The oldest mosque in Europe discovered in Spain

The oldest mosque in Europe discovered in Spain

The Archaeological Park of Recópolis is formed by the archaeological sites of the Visigoth city of Recópolis and the Andalusian city of Zorita with its citadel, (later converted into a Castle). It is barely 1.5 km from each other, following the banks of the Tagus River, on its left bank, at the height of the municipality of Zorita de los Canes in Guadalajara.

Its glorious past as Visigothic city is emerging, and although many areas and buildings can already be visited, there is still much to unearth when seeing that it is a much bigger city than was thought.

Now, thanks to geomagnetic radars, the image we have of Recópolis is clearer, and in a study published in the Antiquity magazine, an unknown side of the ancient city is revealed, founded in 578 by the Visigothic king Leovigild for his son Recaredo: could own what would be the oldest mosque in Europe.

In the 8th century, the Visigoths hailed the arrival of the Arabs in exchange for their protection and the city changed its name to Madinat Raqquba, beginning a new architectural era of which little was known until now. The city was devastated and burned several times, only to be abandoned for good in the 10th century.

Only 8% of the area within the city limits are known from Recópolis, and no one even knew of the presence of a large suburb outside its monumental gate.

Between the computerized floor plans, the most surprising is a large building with a different orientation from all the others, pointing towards Mecca. A plant that is reminiscent of the mosques of the Middle East in all respects.

If now the excavations confirm it, the recópolis mosque could be the oldest Islamic prayer place in Europe and potentially even larger, vying for the title of the Mosque of Rome.

Via: Castilla-La Mancha culture

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Video: Oldest Mosque In The World