Córdoba was retaken by the Christians the 29th June 1236. The same day they recognized the Mosque as the Cathedral of Cordoba, whose ecclesiastical name is the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Assumption, so they put the Saint Cross inside the Mosque and they celebrated the first catholic ceremony. Months later, they built different chapels in order to change the Islamic temple into a Christian temple. The first chapel founded was Saint Clemente so that they could celebrate ceremonies and other catholic events. However, the beauty of the old temple was still alive, since the beginning they were agree in leaving the main structure of the Mosque. Several constructions were taken in this place, and the most significant was the building of the Cathedral.
The Cathedral of Córdoba is outstanding for two reasons, its beauty and its location. Alonso Manrique de Lara, Bishop Manrique, was the person who showed the idea of building a Cathedral inside the Great Mosque to the kings. He wanted to do something very special, something that exceeded the Islamic building. After showing the project to Charles V, King of Spain, he got the permission to construct inside the Mosque. The constructions started in 1523 under the direction of the Spanish architect Hernán Ruiz I. They destroyed approximately 1.500 square meters of the Islamic temple in order to insert the new Cathedral exactly in the heart of the expansive structure. When the architect Hernán died, his son, grandson and Juan de Ochoa continued the Cathedral construction´s.
After nearly two centuries, in 1607, the construction of the Cathedral was finished. This large nave was completely different from the old building, it is higher and lighter and Gothic style. The great altar was made of marble; also they built the pulpits with marble and mahogany wood, a masterpiece made by the sculptor Miguel Verdiguer. Another work of art was the choir made by Pedro Duque Cornejo (from Seville), also made with mahogany wood. Artisans and architects continued to add to the existing structure until the late 18th Century.
In addition, another part that belongs to the Cathedral is the tower. The present-day tower was built over the minaret of Abd-al-Rahman III, its belfry being the work of Hernán Ruiz III. It is crowned by a sculpture of Saint Raphael, the archangel guardian of the city.