Cordoba´s Must see’s
Cordoba´s Must see’s. We usually suggest to our clients who are on their way to Seville by train from Madrid, to stop in Cordoba and spend a couple of hours there enjoying the beauty, the heritage and the gastronomy of this great city. We will show you the best of Cordoba in a few hours through a Private Tour to Cordoba and through some exclusive experiences we have prepared for you to enjoy; Cordoba is located in a strategic area of high quality gourmet products.
This post will try to gather the attractions that you should not miss during your visit to Cordoba.
Cordoba´s Must see’s
Cordoba is located in the southern región of Andalusia. This settlement probably predates the Romans, and may have started as a Phenician city, like many in southern Spain. The Roman conquerors gave the city its name in 152 B.C. and became capital of the Baetica province, most of today´s Andalucía. In 711 Córdoba fell to the Muslim invaders, and soon became the capital of the Islamic capital on the Iberian Península. It was in Cordoba in 756 that Ab dar-Rahman I set himself up as emir of Al-Andalus.
Ab ar-Rahman III named himself in 929 Caliph of Al-Andalus with the Independence of the Abbasid caliphs in Baghdad.
Cordoba was then the biggest city in Western Europe and it had dazzling mosques, libraries, observatories and aqueducts, a university and highly skilled artisans in leather, metal, textiles and glazed tiles. The court was frequented by Jewish, Arab and Christian schoolars, even if Córdoba was certainly not the most tolerant city.
Cordoba´s intelectual traditions lived on. Twelfth-century Córdoba produced two of the most celebrated of all Al-Andalus schoolars: the muslim Averroës (Ibn Rushd) and the Jewish Moshe Maimonides (Moses ben Maimon), polymaths best remembered for their philosophical efforts to harmonise religious faith with reason. There´s a statue of Maimonides on the square facing the front of the Códoba Synagogue in the Jewish Quarter of Coórdoba.
Cordoba´s intelectual influence was still being felt in Christian Europe many centuries later.
Cordoba was captured in 1236 by Fernando III of Castilla and became a provincial town of shrinking importance. The decline began to be reversed only with the arrival of industry on the late 19th century.
Mosque- Cathedral of Córdoba
The Mosque-Cathedral is one of the great creations of Islamic architecture with its shimmering golden mosaics and rows of red-and-white-striped arches disappearing into infinity. The Mezquita recalls in a unique way the yards of desert homes that formed the orginal Islamic prayer spaces.
The construction of the Mosque-Cathedral of Cordoba started as the church of Sr. Vincent. In the VIII century, after the Muslim conquest, the church was purchased by the Caliph to build a mosque that would rival in beauty and riches those in the Arab world. The building is famous for its columns of jasper, onyx, marble and granite set to remind of the rows of palm tres in the oasis of Syria. The mosque also has a stunning gilded prayer niche or mihrab, to point the position of Mecca.
The decoration of the mihrab portal, the Córdoba´s caliphate artisitc high point, incorporates 1600kg of gold mosaic cubes, a gift from the Christian emperor of Byzantium. The mosaics give this part of the Mezquita something of the mysterious aura of a Byzantine Church.
The Alcazar of the Chrsitian Kings
El Alcazar de los Reyes Cristianos Alcazar of the Christian Kings) is a palace /fortress located near the center of Cordoba, next to the Guadalquivir River and the Cordoba Mosque-Cathedral. This place was one of the first residences of the Catholic Monarchs (Ferdinand and Isabella).
The Alcázar was originally built by the Visigoths before the Arab invation of Spain. When the Arabs conquered Andalusia, the Caliph of Córdoba rebuilt the fortress and used it as his palace. In 1236 Córdoba was retaken by Christian forces and King Alphonse XI started to build the present structure over the previous buildings in the Mudéjar (Moorish) style.
One of the towers served as the first headquarters of the Inquisition during the reign of Ferdinand and Isabella, and remained so for 300 years. At the Alcazar, Ferdinand and Isabella met Columbus before he set sail. During the Napoleonic invation of Spain, the Alcázar served as a prison and a garrison.
Sinagoga at calle de los judíos 20, is a little pretty sinagogue and a one of Spain´s very few surviving medieval synagogues. It mantains its upstairs women´s gallery, and Hebrew inscriptions and intrícate Mudéjar patterns in stucco.
Plaza del Potro & Museo Julio Romero de Torres & Fine Arts Museum
Plaza del Potro is a square located 400m northeast of the Mezquita which was a come-together-point for traders and adverturers in the 16th and 17th century.
The Museo Julio Romero de Torres shows sensual portraits of Cordoban women pinted by the local painter (1873-1930). In the same building you can find the “Museo de Bellas Artes” (Museum of Fine Arts) with a collection of other Cordoban artists
The Museum celebrates Cordoba´s legendary toreros, such as El Codobés and Manolete
Baños Arabes (Hammam)
The mors have a great tradition of bathing. Water is an important element for them. Indulge your senses at a recently renovated Hammam where you pass between baths of different temperaturas and can enjoya n aromatherapy massage, tea, hookah and Arabic Sweets.
Gives a general insight of pre-Islamic Córdoba including pieces of the Iberian, Roman period and Medieval Córdoba incluiding a graceful Byzantine bronze stag from Medina Azahara
Try to savour “salmorejo” , a very thick tomato based gazpacho and “rabo de toro” (oxtail stew). Some restaurants feature récipes from Al-Andalus such as garlic soup with raisins, honeyed lamb, or meat stuffed with dates and nuts.
Shopping in Cordoba
Córdoba is known for its “cuero repujado” (embossed-leather) godos, silver jewellery (particularly filigree) and attractive pottery.
We will be happy to design for you a private tour of Cordoba and its surroundings. We have prepared for you unforgettable gourmet experiences in the region. Cordoba´s Must see’s