Historiography: excavations, restorations...
Since the middle of the 19th century there has been a growing interest in studying the Mosque-Cathedral of Córdoba, especially in the last decades of the century. However, they have been artistic studies about very important monuments, characterized by an intense work based on restoration carried out by two architects who were not from Córdoba. Ricardo Velázquez Bosco (1843-1923), born in Burgos, restored some façades of the Mosque. His work was continued by Félix Hernández Giménez (1889-1975), born in Barcelona. The latter was for many years "architect of the area" of the provinces of Córdoba, Jaén and Seville, where he carried out several works of restoration and consolidation in buildings of Andalusian architecture (the Mosque itself, Medina Azahara, the walls of Córdoba...). He published, among other works, an excellent book: "El alminar de Abd al-Rahman III en la Mezquita Mayor de Córdoba" (The Minaret of Abd al-Rahman III in the Main Mosque of Córdoba) (Granada, 1975). Manuel Ocaña Jiménez (1914-1990), who was born in Córdoba and who was an Arabist by training, supported the efforts by the two architects mentioned above through his broad knowledge of written Arabic sources. ... [Read more...]
More recently, researchers from two foreign institutions based in Spain, specifically in Madrid, have contributed to the development of the archaeological studies about the Mosque: the Instituto Arqueológico Alemán (German Archaeological Institute) and the Casa de Velázquez (House of Velázquez). In the former, we should mention Christian Ewert, whose works have a very close relationship with the History of Art, and who has studied more deeply the decorative elements of the Mosque and of Medina Azahara. As for the latter, we should mention Patrice Cressier. Finally, it is important to highlight the great amount of information from the research carried out by the archaeologist Pedro Marfil Ruiz, which show that the study of the Mosque is not a closed topic: research about the surroundings of the Mosque, the cupolas and extrados of the Macsura, the eastern wall of the Prayer Hallof Abd al-Rahman I, about the extension by Almanzor, etc.
The summarising studies about the Mosque-Cathedral are very numerous and we only mention some of them. Among the publications that can be categorised as "tourist guides" of the Mosque-Cathedral, we can highlight those written by José María Ortiz Juárez in 1975 or by María Dolores Baena Alcántara in 2006 (this author published a text adapted to children in 2000 with her sister María Teresa), or the "Guía visual de la Mezquita-Catedral" (“Visual Guide of the Mosque-Cathedral”), published by the newspaper Diario Córdoba in 2001, including texts by the mentioned Pedro Marfil and photographs by Manuel Pijuán Martínez. With the title "La Mezquita de Córdoba" (“The Mosque of Córdoba”) several studies have been published: by the forefather of Rafael Castejón y Martínez de Arizala (1893-1986), Director of the Royal Academy of Córdoba (1971, 4thedition); by the historian and Arabist Manuel Salcines López (1923-2005), in 1990; and the works by the architects Fernando Chueca Goitia (1911-2004), published in 1968 and Alfonso Jiménez Martín, in 1993.
With the title "La Catedral de Córdoba" (The Cathedral of Córdoba”) or similar ones, along with the ancient study by Miguel Ángel Ortí Belmonte (1970), we can mention the works by Miguel Salcedo Hierro, chronicler of Córdoba, published in 1965 and 2000. Other prolific authors on the topic are Manuel Nieto Cumplido, canon and archivist of the Cathedral, and Alberto Villar Movellán, Professor of History of the Art at the University of Córdoba. As for the former, the amazing book "La Catedral de Córdoba" (“The Cathedral of Córdoba”) (1998), can be complemented with "La Mezquita de Córdoba: planos y dibujos" (“The Mosque of Córdoba: drawings and sketches”) (1992), with Carlos Luca de Tena y Alvear, and "La Mezquita-Catedral de Córdoba: Patrimonio de la Humanidad" (“The Mosque-Cathedral of Córdoba: Heritage of Humanity”) (2005).
"La Catedral de Córdoba" (“The Cathedral of Córdoba”) was published in 1992, although it studies the whole building, the old Basilica and Mosque. Besides, two publications have been coordinated –"Córdoba capital. 2. Arte" (“Córdoba city. 2. Art”) (1995) and "Guía Artística de Córdoba y su provincia" (“Artistic Guide of Córdoba and its province”) (2006)– where the texts about the Mosque-Cathedral have been written by María de los Ángeles Raya Raya and María Teresa Dabrio, both Professors of History of the Art in the Faculty of Filosophy and Arts at the University of Córdoba.
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