The Best of Córdoba
Cordoba is a vibrant, traditional city, full of culture and history. The city was founded by the Romans, then as thriving as a flourishing European capital under Muslim rule, and eventually taken over by the Catholics. Cordoba was one of the greatest cities of the medieval world, rivalling Constantinople in the east with its palaces and mosques – the grandest of which, the Mezquita, is still one of the wonders of Europe.
Now, the city is smaller and less touristy than its Andalusian neighbours Granada and Seville. Its population is now approximately 330,000, it’s lost none of its allure as a brilliant place to visit. If you’re visiting, Seville, Malaga, or Granada, make some time to check out Córdoba. Even better, stay over at least one night so you can take advantage of the free sights. Here’s the best of Córdoba.
Mezquita / Cordoba Cathedral
The absolute Must See place in Córdoba is the Mezquita Cathedral (The Mosque–Cathedral of Córdoba). It used to be the most important mosque of the western Islamic world. The mosque was built on top of a Visigothic church, and started in 785 A.D. The courtyard has fountains and dozens of orange trees. It took about two hundred years to finish the mosque, and when it was completed, it was the second biggest mosque in the world. Once the Spanish reconquered Córdoba in 1236, the mosque was “converted” to a cathedral
The Jewish Quarter [La Judería] was the area that many Jews moved to after the Temple of Solomon was destroyed in Jerusalem in 70 A.D. At the time, it was the largest Jewish community in Europe. You can walk through the Almodovar Gate, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. On Calle Judios, the only conserved synagogue in Andalusia can be found.
Roman Bridge [Puente Romano]
The bridge crosses the over the Guadalquivir River during the time of Augustus. Along its banks you can see the Albolafia Water Mill. On the far side of the bridge, you’ll see the Calahorra Tower [Torre de la Calahorra]. You’ll see artists painting, playing a violin or accordion, and that adds to the atmosphere.
Córdoba has The Fine Arts Museum [Museo de Bellas Artes] and Julio Romero de Torres Museum you like paintings. If archaeology is your thing, then the Archeological is a treat. Inside you’ll find mosaics, Iberian sculpture, ceramics and sculptures.
Corredera Square [Plaza de la Corredera]
No trip to a Spanish town would be complete without a visit to a local square or plaza. The Corredera Square is big, and has plenty of nice restaurants. Besides people watching, you’ll find the Sánchez Peña Market which sells interesting food items. The square is a great place to grab a bite to eat, have a glass of wine, and chill in the sun.
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