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Iglesia de Santa Ana

One of the most challenging aspects of my trip will be to gaze upon the many beautiful cathedrals and churches in Spain while realizing they were once mosques (or synagogues). For various reasons, this is not always the easiest reality to reconcile oneself to, but nevertheless I promise myself that I will appreciate the architectural and religious beauty of all these buildings as they currently stand, while acknowledging that the foundations of these buildings often have a dark history (in addition to being transformed mosques or built atop razed mosques, they were often funded from funds extorted from the Muslim community and/or with Muslim slave labor). The Iglesia de Santa Ana is one such example and was built in the Islamic style atop what used to be main mosque of the Albayzin. The transformation of the building was a key factor in the Muslim uprising of 1499 which eventually led to the forcible conversion to Christianity of all the Muslims of the kingdom of Granada by 1501 (and the rest of Castile by 1502). The current structure dates from a little later in the 16th century. One interesting aspect of “mosque-to-church” structures, or Christianized Islamic spaces is the prominence of the Blessed Virgin since her image and symbol was deemed by missionaries and priests to ease the process of conversion for many Muslims, given her importance in the Qur’an and traditional Muslim devotionalism.

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2 Comments

  1. And I thought it was amazing looking at midnight. Wow, subhanallah. This is really great, man.

  2. Whoops, commented on the wrong one!

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