The old Bib-al-Mardum Mosque, also known as the Mosque or Hermitage of El Cristo de la Luz, was one of the small neighbourhood oratorios that was saved from the demolition carried out by Christians in conquered cities and is conserved almost intact.
Due to an inscription in cubic lettering on the upper part of the principal façade, we know that the mosque dates back to the year 390 of the Hejira - corresponding to the year 999 in the Christian calendar. That's when the upper part was rebuilt under the direction of an architect called Musa ibn Alí.
The main façade has three doors, the central one disfigured by an enlargement; another has five lobes and the third is horseshoe-shaped, with the thread of the arc somewhat out of centre with the keystone, a characteristic of Caliphic architecture in its advanced period.
Its exterior is of red brick, decorated with ultra circular interlaced blind arches over which runs a frieze of latticework, over which there is an inscription. Modillion corbels crown it. This type of arcade would be very popular in the region, not only under Moorish domination, but also in the Mudejar area, its use then extending in later centuries to the Reconquest.
Its floor plan is small and square, some eight metres in length and open by three at the sides. Its interior is an open space articulated around its four central columns on which the nine differently structured cupolas are elevated, the central one being the highest.
The structures are based on Caliphic cupolas that appeared for the first time during the period of Alhaken II with the amplification works on the Cordovan Mosque, having, like them, straight section ridge ribs.
Monday to Friday: 10 am - 2 pm and 3.30 pm - 5.45 pm (in summer until 6.40 pm)
Saturdays, Sundays and bank holidays: 10 am - 6.40 pm.
Closed on December 25th and January 1st.
Entry free on Wednesday for EU citizens.
Visit the Bib-Al-Mardon gate, perhaps the oldest in the city.