Mezquita, but I am certain that 1100 years ago, on a hot day at mid-summer, the shade and the breeze would have been welcome and the essence of the space just as powerful. Man can create such beauty.