To go inside the Cathedral-Mosque of Córdoba is to go inside another world, where you can see the remains of different cathedrals and of different time periods in the floors, structures and walls, as well as in the relics.
This church, “Mother of the Diocese”, like it is called, is not just a symbol for the believers but it is also a millenary witness of a passionate and captivating history. From the first Islamic influence inspired in the Mosque of Damascus, combined with Roman-Hispanic art and the superimposed arches alternating with bricks and red stones, along with the enlargement of the naves of the oratory, or with the materials used by Byzantine artists with beautiful mosaics for the construction of the “mihrab” (sacred space where the imam conducts prayer), and the Christian contribution of the floor with a Latin cross structure or the eight naves that vary in colors.
The current tower covers the minaret crowed by a statue of St. Raphael, Guardian Archangel of the city. This tower has the Puerta del Perdón (Forgiveness Door), which is the main entrance to the place.
The first mass that was celebrated after the Christians took back the space was conducted by the King Ferdinand the 3rd in 1236, and they build the Main Chapel of Villaviciosa, which marked the beginning of the Christian cult that was interrupted with the Islamic domination.
The choir is covered with a vault inspired from the Sistine Chapel. The beautiful side chapel, the infinite number of paintings, images, chapels and altars are impossible to describe.
In my opinion the Roman Bridge gives the most beautiful view of Cordoba. It crosses the Guadalquivir and has connected the two sides of the city for two thousand years. The best time to go is at dusk, when the lights of the mosque/cathedral and the city are blazing in all their glory. Views aside, the ride is very pleasant, there is a bike path on the north bank and a lovely walk under the bridge on the south bank. In the middle of the bridge there is a statues of the archangel Raphael which must not be missed!
The Courtyards of Cordoba is an annual festival which takes place in mid-May in the Andalusian city of Cordoba. During two weeks, the city’s residents open up their homes in a bid to out-do each other for the title of the city’s best courtyard gardener. Courtyards have always been a huge part of Andalusian design, from the days of the Romans to the Moors to the present, but these gardens take things to a whole new level.
Due to the increasing popularity of the festival among locals and visiting tourists, you need to reserve your passes online ahead of time (they’re free of charge). The competition is divided by neighborhoods and you can reserve morning or afternoon passes to as many of the neighborhoods as you like so long as there are openings and, of course, you have the time to visit them. The best courtyards are found in the Juderia (the old Jewish neighborhood) and the more traditional Alcazar Viejo neighborhood just to the southwest of the mosque. The gardens of the Juderia are the most famous but they’re also the most touristy and there’s a good chance that you’ll be swamped in long lines of tourist groups ve’ve traveled from around Spain and abroad just to see the festival. Your best bet is to get a morning pass and head to the Alcazar Viejo neighborhood first to enjoy at least some of the courtyards without all the crowds.
We did a route of around 5 or 6 courtyards and they were truly stunning: The combination of clear blue sky, white-washed walls, blue pots, and intense red geraniums is perhaps the defining image of Cordoba. In between visits, you’ll find a generally festive atmosphere on the streets with impromptu bars and public flamenco performances taking place. If you can, try to visit the courtyards during the week when there are sure to be less people.
The 2nd day I went to the Alcazar de los Reyes Cristianos, which was founded in the year 1328. Alfonso XI was the grandson of Alfonso X the Wise, and its walls witnessed the interview of the Catholic Monarchs and Cristobal Colon, along with the intrigues of the Inquisition that occupy it, also having their headquarters here. Then we went to the fail and prison. There is a family sarcophagus of the Roman era and a collection of mosaics, such as jellyfish. We deided to continue on to the gardens and we found the Arab baths, along with remnants of capitals and Roman columns. You hear the fountains in the gardens, a concept so relaxing I always am surprised. Arab culture is the sound of water and its importance, the gardens are lovely with many cypress trees and flowers of all colors . The nights are incredible!! was a hit back in the evening as the presentation of an artist dressed in the era and the charm of the night in Cordoba is great to enjoy a sound and light show that has no waste, I recommend it. So many times and how many secrets locked Alcazar walls ..... and a nice view of the Roman bridge built by Augustus to the museum today Calahorra tower and ferris wheel near the ALBOLAFIA Mews tucked behind the river.
When you go to Córdoba, besides visiting the city, you must visit the archeological remains of Medina Azahara, one of the great works of Islamic art in Andalucía.
Medina Azahara was a magnificent palatine city built by the orders of the first caliph of Córdoba, Abderraman III, to give a powerful image of the recently created Independent Caliphate of Cordoba.
10,000 men worked in its construction using the best materials: precious metals, marble, polychrome stones, etc.
Medinat-al-Zahra was organized in three big terraces surrounded by a wall. In the upper part was the royal palace, with the rooms of the caliph and his family; the middle one was the bureaucratic and administrative area, with the halls and gardens; the lower one was destined for the houses of the people, as well as for the souk and mosque.
Today, the Salon Rico, the reception hall, stands out for its beauty, with arches made of ebony and ivory, precious stones, gold and a mercury fountain.
After existing for only seven decades, Medina Azahara was destroyed and sacked by the Berbers in the year 1010, reducing this wonderful city to ashes.
Sometimes the photos are not enough to express a feeling. Sometimes I can't capture the essence of the experience. In a few cases, every corner of the resulting picture memories stick out of a single weekend. Thanks Irene.
The Alcázar de los Reyes Cristianos is on the Guadalquivir river which crosses the city of Cordoba. In what was the garden of the Palace, gardens were built in the mid-20th century. Formed by staggered pools, walkways and fountains surrounded by dense vegetation. It is a highly recommended tour on your visit to Cordoba especially if it is in the spring and so you find the garden in flower.
A landmark of Cordoba, where from noon until the afternoon people go to its bars, for the size of the square. There are families with children, even the youngest, creating a multicultural environment, accompanied by concerts and a good atmosphere.
The Patio de los Naranjos is part of the Mosque of Cordoba. It was built by Rahman I and is the oldest and largest courtyard in the city. It has 3 zones. Each has a fountain in the center. There are a total of 98 orange trees planted in the 18th century.
In the heart of the Jewish Quarter we found this quaint narrow street full of pots and gipsies. It is usually riddled with tourists wanting to enjoy the views, with the Tower of the Mosque in the background, but I was lucky as it was early and I found it almost deserted. I had all the beauty and charm of the street just for myself!
The Christ of the Lanterns is located in one of the most beautiful squares in Córdoba. It is a stone cross with a crucified Christ. A small fence with lanterns surround and enclose the monument, hence, due to popular demand, the name was changed and it is now called the Christ of the Lanterns. The original name was Christ the Grievance & Mercy.
Built in the tenth century by order of Al-Hakam II of the Umayyad Alcázar, these baths are similar to Roman baths, consisting of rooms of varying temperature, illuminated by vaulted skylight shaped stars. These baths offer a surprising and very interesting trip.
The synagogue is the most important building of the Jewish Quarter and, along with that of Toledo, the largest in Spain. It is a national monument. The entrance is free and it is accessed via a small courtyard and. The most notable thing is along the south wall on the gateway: three windows which open onto a stone plinth.