Travel

Explore España: Córdoba

Nothing says SPRING quite like Córdoba in May. Everything screamed ‘springtime’, from the battle of the patios to ubiquitous flower-laden crosses to hare krishna-inspired shrines. Plus, the fact that the whole month is booked for flower power-themed festivals. Thanks to last month’s labor day weekend, we got the perfect chance to visit this lovely Andalusian city in all its blooming glory.

HISTORY
  • The Roman colony of Córdoba was the capital of the Baetica province. Some Roman remnants still exist today like the Puente romano (Roman bridge), Templo romano (Roman temple), the Forum Adiectum among others.
  • In 711, Córdoba was seized by Muslim invaders and became the the Islamic capital of the Iberian Peninsula. The Mezquita-Catedral (Mosque-Cathedral) of Córdoba was originally a Catholic basilica that was then divided into Muslim and Christian halves.
  • In the 10th and 11th centuries, Córdoba as a caliphate was one of the most advanced cities in the world equipped with mosques, libraries, observatories, aqueducts, and universities.
  • Following the death of the caliph, Al-Mansur, the city’s dominance declined and the capital of Islamic Spain was changed to Sevilla.
PLACES OF INTEREST

PATIOS DEL ALCÁZAR VIEJO (Courtyards of Córdoba)

Every May, a handful of families open the doors of their homes to the public to flaunt their ‘flowerful’ patio gardens. Each with their own style and color scheme. Some don’t charge an entrance fee and just pass the hat while some ask for a ticket which are sold at a local shop in the San Basilio quarter. The ticket costs 7€, good for 7 participating patios (but I’ve read the price and number might change every year). The addresses are listed to provide a convenient route. All you’re left to do is walk to each house, perhaps get in line during prime time and be welcomed by friendly owners and locals. patios de córdoba ticket

San Basilio, 50 san basilio 50 córdoba san basilio córdoba 50

San Basilio, 40 san basilio 40 córdoba san basilio 40 córdoba

San Basilio, 15 san basilio 15 córdoba

Martín de Roa, 7Martín de Roa 7 córdobaMartín de Roa 7 córdoba

Martín de Roa, 9Martín de Roa 9 córdobaMartín de Roa 9 córdoba

Martín de Roa, 2Martín de Roa 2 córdoba

Martín de Roa 2 córdoba

Duartas, 2duartas 2 córdoba

La Barrera, 1la barrera 1 córdoba la barrera 1 córdoba

Postrera, 28postrera 28 córdoba la barrera 1 córdoba

MEZQUITA-CATEDRAL DE CÓRDOBA (Mosque-Cathedral of Córdoba)

The Mezquita is a staple attraction in Córdoba all year round. Whether you’re a Christian, a Muslim, a history buff, an architecture enthusiast or just a lover of those red-striped arches, a visit to this religious place is a must. A regular ticket will set you back 8€ and about 30 minutes in the queue.mezquita córdoba archescatedral mezquita

mezquita córdoba cathedral mezquita córdoba cathedral mezquita córdoba cathedral couple

PUENTE ROMANO (Roman bridge)

A wide pedestrian bridge just a few minutes away from the Mezquita. It was originally built by the Romans, hence the name, although was reconstructed throughout the centuries. It was too crowded to be romantic but with enough space to not jostle fellow tourists.PUENTE ROMANO PUENTE ROMANO PUENTE ROMANO

SINAGOGA (Synagogue) and JARDINES DE LA VICTORIA (Victoria Gardens)

We were time-poor and a day trip was all we could afford with our meager salaries so we hauled our asses to the bus station before nightfall. En route, we chanced upon a couple of delightful parks – Jardines de la Victoria and the one outside the Sinagoga. We stopped for a quick dose of nature and imbibed the beautiful scenery of the vivid green trees, reflective ponds and a wide assortment of flowers here and there.SINAGOGA Córdoba JARDINES DE LA VICTORIA

WHERE TO EAT

Los Patios de La Marquesa

Apparently, food courts are not a thing here in Spain. I actually had to explain to my boyfriend how it works. This concept is great for couples and groups who can’t agree on what to eat. There’s a central seating area with the food vendors surrounding it. You choose what you want to eat, pay the cashier and get back to your table – the works, but with a Córdobes spin. It’s divided into patio-inspired sections of food stations – rice dishes, seafood, bocadillos, Arabic, steaks and so on.Los Patios de La Marquesa Córdoba Los Patios de La Marquesa Córdoba Los Patios de La Marquesa Córdoba

Mercado Victoria

We stumbled upon a more sophisticated food court near Jardines de la Victoria while we were looking for a quick bite to eat. It’s branded as a gourmet food market with food stalls varying from wine and cheese to gourmet pizza to sushi and sashimi. By the look of it, it’s quite a happening place since there’s a DJ at 5pm in the afternoon with a considerable number of party animals dancing with a drink in their hands. Mercado VictoriaMercado Victoria

GETTING AROUND
  • The city is well-communicated with public transportation via bus and trains. The most convenient way to get to Córdoba is by the AVE high-speed train. You can also head here by bus or Blablacar for a lower price.
  • You can get from one point to another by urbano buses. A regular single-use ticket is 1,30€ but for longer stays, there are abonos (passes) if you want to save a little.
  • Some sites are not that far from each other so you need not work up a sweat going by foot.

Whether your wandering feet seek for a spring fling or a historical-cultural excursion, you should pray to the travel gods to take you to Córdoba.

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