Postcard from... Cordoba, Spain


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The Independent Online

Necessity, so the saying goes, is the mother of all invention. Think the wheel, the printing press and the internal combustion engine, to name but three breakthroughs in human advancement which prove the theory. Doubtlessly, one day we will go to Mars, and beyond.

Back to the present, however, and humanity’s latest achievement – the “selfie stick” – leaves a little more to be desired. No longer are people content to take photographs of famous buildings and mementoes; it now seems obligatory that the taker of the picture must also appear alongside whichever well-known landmark they happen to be visiting.

At the Mezquita, Cordoba’s magnificent cathedral, there are throngs of tourists who rightly make the journey to see what is surely one of Europe’s most impressive buildings.

But rather than wandering listlessly through the arches of the old mosque, pondering the final days of the city’s Islamic past, or trying to grapple with the fact that it has been a place of worship since 784, a good number of visitors seem satisfied with a photo (via stick) of themselves in front of the altar of the cathedral. If you happen to be behind a group of selfie-stickers, you can end up waiting a while. It goes to show that there are many bends in the river that is progress.