When I was an art student, I had a chance to study the world art history. In the thick, almost encycorpedia size textbook, I found a photograph of a mosque (or mesquita in Spanish) in Cordoba. I think I read some backgrounds about the place then, but only thing that impressed me and remained all these year in my mind is its design. The arches of red and white stripe. I thought that design was real cool and modern, or in the term popular in the early 1970s, “far out”. I liked it very much.
After many years, the impression still remained, but somehow the association between the arches and Cordoba faded completely in my mind. Then, I was finally in Spain, traveling with a group of tourists, visiting places one after another with little time to appreciate each one of them. When my group was in Cordoba, I was just following the group. Another world heritage stuff, I thought. Our guide showed us the orange garden in front of the mosque, and then we were led into the building.
There, in the dim interior, the arches, a forrest of them, came into my view. I was suddenly overwhelmed. “Hey, I am here, where the arches are. I am actually seeing them now. They are here! ” That was what I said aloud in my mind then. I just stood still, wordless, looking around and around, admiring the design…
After a while, the initial sensation gradually subdued, and I started taking photographs. And I relearned the history of the mosque, Reconquista and all.