Darlene Foster's Blog

Three Days in the Charming City of Cordoba

Posted on: July 13, 2017

During the visit of my aunt and her friend, we took a bus trip to the Andalusian city of Cordoba, about five hours from where I live in Spain. Originally built by the Romans, it became an important location during the Moorish occupation. The ancient city of Cordoba held some of the world´s first known universities and medical schools. The fascinating architecture throughout the city reflects the Moorish, Jewish and Christian cultures.

It is easy to get around this charming city as it isn´t very big and you can easily walk everywhere.  The narrow cobblestone streets are lined with whitewashed buildings and patios decorated with colourful flower pots. Every time we turned a corner, we were confronted with another remarkable church, museum or interesting edifice. We took many pictures. It will take more than one post to share all we saw in these three amazing days.

Many buildings are decorated with flower pots

It took us a while to find it but we eventually walked down the street of flowers, or Calle de Fleurs which is the most photographed street in Cordoba and found on many postcards.

The Calle de Fleurs with the Mezquita in the background

The Mezquita is the Mosque-Cathedral of Cordoba, a UNESCO World Heritage site. There has been a place of worship on the site since the mid-sixth century when the Visigoths built the Basilica of San Vincent, the city´s main Christian Temple at the time. When the Muslims arrived in the eighth century the building was divided and used by both communities. It was later expanded to accommodate the growing Muslim population. In the twelfth century when the Moors were defeated by the Christians, the conquerors were so impressed by the opulent Mosque, it was uncustomarily kept intact and a Catholic cathedral built around it. Walking under the Moorish arches and viewing crucifixes, statues of saints and paintings depicting biblical stories, I was moved to tears as I felt the historic affiliation of art and faith surround me.

Inside the Mosque-Cathedral

The Moorish arches

An example of the ornate ceilings

A gorgeous stained glass window

A display of ancient Bibles

My guests enjoying the Mezquita

The original Mosque doors restored

The cathedral was consecrated in 1146 and has been used as a Catholic church ever since. They were preparing for a Corpus Christi parade and celebration that evening which we were lucky enough to witness, making our visit even more special.

Preparing for a religious celebration

Visiting the Mezquita is magical and these few pictures don´t do it justice. Here is a video from the official website. Don’t worry if you don’t understand Spanish, the views are gorgeous. https://mezquita-catedraldecordoba.es/

You really have to see this place to believe it!!

The city of Cordoba is a reminder of how Spain has willingly adopted the history and cultures of its many invaders over the years to become the unique country it is today.

More pictures of Cordoba to come.

 

 

35 Responses to "Three Days in the Charming City of Cordoba"

Wow! Fantastic photos. Thank you for sharing them.

Thanks, James. Glad you liked the photos.

The Mezquita has to be the most fascinating building I have ever seen simply because of the combination of Muslim and Christian faiths. Both Peter and I agreed at the time of our visit that we liked the Muslim art and architecture more, as all that gold in the Christian side was a bit too much and we preferred the simplicity of the Moors. Still, that is just a matter of taste, I suppose.
We also loved all the patios and plant pots hanging off the walls, which made the whole city so beautiful and cheerful. I am glad you enjoyed your visit.

I found the combination astounding. I’m so glad the Muslim architecture was preserved as I loved it too. It was a fascinating building. I want to return with my husband.

The Mezquita seems like an interesting example of how cultures often layer and organically mingle, much like layers of rock.

That is a great way of putting it, Adam. Thanks!

I’m fascinated by cultural layering and transformation. I think that’s one of the reasons I’m so interested in places like Europe & Asia, with such long histories, so many layers of civilization, culture, and art. Even our languages are often a patchwork hodgepodge of older words. Just the other day a published author was talking about how the term maggot can mean both the larval stage of an insect, or an idea, and he chose the word specifically to reference both meanings simultaneously.

Amazing pictures. They transport you to a different and mysterious time!

Being there was like being transported to another time! So pleased you enjoyed the pictures.

Oh how lucky your guests are. You take them to the most magnificent places. I never heard of the city and yet due to its history isn’t it amazing that many of us haven’t? The photographs are glorious-I feel the same sense of awe that you did. I think to be there in person would reduce me to tears also.

I hadn’t been to Cordoba but had heard wonderful things about it so thought it would be a perfect place to take my guests as we all love ancient history. We were all pleased by what we saw. There are many amazing but unheard of places in Spain. A fun country to explore.

And thank you for letting me/us explore with you! xo

I agree with Pam, lucky guests! I have been to Córdoba long ago but you’ve given so much more than I saw or can remember clear. I went for the classical guitar music first but fell for the city.

Your history and brilliant photos brings it to life. Thanks.
Miriam

Thanks, Miriam. I am happy to have brought back some good memories for you. We also heard some Spanish guitar being played in the squares and restaurants. Such a happy city.

Thank you for the lovely tour – what a wonderful host you are! Observing the buildings, I wish Christians, Jews, Muslims would co-exist happily just as the architecture is a blend of many cultures.

I wish the same thing, my friend. I’m glad you enjoyed the tour. xo

I spent my after-reading liking all the comments above! Thank you for sharing such a unique and beautiful city! You are so lucky to enjoy it first hand!`

I do feel very lucky to be able to see this history first hand. So pleased you enjoyed the post, Claudia.

Gorgeous. As a gardener who has kept many potted plants, I appreciate the work that goes into maintaining those many flower pots. It would be a chore just to water them.

Thank you for sharing this visit, Darlene. It looks like an incredible place.

Not only that, the temperatures at this time of the year are in the 40s so they would have to be watered twice a day. I believe they are prettier in the spring but they were still lovely when we were there at the end of June. Glad you enjoyed the post, Diane.

So beautiful!! That mosque door 🙌😍 I befriended many girls from this town last year in Mantua. They told me to visit here as it’s beautiful. I can see why!

It is one of those many hidden gems in Spain. I hope you do get to visit it one day as you certainly appreciate this kind of beauty.

Love the stained glass windows and ancient bibles… we have visited Córdoba but many years ago do thanks for a stroll down memory lane. The gorgeousness remains!

Peta

Glad I brought back some fond memories, Peta. I was quite taken with the ancient Bibles too.

That looks incredible Darlene, and well worth a five hour bus journey. I can understand all that history feeling overwhelming, but how wonderful that the Mezquita has survived through the centuries. It looks like the sort of place that would make a big impression on anyone visiting it.

I know I will never forget it! The Mezquita is incredible. And there is more to come. xo

Wow and more Wow! I love the gorgeous photos of Cordoba. And, I’m a sucker for stained glass windows. By the way, I like your blog design. Emphasizes your travels! You are soooo lucky!

Yes, I am lucky and was happy to share my travel experience with my special guests. We were very fortunate to get to visit Cordoba. If you love stained glass windows you would be in heaven here in Spain. Even the small churches have spectacular stained glass in them.

I agree with Patricia – Wow! Love the photos. What a gorgeous place Cordoba is. My friend lives there and I remember when she shifted into a place of her own the pictures she showed, it did look small but she was happy with it. I remember seeing lots of flowers in pots. 🙂 Can’t wait to see more.

How cool that you have a friend in Cordoba. You must visit her one day. The places here are small but we spend a lot of time outdoors so we get used to it. Thanks for your comments!

What a gorgeous city … Just added to my bucket list ♥

I hope you get there one day, it is amazing.

Brings back some great memories of Cordoba. Been there a few times as live just up the road in Seville. Love the mesquita, found it so eerie. Where about’s do u live? Have you been to Sevilla? What’s your favourite place in Andalusia?

Welcome to my blog. I haven´t been to Seville, yet. We live on the Costa Blanca, south of Alicante. Cordoba is now my favourite place in Andalusia. I also love the white villages tucked in the mountains. Istan was delightful. Wrote about it here https://darlenefoster.wordpress.com/2014/11/30/exploring-spain-ii/

[…] spending a morning at the amazing Mezquita, enjoying a delightful lunch and checking out the cute shops we ventured to the Alcazar, a medieval […]

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