An Unbecoming’ Cohabitation? Reconsidering the Narrative of the Cathedral-Mosque of Córdoba
This paper analyses the narrative of one of the most contentious interior interventions in history – the construction in the sixteenth century of a new cathedral within the ancient mosque of Cordoba, Spain. This ‘insertion’ into the mosque interior was seen as a necessity at the time but was later deemed as ‘unbecoming’ by generations of architectural historians. The analysis reveals how the combination of a nascent tradition of architectural historiography and antiquarianism has biased the sixteenth-century intervention as a negative act of vandalism. As a counterpoint he surveys contemporary research that sees this collision of cultures and spaces as a potential for new opportunities and experiences that could not occur except in such a unique and ‘unbecoming’ cohabitation.