The mosque became the most important sanctuary for Western Islam & it was constantly improved & expanded. Christian King Ferdinand III eventually reconqured Cordoba in 1236 but instead of destroying the mosque & replacing it with a church he decided to remodel the interior in a Gothic & later a Baroque style, highlighting Christian tradition & iconogrphy.
The Orange Tree courtyard is free to enter & is a beautiful although busy place to sit. The grand belltower still has the earlier minaret within it. Access to the cathedral costs 8 euro but it's probably the best value entrance fee most tourists will ever pay.
Inside the vast central space is a forest of columns & archways. Insense pervades the atmosphere & it is a fabulous jumble of Christian icons & Islamic geometric designs. I've never seen anything like it & it could be a symbol of shared values, common beliefs & reconsiliation between Christian & Islamic traditions.