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  • Great Mosque of Cordoba © Turespaña

    Great Mosque of Cordoba © Turespaña

  • La Merced Palace © Turespaña

    La Merced Palace © Turespaña

  • Almodóvar gate © Turespaña

    Almodóvar gate © Turespaña

  • Great Mosque of Cordoba - interior © Turespaña

    Great Mosque of Cordoba - interior © Turespaña

Cordoba, Andalusia

Cordoba is located in inland Andalusia where past and modernity blend together. This thousand-year-old city, whose historic centre has been designated a World Heritage Site, is a living legacy of the different cultures that settled here throughout its history.

Not many places in the world can say they have been the capital of Hispania Ulterior (Further Spain) under the Roman Empire, and capital of the Umayyad Caliphate. A true city of knowledge, where figures like Seneca, Averroes or Maimonides were born.

If you walk round the old quarter you will discover a beautiful network of alleyways, squares and white-washed courtyards surrounding the Great Mosque-Cathedral, which reflects the importance of the city in the Middle Ages, and is the symbol of the city.

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From the ancient splendour of the Caliphate to Christian Cordoba

The Caliphate of Cordoba made this city into one of the most cultivated and refined in medieval Europe. In the 10th century, under Abderraman III, the Medina (town) had 1,000 mosques, 800 Arab baths, and an advanced street lighting system.

The must-see Great Mosque dominates the city’s historic centre. It became rapidly famous because of the brilliant way in which it was built and because of its rich details. The ‘forest of columns’ (there are about a thousand), built on a Visigoth basilica, is one of the most attractive parts of the building. The Cathedral and the Mosque are a single architectural space because after the Reconquest the idea was to build a Gothic cathedral inside the Mosque.

The Jewish Quarter also dates from that period. It spreads out from the Mosque to the walls and the Almodóvar Gate. It is made up of network of narrow streets with white-washed façades adorned with tiles and grilles. In this district you will find the Plazuela de las Flores, the house of the Dukes of Medina Sidonia, and the Synagogue, the only one that remains in the city.

In the 13th century under Ferdinand III the Saint new defensive structures were built such as the Alcázar fortress of the Christian Monarchs (with its marvellous gardens, fountains and irrigation channels) and the Calahorra Tower, which is also worth a visit.

It is well worth visiting the many squares on a trip around Cordoba such as El Potro, Corredera and Capuchinos, where the Christ of the Lanterns sculpture is found. All three are beautiful examples of Cordovan meeting spots. In turn, standout buildings in the historic centre include the churches of San Pedro, San Andrés or La Compañía.

Wide selection of museums

There are several standout museums to visit in Cordoba including: The Archaeology Museum with its Iberian, Roman, Visigoth, Muslim, Mudéjar and Renaissance pieces.

The Fine Arts Museum is home to an interesting collection of mostly Andalusian artists’ work. Highlights include the drawings by Valdés Leal, Zurbarán, Murillo, Palomino, Antonio del Castillo and Juan de Peñalosa, and the sculptures of Juan de Mesa and Mateo Inurria. The Julio Romero de Torres Museum shares an interior courtyard with the Fine Art Museum and houses the work of this Cordovan painter.

In addition, the Diocesan Museum of Fine Arts dedicates a room to artists from the region and the Casa de las Bulas houses the city’s Bullfighting Museum.

Cordoba also has major art centres including La Merced Palace, housing the regional government, and Viana Palace, also known as the Patios Museum. The many Cordovan exhibition spaces are not less important, such as the Sala Capitulares.

Cordoba is also known for leisure thanks to the many cultural events organised throughout the year: flamenco festivals, concerts, ballet, exhibitions...


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