The Info List - Cristo De La Luz

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The Mosque
of Cristo de la Luz is a former mosque in Toledo, Spain. It is the only one of ten that once existed in the city that remains largely as it was in the Moorish period. The edifice was then known as Mezquita Bab-al-Mardum, deriving its name from the city gate Bab al-Mardum. It is located near the Puerta del Sol, in an area of the city once called Medina where wealthy Muslims used to live.


1 Architecture 2 History 3 See also 4 Notes and references 5 External links

Architecture[edit] Built in 999 in Toledo, this building is a rarity in that it is in much the same state as it was when it was originally built.[1] The building is a small square structure. It measures roughly 8 m × 8 m. Four columns capped with Visigothic capitals divide the interior into nine compartments. Covering each of these bays is a vault that has a distinctive design that is unique unto itself. The central vault is higher than the other ones and acts as a cupola for the structure. Each vault employs the use of ribs to create the designs that make them unique. Each of them follows the basic ideas of Islamic design. The ribs typically do not cross in the center, an idea that is seen in many Muslim designs. Some of the designs are more rectilinear while others embrace the curved forms of the vault more prominently. Within each one is a piece of their culture and tradition of building.[1] The columns and the capitals both had been taken from previous buildings and are therefore known as spolia. The building is constructed of brick and small stones. These techniques are a reflection of both the local building tradition as well as the influence from the caliphate in Córdoba. The influence of the caliphate can be seen in the brickwork on the facade of the building which resembles those seen at the Cathedral– Mosque
of Córdoba. Originally the Eastern wall was a continuous stretch of brick and served as the qibla wall for the mosque. Also located along this side would have been a mihrab used for worship. The other three facades are articulated by three-bay arcades. All are similar, but individual in their decoration.[2] The Western wall which served as the main entrance is unique in how the arcade is articulated. This facade has a lobed arch, horseshoe arch, and a wider version of a horseshoe arch. Brickwork arches provide the decoration for the facade which are influenced by the architecture in Córdoba. In later years a Mudejar
semi-circular apse was added. In the process of the addition the qibla wall and mihrab were lost. The use of the mudejar style provided a smooth transition from the original structure to the apse, as the addition uses the same style of decoration and materials as the original. The continuation of the arch motif is an important link between the two sections of the building.[3] History[edit] An inscription written with brick in Kufic
script on the south-west facade reveals the details of the mosque's foundation:

Bismila (in the name of Allah). Ahmad ibn Hadidi had this mosque erected using his own money requesting a reward in paradise for it from Allah. It was completed with the aid of Allah under the direction of Musa ibn Alí, architect and Sa'ada, and concluded in Muharraq in 390 (Islamic calendar).[4]

Legend has it that a shaft of light guided the king to a figurine of the crucified Christ that had been hidden for centuries. He left his shield there with the inscription, "This is the shield which the King Alfonso VI left in this chapel when he conquered Toledo, and the first mass was held here".[1] In 1186, Alfonso VIII
Alfonso VIII
gave the building to the Knights of the Order of St John, who established it as the Chapel of the Holy Cross (Ermita de la Santa Cruz). It was at this time that the mosque was renamed and the apse was added. See also[edit]

Mezquita de las Tornerias Church of San Sebastián, Toledo History of Medieval Arabic and Western European domes

Notes and references[edit]

^ a b c Pareja, Antonio. Mezquita de Bab al Mardum, Cristo de la Luz, Toledo 999-1999. [Spain]:Fundacíon Cultura y Deporte Castilla-La Mancha, Junta de Comunidades de Castilla-La Mancha, 1999. ^ Lapunzina, Alejandron. Architecture of Spain. Westport, Conn: Greenwood Press, 2005. ^ Dodds, Jerrilynn Denise, Maria Rosa Menocal, and Abigail Krasner Balbale. The arts of intimacy: Christians, Jews, and Muslims in the making of Castilian culture. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2008. ^ 13 December 999 – 11 January 1000 AD

King, G., “The Mosque
Bab Mardum in Toledo and the Influences Acting Upon It” in: Art and Archaeology Research Papers, 2, 1972, pp. 29–40.

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Cristo de la Luz (Toledo).

Description of the Mosque
of Cristo de la Luz in toledomonumental.com Museum With No Frontiers (retrieved on December 4, 2008) Page at ArteHistoria (in Spanish) (retrieved December 3, 2008) Photos of Bab-Mardun on Oronoz.com [permanent dead link] (retrieved on December 3, 2008) Bab Mardum Mosque
- An inspiration for Gothic?

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Toledo landmarks


Puerta Bab al-Mardum Puerta de Alarcones Puerta de Alcántara Puerta de Bisagra Puerta de Bisagra
Puerta de Bisagra
Nueva Puerta del Cambrón Puerta de los Doce Cantos Puerta del Sol Puerta del Vado

Religious buildings

Agustinas Calzadas Carmelitas Descalzas de San José Carmelitas Descalzos Cristo de la Vega El Salvador La Magdalena Las Concepcionistas Monastery of San Juan de los Reyes Monastery of Santo Domingo el Antiguo Monastery of Santo Domingo el Real Mosque
of Cristo de la Luz Mosque
of las Tornerías Nuestra Señora de la Estrella Purísima Concepción San Andrés San Antonio de Padua San Bartolomé San Cipriano San Clemente San Felipe de Neri San Idelfonso San Juan de la Penitencia San Lorenzo San Lucas San Miguel el Alto San Pedro Mártir San Román San Sebastián Santa Clara la Real Santa Fé Santa Isabel de los Reyes Santa Leocadia Santas Justa y Rufina Santa Úrsula Santiago del Arrabal Santos Justo y Pastor Santo Tomé San Vicente Synagogue Santa María la Blanca Synagogue of El Transito Toledo Cathedral Tower of San Cristóbal


Puente de San Martín Roman Puente de Alcántara

Other sights

Alcázar of Toledo Alhóndiga Arab baths of Ángel Arab baths of Caballel Arab baths of Cenizal Arab baths of Tenerías Archbishop's Palace Artificio de Juanelo Basements of Cardenal Cisneros Bullring Castle of San Servando City Walls Cigarrales Colegio de Nuestra Señora de los Infantes Cortes of Castile-La Mancha Flour factory San José Former Casino Hospital del Nuncio Nuevo Infantry Academy Islamic Halls of Colegio de Doncellas Palacio de Fuensalida Palacio de Galiana Palacio de La Cava Real Colegio de Doncellas Nobles Roman aqueduct Roman baths Roman Cave of Hercules Roman circus of Toledo Roman remains under Alfonso X Roman vaults of Nuncio Viejo School of Arts and Crafts of Toledo The Jewish House The Templar House Toledo railway station Well of El Salvador University of Castilla-La Mancha

Juridical and Social Sciences faculty Vice-Rectorate of Teaching and International Relations

Museums and performing arts

Caja Castilla-La Mancha Foundation El Greco Museum Hospital de Tavera Army Museum of Toledo Museum of Santa Cruz Museum of Words San Marcos Arts Centre Sephardic Museum Teatro Rojas Workshop of the Moor

Streets and squares

Plaza de San Justo Plaza de las Cuatro Calles Plaza de Zocodover Plaza Nueva

See also

Jewish quarter of Toledo Subterranean Toledo

Coordinates: 39°51′38″N 4°1′27.3″W / 39.86056°N 4.024250°W / 3