IT is one of the few surviving Spanish mosques to have stood the test of time.

Dating from the 10th century, the mezquita in Almonaster la Real sits among the ruins of a castle overlooking the whole area.

The oddly-shaped building was built using the materials from a Visigoth church on the same site that dates from the 5th century.

And the Mihrab – the prayer niche facing Mecca – is the oldest example of its kind in Spain.

After the Christian reconquest the mosque was turned back into a church with the addition of a central axis, a function it has maintained to the present day.

And although it has since been altered and added to the original building is still clearly seen.

Inside, the well-restored interior boasts five naves and numerous classic Moorish arches supporting the ceiling.

Interestingly, its five naves are perpendicular to the qibla wall, a trait that can be found in other contemporary Spanish mosques such as the Great Mosque of Cordoba.

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