Toledo is full of wonderful places, but there is one site that is especially charming, taking you back to a time when cultures mixed and created the magical atmosphere that envelops the city to this day. We are of course referring to the Bab-al-Mardum (or Cristo de la Luz) Mosque. It is the only well-maintained mosque from the period of Arab rule in the city. Built in 999AD, the building dates from the Caliphate period (929-1031). When the city was reconquered by the troops of the Christian King Alfonso VI in 1085 the original mosque was maintained, with the addition of a Mudejar-style apse converting it into a church. The mingling of two artistic traditions is unique to the building and without comparison in the city.
Despite its small size, the Muslim part of the building instantly catches your eye with its impressive decor. As you enter the building your eyes are drawn to an inscription on the building’s façade with the names of Ahmad ibn Hadidi, who ordered its construction, and its architect Musa ibn Ali. The building itself is reminiscent of the Great Mosque of Córdoba with its overlapping red and white blind and multifoil arches. Once inside the building, you will notice the horseshoe arches that hold up the structure. Topped with capitals from the Visigothic period, material from buildings that pre-date even the mosque itself are used within the design. As your gaze drifts upwards you will notice the roof of the building. Its unique design was created by dividing the building into nine sections with a separate dome for each part.
It is a beautiful building that you should not miss the next time you find yourself in the city, with a multitude of myths and legends surrounding the building’s thousand-year existence (for those who speak Spanish more information can be found out here).
If you’re interested in visiting the mosque here is the relevant information:
Opening Hours: Closed Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays
10:00-14:00 and 15:00-17:45
Closed on Christmas and New Year’s Day
Price of Admission:
Large families and those with disabilities: €2.00
Young people and students: €2.50
Toledan residents: €1.50 (free on Sundays from 15:00 till closing)
Free: Children up to 10 years old
Phone Number: +34925254191