Travel Guide to Córdoba

 

The Great Capital of the Caliphate

Our Travel Guide to Córdoba, consists in exploring the morish streets, small plazas, and courtyards with flowers surrounding the Mosque-Cathedral. Reflecting the sensitivity of the people who still keep practicing the many traditional disciplines the Arabs used to. This place on our travel guide to Córdoba firmly remembers their Al-Andalus culture.

 

Plan your escape to Córdoba

Starting with our travel guide to Córdoba. The most impressive location to see in Córdoba is the marvelous Mosque-Cathedral. In the same category fall the remaina of Medina Azahara, situated close by. Moreover, there is a large amount of land to cover that will surely maintain a visitor busy for an entire weekend. In the case that you want to extend your trip and keep using this travel guide to Córdoba, you may visit the town of Montilla, located south. Also possible, is taking an excursion to Sierra of Hornachuelos National Park, a unique natural environment in the region. In the pages Sleeping and Eating in Cordoba  you will find all of the necessary information to get the most out of this  travel guide to Córdoba. This is what you need to get the most out of the local gastronomy and a great place to stay.

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The first settlements captured in Córdoba date back to the IX and VIII centuries B.C. Then followed the Phoenicians and the Greeks. In mid of the II century B.C., the roman general Claudio Marcelo funded Corduba to be the capital of Further Iberia. It´s  great splendor and artistic development reflected on two stages, colonian and provincial. Shortly after, great buildings began to be abundant. Included is the recently discovered  Maximo Amphitheater and the grand temples situated in Claudio Marcelo street. This was the home of the great phylosopher and thinker Séneca.

During the VIII century, Córdoba was taken by the visigoths by Mugit, deputy of Tariq. For that time he maintained his administrative role, making him the object to frequent disputes between different features. However, in 756, Abderramán I proclamed the capital of emirato as Al-Andalus. At the same time, ground-break of the Mosque-Cathedral began (mentioned above in our  travel guide to Córdoba). Later, in the year 929, Abderraman III proclamed the separation of the caliphate Capital from Damasco. In his reign he created, 1000 mosques, 800 bath houses, an advanced system of public lighting, a famous university, and a library with more than 400,000 volumes.

It is not surprising that such ambiance, inspired the start of great and creative talent. Examples of this are the phylosophist and doctor,Averroes and his disciple, the jew Maimónides (doctor and theologian). The city was decorated with gardens, waterfalls, and artificial lakes. Through an aquaduct they were allowed to access fresh-water in abundace to the fountains and public restrooms (700) Throughout the city are located sumptuos palaces, like the al-Zahra, Medina Azahara, on Córdobas outskirts. Despite this, in the year 103 the Caliphate was dissembled, which was still declared a nation until its complete destruction. This happened in 1236 when Fernando III del Santo took the city.

In the XIV century hard years were brought upon the Córdoba population. Between 1366 and 1369 came upon the civil war which confronted the troops of Pedro I, the cruel, and his bastard brother Enrique of Trastámara. During 1349 the black plaque hit Córdoba, which happened again fifteen years after. The great index of lack oof money and food, left the city in a great crisis. Upon the arrival of the Catholic Kings, a small recovery effort began. With everything else, the expulsion of Jews from Spain was a major hit.

foto antigua cordoba

Just like in all of Andalucia, the XVI century was of great properity that allowed for numerous constructions. In the mid-century, poet and  playwriter Luís de Góngora was born. Literature would be immortalized by the Sevillan painter Diego Velázquez. During the XVIII century, noticeable baroque buildings were constructed. <To conclude, in the middle of the XX century Córdoba began to bounce back, economically and culturally. Presently is is one of the best conserved cities in Spain. For this reason, it is not rare that there is a lot (part of our travel guide to Córdoba) to see. We will talk about this in the following section.

The travel guide to Córdoba includes visiting the mosque-cathedral or the remains of the Azahara in the outskirts of the city. This will surely entertain you on your weekend visit. If you plan to stay for a longer period, we recommend visiting Montoro (east), Montilla (south), and can even pay a visit to the Hornachuelos Mountain Range. This travel guide to Córdoba includes the most important sights in Córdoba´s old town. Which are the Mosque-Cathedral, the Jewish QuarterAlcázar and San Basilio Quarter.

Our visit to through the Mosque-Cathedral is divided into the inner and outter part of the building.

Regarding the Exterior, we recommend the Deanes Gate (8th-9th centuries), the San Miguel Gate, the Grada Redonda (1738) and Santa Catalina (16th century) entrances. As well as the Perdón Gate (with a spectacular arch remodeled in 1371) and the Caño Gordo Gate (16th-18th centuries).

Now the Interior, there are many important sights you must not take for granted. Such as, the main marble altarpiece from the 17th century by Alonso Matías; the tabernacle (1653) which holds several paintings such as the Asunción by Palomino (18th century), and the choir stalls by Pedro Duque Cornejo. As well as the Royal Chapel, fostered by king Enrique II in 1371 with Mudejar architecture. In the southern part of the wall we can find Santa Teresa Chapel, the Main Sacristy of the Cathedral (1697-1703), and San Clemente Chapel (set up by Alfonso X in 1262). In the western part of the wall we find the Santísima Trinidad Chapel. Lets conitnue on our travel guide to Córdoba.

Next to the River Gudalquivir we can find Plaza del Triunfo, with the monument to the archangel San Rafael; the Bridge Gate (1575). Others include the Roman Bridge which ends in the Calahorra Tower, housing the Three Cultures Museum; and the San Sebastián Hospital (1514-516). Presently this is the Congress and Exhibitions Palace.

Up next on our travel guide to Córdoba, the Arab baths of Santa María. From the Caliphate period, it situated in Velázquez Bosco street, which was also a prison and a theatrical courtyard in the past. If you continue walking down the street you will find the Flowers Alley (full of beautiful plants decorating the area), the Dukes Medina Sidonia House (1636), and located in Jerónimo Páez plaza (where the Archeological Museum is placed) the Jewish Man House. If we continue via Julio Romero de Torres street, we will reach the Portillo Arch (one of the three gates from the Medival wall that is still preserved). Continuing northeast, we will head to the San Francisco Church, which holds inside some Baroque works by San Pedro de Alcántara, Pedro de Mena, and other interesting artists.

Alcazar of the Christian Kings

One of the most interesting spots in our travel guide to Córdoba is the Potro Plaza in Romero Barros street. Here there is an inn where Don Quixote loged. The Charity of our Lord Jesus Christ is located here as well. It houses the Fine Arts Museum (paintings from the 17th and 18th centuries). Next, is the Corredera Plaza (13th century). Where the Señores of Angulo House (end of the 16th century) and the Prison and House of the Magistrate (16th century) are located. The houses metioned above host a market on Wednesdays and Saturdays.

Another stop in our travel guide to Córdoba is the Jewish Quarter. This extends from the mosque, to the walls, and up to the Almodóvar Gate. This neighborhood has narrow, whitewashed streets made of tiles and plowshares. The main spot in this quarter, is in Judíos and Tiberíades street, and in Judá Leví and Maimónides plazas. This is the place where the papal bulls were sold in the past. Some other interesting main sights in our travel guide to Córdoba are the Flowers Plaza, the Sefarad House, and the Andalusian House. Others included are the Caliphal Baths, and the Synagogue built between the years 1315-1316 by Isaac Mejeb.

San Basilio Quarter Alcázar stands out due to it being ordered to be built by Alfonso XI. This was between the years 1328 and 1359. The Catholic Kings ruled from the time construction began. Included the Inquisition Tower and adaption to rooms in the Headquarters of the Court Holy Office. This building was later used as a prison by the four towers protecting the building. The gardens of the Alcazar are a obligary stop in out travel guide to Córdoba. Inside the fortress are located the Royal Baths, the Hall of Mosaics, and the Mudejar Courtyard and the Weapons Plaza.

The Royal Stables (1570) allow you to enjoy a horse show. If you go down through the several churches in the area, you will eventually reach the Culture House. The Plaza Mayor is arcaded with various houses from the 16th and 17th centuries. From the Ángel Gómez Inguanzo Plaza, in the southeast of the Plaza Mayor, you can see the 1783 Cross Chapel. Facing this chapel, you can visit the Ethnographic Museum housed by the Gutiérrez de Mier Palace-House (15th century). Upon completing this travel guide to Córdoba, you will have seen all of the sites that make this city so unique to visit.

Must-see...

Practical Data

Coordinates

37° 53′ 0″ N, 4° 46′ 0″ W

Distances

Jaén 104 km, Sevilla 129 km, Málaga 162 km, Madrid 400 km

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