(ALETEIA) — The Cathedral of Coria, in Extremadura, Spain, took about 250 years to build. Its history is a long and complex one, and some studies indicate that some of the building elements composing the structure date from the first century.

According to the doctoral thesis of Maria del Carmen Sanabria Sierra, writing under the direction of the renowned art historian Victor Nieto Alcaide, the cathedral may have been the first Christian temple in the entire Iberian Peninsula. A Roman mosaic found in its cloister could be the smoking gun proving it so.

The cathedral occupies the former site of a Visigothic cathedral, the city’s main mosque and an old Romanesque cathedral.

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