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Cordoba is a city that’s full of charm. In this interactive guide, you’ll find the streets, squares, museums, and monuments that you simply can’t afford to miss in this city.

Transcript

Guide to

Cordoba

Plan a unique trip you'll never forget

Streets and squares

Palaces and houses

Restaurantes

Sculptures

Monuments

Map

Museums

Streets and squares

Charming places in every corner of the city. Explore them all!

The location of this squareis thought to have once been part of the Roman Circus.

Calleja del Pañuelo is a must for every visitor to Cordoba.

It gets its name from the Renaissance fountain in the center, which features the figure of a colt (potro).

Here are some suggestions for things not to miss on your visit to Cordoba.

In the heart of the Jewish quarter you'll find this serene side street; one of the most traditional in the city.

Calleja de las Flores

Plaza de la Corredera

Calleja del Pañuelo

Plaza del Potro

(Alley of the flowers) The narrow alleyway leads up a gentle slope to open out onto a small square. Flowers fill the balconies, with their wrought-iron window grills, filling the air with a pleasant scent, to the delight of visitors. A fountain graces one side of the square, and there is a fine view of the bell tower of the Mosque-Cathedral.

Archaeological excavations have unearthed a series of wonderful mosaics from the Roman period, which are now on show in the Castle of the Christian Monarchs. The present-day square is rectangular with arched porticos running around the ground floor, designed in the style of the old city squares of Castille, of which it is the only one of its kind in Andalusia. It was used in the olden days as a bullring, and to this day there is a street named Toril (Bulls’ enclosure). The square has seen everything, from autos de fe and public addresses to public executions during the French Invasion, and now contains a number of cafes and bars.

Located in the district of Axerquia, traditionally the square was a place where cattle were bought and sold, and artisans worked, as can be seen from the famous Posada (inn), which bears the same name. On the other side of the square are the Fine Arts Museum and the Julio Romero de Torres Museum.

(Alley of the Handkerchief) The alleyway starts off from the square Plaza de la Concha and is in Moorish style: its most remarkable feature is that at its narrowest point it is no wider than a lady’s handkerchief. Right at the end is a tiny square - considered by some as the smallest in the world - containing a small fountain and an aromatic orange tree. The gentle trickle of water and the scent of orange blossom charm the visitor in the intimacy of this diminutive square.

Palaces and houses

Magnificent buildings full of history

A typical, popular 14th or 15th-century dwelling.

Inn of El Potro-Fosforito Flamenco Center

This old Mercedarian convent is the current city council headquarters.

Palace of La Merced

A perfect example of a traditional house with courtyard in Cordoba,

Casa de las Cabezas - Legendary Courtyards

See the essential sights in Cordoba and make the most of your trip.

This majestic palace is found in Don Gome square,

Palace of Viana

La Casa de las Cabezas (The House of the Heads), with its four legendary courtyards, and its narrow alleyway dating from Arabic times, which is known as the "Seven Sons of Lara" or the "Alleyway of the Arches", is a fine example of the traditional houses with courtyards found in Cordoba, which originate from the Middle Ages.According to local legend, the building used to be a fortress belonging to Muslim leader Almanzor, where Gonzalo Gustioz, father of the Seven Children of Lara, was imprisoned. One day, the decapitated heads of his seven sons were presented to him on a (large) silver platter. As the story goes, the heads were displayed as trophies in the alley, one hanging from each arch, which is why the seven arches are preserved in this narrow lane, and why the main street, until this day, goes by the name “Calle Cabezas” (Street of the Heads).

Near the Plaza de Colón, it is quite a remarkable building and a prime example of the Baroque style in Cordoba. It was built over two different periods in the 18th century and the two parts are separated by the main church, constructed in 1745, which contains some excellent decorative plaster-work and the finest Baroque altarpiece in the city. In the courtyards and halls, the Palace hosts a wide range of interesting national and international exhibitions organized by the Provincial Government of Cordoba.

Known in popular jargon as corrales (yards), these houses were arranged around a communal courtyard with a well in the middle. It was one of Cervantes’ favorite haunts both in his works and in real life as well as staying here, some scenes in his works are set here too.The Posada del Potro (Inn of el Potro) - “Fosforito” Flamenco Centre has recently become a new venue for the performance, production, research, and dissemination of Flamenco.The Centre revolves around two main areas:-A venue, the Posada del Potro, a 14th century neighbor’s courtyard which was used as an inn right up until 1972, with its long history and cultural relevance-A Flamenco singer from Cordoba, Antonio Fernández, known as “Fosforito”, one of the most universally important Flamenco artistsThe Posada del Potro “Fosforito” Flamenco Centre is the only center in Andalusia dedicated to these characteristics of Flamenco, being both a venue for performances as well as a museum for promotion and exhibitions.A journey through time takes us from the birth and evolution of Flamenco up to the present day, through the different elements which make up the cultural uniqueness of Flamenco. The aim of the Interpretation Centre is for visitors to leave the building with more knowledge about Flamenco and above all with curiosity and interest to learn more. The museum hall covers topics like the origins of Flamenco styles, genres, styles, instruments, artists, costumes, and links with other cultural aspects.

This impressive palace, situated in the plaza de Don Gome, is surrounded by twelve splendid patios and a marvelous garden. A stunning variety of flowering plants decorate and scent every nook and cranny of this splendid museum. The original flavor of this 14th-century palace was kept intact by the last Marquis of Viana, Sophia of Lancaster.Inside, the numerous palace rooms house a wide range of collections (paintings, dinner sets, mosaics, tapestries, decorative tiles, firearms, and so on). There is also an outstanding collection of embossed leatherworkand a fascinating 16th-18th century library.

Sculptures

Emblematic sculptures in the city that will surprise you!

Discover Cordoba's cultural significance through its sculptures.

Christ of the Lanterns

Guardians of the Courtyards

Averroes

Julio Romero de Torres

Julio Romero de Torres was born in Cordoba on November 9th, 1874, in the building which was home to the Fine Arts Museum. His father Rafael Romero Barros, was a painter and founder-director of the museum. There were basically two stages to his painting career: pre-1907, when he followed a range of styles from realism to modernism, and post-1907, when he consistently used the style for which he was most famous, drawn from the studies on Raphael and Leonardo da Vinci which enthused him so much after his visit to Italy. He was awarded a gold medal in the National Gallery in 1908 for his Musa gitana (Gypsy Muse), and in Barcelona in 1911, for El retablo del amor (Love’s Votive Offering). His forte was painting portraits and he was an expert in depicting clothing – although his main achievement was to reflect the pure essence of Andalusia, repeatedly featuring the city of Cordoba, which he represented symbolically in a thousand and one ways, and the female figure, which he managed to capture in enigmatic poses. His museum is situated just in front of the Fine Arts Museum, and until the death of his last daughter in 1991, took up a part of the artist’s former home, with the other part remaining as the family residence. However, in 1991 the whole building was bought by the Junta de Andalucía (Regional Government), and the museum was run by the Cordoba Town Hall, whom the collections now belong to.

As a tribute to the Festival of the Courtyards, a bronze sculpture by sculptor José Manuel Belmonte (Cordoba, 1964) was unveiled in April 2014 in the ‘Puerta del Rincón’, portraying a woman watering flower pots with a traditional tin can on a cane. Later, two more bronze sculptures, depicting a grandfather handing flower pots to his grandson, were set up in the Alcázar Viejo (San Basilio) neighborhood, to represent the past and the future of this festival, which was declared World Heritage in 2012.

His name in Arabic was Abu-l -Walid Muhammad Ibn Ahmad Ibn Rushd, and he was the most influential philosopher, astronomer, and writer of his time, going on to become a figure of great importance in the history of Arabic-Islam thought. He was born in Cordoba in 1126 and died in Marrakesh in 1198. Belonging to a prominent family of qadis, or judges, he was trained by the intellectual elite of Cordoba and received traditional Koranic education, as well as specialized education in legal and medical studies. A follower of Aristotelian philosophy, his work led him to find a balance between the views of the Greek philosopher and the Muslim faith.

The first impression which strikes the visitor on entering the popular square Plaza de Capuchinos is of an austere design, with the plain, uniformly white walls interrupted only by stone doorways of the convent of Santo Ángel.The square also contains one of the most emblematic images of Cordoba: the statue of Christ of the Lanterns. The white walls which surround it heighten the dramatic effect of the Baroque crucifix, and the iron lamps (farolas) surrounding it which give the statue its name.

Museums

Discover the treasures of this World Heritage City

Explore the fascinating history of Cordoba through its different museums.

One of the most complete archaeological museums in Spain.

At the southern end of the Roman Bridge stands this ancient defensive fortress and current Al-Andalus museum.

Located in Plaza Maimónides, close to Cardinal Salazar Hospital.

Archaeological Museum

Calahorra Tower

Bullfighting Museum

Since 1965, the former Renaissance-style palace of the Páez de Castillejo family has housed one of the most impressive archaeological museums in Spain: The Archaeological Museum of Cordoba,Its job is to preserve, research into, and put on display the archaeological remains found in Cordoba and the province, from prehistoric times up to the period of Arabic rule known as Al-Andalus. A wide range of exhibits from different periods and architectural styles are displayed in the eight rooms and three courtyards, in which history seems to reach out to us, and take us back, room by room, courtyard by courtyard, to the Cordoba of yesteryear.In addition, in January 2011, a new building adjacent to the existing one was opened. This expansion, in a contemporary architectural design, perfectly complements the Renaissance Palace of Jerónimo Páez. The new building offers modern, attractive, and functional museum spaces, which meet the Archaeological Museum of Cordoba’s growing demand for space and services to help it occupy the place it deserves in today’s society.This new building also features an exceptional museum piece - the archaeological site of the city’s Roman Theatre, which was discovered when the building work began. It has now been fully restored and is open to the public in the basement.A visit to the building is a must for all lovers of art and history.

Mentioned in a number of Arab sources on “Al-Andalus” (Arab Andalusia), as well as historical records ever since the Christian conquest of Cordoba, its architecture reflects the successive renovations made to the tower. The horseshoe archway serves as an additional entrance gate, and its rectangular enclosure flanked by towers was rebuilt in the 12th century.In the early 20th century, the tower wasdeclared a historic-artistic monument. After different uses over the years, it currently hosts the Living Museum of al-Andalus, which celebrates the period when the Jewish, Christian, and Muslim cultures lived in peaceful coexistence in the city.

The museum occupies a former 16th-century aristocratic mansion. The long tradition behind bullfighting in Cordoba has made it possible to collect all the relevant artifacts belonging to the five bullfighting ’Caliphs’: Lagartijo, Guerrita, Machaquito, Manolete, and Manuel Benítez, El Cordobés.The exhibition includes contemporary photographs, bullfighters’ suits, old posters for bullfights, recordings, bullfighting equipment, sculptures, and paintings: all of which bring the fascinating world of bullfighting closer to the visitor. The museum was rebuilt and reopened in March 2014.

Monuments

An abundance of monuments that reflect the passage of different cultures: Roman, Jewish, Muslim, and Christian.

Cordoba is an important tourist nucleus which attracts visitors from all over the world.

The Mosque-Cathedral

Castle of the Christian Monarchs

Roman Bridge

Medina Azahara

The Mosque-Cathedral of Cordoba (World Heritage Site since 1984) is arguably the most significant monument in the whole of the western Moslem World and one of the most amazing buildings in the world in its own right. The complete evolution of the Omeyan style in Spain can be seen in its different sections, as well as the Gothic, Renaissance, and Baroque styles of the Christian part.The site which the Mosque-Cathedral occupies has been used for the worship of different divinities since ancient times. Under the rule of the Visigoths,the Basilica of San Vicente occupied this very site, and later, after the Moslems bought part of the plot of land, a primitive Mosque was built. The basilica was rectangular in shape, and for a while was shared by Christians and Moslems. As the Moslem population increased, the ruler Abderraman I acquired the whole site and demolished the basilica to make way for the first Alhama (main) Mosque in the city. Some of the original building materials from the Visigothic basilica can still be seen in the first section of the Mosque built by Abderraman I.The great Mosque is made up of two distinct areas, the courtyard or sahn, with its porticos (the only part built by Abd al- Rahman III), where the minaret stands - nowadays, encased in the Renaissance tower - and the prayer hall, or haram. The area inside is made up of a forest of columns with a harmonious color scheme of red and white arches. The five separate areas of the Mosque correspond to each of the five extensions carried out.

The Alcázar (castle) of Cordoba, with its thick defensive walls, served both as a fortress and a palace and is a perfect illustration of the development of Cordoban architecture through the ages. Roman and Visigoth ruins lie side by side with Arabic remains in this magnificent building, which was once the favorite residence of the different rulers of the city. However, when Cordoba was taken by Fernando III «the Saint» in 1236, the former Caliphal Palace was in a pitiful, ruinous state. Alfonso X «the Wise» began the restoration work, which was finished off during the reign of Alfonso XI. It has fulfilled many different functions over the years, such as Headquarters of the Inquisition, or a prison (first half of the 20th century).At first sight, one of the most surprising features of the fortress is its almost rectangular shape with its long walls made of solid blocks of stone (ashlars) and four corner towers (the tower ofthe Lions, themain keep, the tower ofthe Inquisition and the tower of the Doves). Inside, the different halls are distributed aroundcourtyards with an exotic array of flowers, aromatic herbs, and mature trees. Both rooms and corridors are covered by stone cupolas in Gothic style.In one of the galleries leading to the halls, there is aRoman sarcophagus on display, a pagan work dating from the early 3rd Century, on the front of which there is a sculpture in relief depicting the journey of the dead to the underworld through a half-opened door.The most interesting hall is the small Baroque chapel, the Hall of the Mosaics, where a series of Roman mosaics, discovered underneath the Corredera, are displayed around the walls. Below this hall are thebaths, built in Arabic style, which are divided into three rooms with vaulted ceilings containing the familiar star-shaped openings. The boiler which provided water for the baths was situated below the Main Keep.There are two courtyards, but the one in Mudejar style is by far the most attractive. The cool marble floors and the murmur of water, running down the channels and into the ponds, refresh the hot summer air and soothe the weary visitor’s spirits. The spacious gardens, stretching out to the west, give this Alcázar, or castle, an air of monumental grandeur.

The view over the Mosque-Cathedral, with the river, the Gate of the Bridge, and the Roman Bridge of Cordoba itself, is one of the most wonderful sights of Cordoba, especially at dusk, when the last rays of the sun linger on and make the stone surfaces glow a deep golden red. The bridge was first built in the 1st century A.D. but has been rebuilt many times since then, and in its present form dates mainly from the Medieval period, with the latest changes being made in 1876. There are sixteen arches, four of which are pointed and the rest semi-circular. Halfway along the railing on one side is a 16th-century statue of San Rafael by Bernabé Gómez del Río.

Medina Azahara: Included in the World Heritage List by UNESCO since 2018.The history of Medina Azahara, the magnificent, enigmatic city palace which was built forAbd-al Rahman III at the foot of the Sierra Morena mountains five miles from the city, is shrouded in myths and legends. According to popular belief, Abd al-Rahman III, after proclaiming himself Caliph in 929 A.D., after eight years in power, decide to build the city-palace in honor of his favorite, Azahara. However, recent research strongly suggests that the real reason for the Caliph founding Medina Azahara was to promote the new image of the recently-created independent western Caliphate as one of the strongest, most powerful kingdoms in Medieval Europe.The city was built on three terraces, surrounded by a city wall, with the Royal Castle situated on the highest and the middle levels. The lower level was reserved forliving quarters and the Mosque, which was built outside the walls. Historical sources mention ten thousand people working daily on building the palace complex, on which no expense was spared by Abd al-Rahman in order to achieve the desired propaganda effect: he would project the image of the new city like the flagship of the powerful kingdom he governed. Rich marbles of violet and red, gold and precious stones, as well as the skilled work of artisans from the best quarries and the now legendary Byzantine contributions, helped to make the palace take on its full glory.

Monuments

An abundance of monuments that reflect the passage of different cultures: Roman, Jewish, Muslim, and Christian.

Cordoba is an important tourist nucleus which attracts visitors from all over the world.

Roman Temple

Royal Stables

Synagogue

The Malmuerta Tower

Next to the Town Hall of Cordoba stands the only Roman temple in Cordoba for which we have archaeological evidence. The sheer size of the building is remarkable: it was dedicated to the cult of the Emperor, and along with the Circus Maximus, formed part of the Provincial Forum. It originally stood on a raised podium and had six free-standing Corinthian columns in the entrance. In front of this was the ara or altar. The present reconstruction was carried out by the architect Félix Hernández and has left Cordoba yet another reminder of the splendor of the city in Roman times. Some of the original pieces from the museum are on display in the Archaeological Museum or in unusual but attractive places dotted around the city, like the fluted column lying in Plaza de la Doblas.

Felipe II, the Spanish King on whose empire the sun never set, founded the Cordoba Royal Stables in 1572 "in order to breed sturdy horses for the service of the Royal House". Its construction was commissioned to Diego López de Haro, Chief Knight in the courtThe building was constructed next to the Castle of the Christian Monarchs, where it still stands to this day, and all this time has been used as acenter for breeding horses. Between 1842 and 1995, as headquarters of the renowned 7th depot of Army Stallions, it was used as a Cavalry barracks and a horse-breeding center. Over a hundred top-quality Andalusian and Arab horses were reared here, and were used for drawing carriages, dressage, and inseminating mares belonging both to the military and to civilians.The original Royal Stables were destroyed in a fire in 1735 and were immediately rebuilt between the reigns of Fernando VII and Carlos III, whose shield graces the main door.The poet García Lorca called the building a"Cathedral of the horse", and the stables are certainly the most interesting part of this great building, whose design features three long naves with cobbled floors and vaulted ceilings, supported by brick arches and solid stone columns delimiting the horseboxes located on either side.(Excerpt from the book "Cordoba Eternal City")

The Synagogue, situated in the heart of the Jewish Quarter of Cordoba, is unique in Andalusia and one of the three best-preserved Medieval synagogues in the whole of Spain. According to the inscriptions found in the building, it was built between the years 1314 and 1315, and was in constant use right up until the Jews were finally expelled from Spain. A small courtyard leads to a narrow entrance hall. On the right, a staircase leads to thewomen’s area, and in front lies the main hall, which is rectangular in shape and decorated with Mudejar-style plant motifs. The wall supporting the women’s tribune has three arches with exquisite decorative plasterwork. The Jews were expelled in 1492, and afterwards, the building was used first as a hospital, then as the Hermitage of San Crispin, and finally, an infants’ school. It was declared a National Monument at the end of the 19th century.

Near the Plaza de Colón, the external tower called la Malmuerta (literally ’she who has died badly’) is wrapped in myth and legend. According to popular tales, the tower was so named after the death of a noble Cordoban lady at the hands of her deranged, jealous husband.Myths and legends aside, this tower was built in the 15th century on top of a previous Islamic building. It is joined to the city walls by a rounded arch, under which there is an inscription giving details of its construction. On the inside, various staircases lead to the walkway and, above that, to the only room in the building, which has a vaulted ceiling and window slits to let the air in.

Map

Its strategic position, near the Guadalquivir river, and the legacy of the different peoples who settled on its rich farming lands meant that Cordoba was always considered a privileged place

Cordoba is a city with impressive cultural and monumental patrimony.

Cordoba is a city with impressive cultural and monumental patrimony. www.turismodecordoba.org