Cordoba, a City of Dreams
Spain certainly has a thousand and one magical places that will amaze you with their beauty. From north to south and from west to east the Iberian Peninsula is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea, between which, a maze of cultures and civilizations have left their mark across Spain’s geography.
Today we will visit an Andalusian town, situated on the Guadalquivir River. To give more clues we can say that the historic centre was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1994.
The cheerful character of its people, open and friendly, binds to the rich cuisine in a location offering both cultural attractions and mental relaxation that can be found only in Córdoba for a lovely weekend at any time of year.
Of course it is true that the summer is especially hot in this city, but if we decide to travel at any other time of year, we will see many possibilities to stay ‒ whether we are talking about a hotel, a hostel, an apartment or even a private house ‒ these are our starting point to enjoy this beautiful Spanish city.
Córdoba is the capital of the province with the same name, and we can travel from Spain’s capital, Madrid, or from the city of Seville by road via the highways that exist throughout the country, or travel via Renfe on the Spanish high-speed train (AVE) from different parts of Spain. Cόrdoba offers numerous facilities to both discover new places and relax.
So it is important not to waste a minute in this beautiful city, with its unique personality; let us stroll through the streets, where we can find intriguing corners and more than admirable monuments.
One of these famous places, certainly a place of most importance in Córdoba, is the Great Mosque of Córdoba. This mosque was built on the site of a demolished Christian church during the years of Muslim rule in southern Spain. Nowadays, it houses the Catholic Córdoba Cathedral, which emerges from the mosque’s centre.
In addition, it is not only its tapering bell tower, numerous columns and arches but also the open space that arouse so much mystery among both Catholics and Muslims.
Not surprisingly, objectively, it is a unique jewel of architecture, which was bequeathed by Muslims in Spain as a vestige in this country.
Next, we visit one of the streets most frequented by tourists, which is none other than the Calleja de las Flores – Street of the Flowers ‒ popular for its pedestrian character and closeness to the mosque.
Uniting different neighbourhoods of the city we find the Roman Bridge of Córdoba. Also known as Old Bridge, it is located on the River Guadalquivir. It is worth taking a walk over this bridge and enjoying the marvellous views, stretching our legs while the bridge stretches ostensibly to join two different neighbourhoods of the city.
As for other monuments, we find one of the best that represents the city along with its various gardens. We speak about the Alcazar of the Christian Monarchs, built by King Alfonso XI in the fourteenth century.
It consists of a rich interior with several rooms, lounges and patios. Surely when describing this Alcazar, one of its finest rooms has to be the Hall of Mosaics, displaying many unearthed Roman mosaics, where one can feel the hypnotic power and beauty this site offers to its visitors.
Next we make our way to Córdoba’s Jewish Quarter: the Jewish Quarter as it is popularly known. Jews lived here from the tenth to the fifteenth century. Very close to the mosque, it is in the heart of the city, with its narrow, winding streets that certainly create a particular atmosphere very worthy to visit.
Now, within the Jewish streets in the Jewish Quarter we visit the Córdoba Synagogue. A temple built in the fourteenth century, it has a small courtyard which welcomes visitors who come to this place. In the gallery of women, we can see where the women went to pray.
Also, in the Plaza de la Corredera, one of the important places in Córdoba, we can admire the architecture with its higher and lower arches while taking refreshments at one of the many cafes; it’s a ‘chameleon square’ that fast changes overnight to become a busy morning food market.
Originally used for Roman horse races and, later on, executions, then bullfights, it is a meeting point for the inhabitants of the city, and tourists, where they find the right place for their social life with many bars and restaurants and enjoy events such as The Medieval Market held each January.
Spending a nice day or a weekend in Córdoba does not require more ingredients. You just need to put in the effort to book and take a few days to go with your loved ones to visit this place with such impressive sites.
In Córdoba there have been many cultures, and this is apparent even today. Now you have to discover it step by step and see how this city certainly has rightfully earned its reputation.
Editing by: Catherine Parker
Photo n. 2. - Gerhard Bögner
Photo n. 3. - Klaus Peter Katzbach
Photo n. 4. - Miguel Ángel Ramón