CORDOBA

Spain

Córdoba is a city in Andalusia, southern Spain, and the capital of the province of Córdoba. It was conquered by invading Islamic armies in the eighth century, and then became the capital of the Islamic Emirate and then Caliphate of Córdoba, including most of the Iberian Peninsula.

Info Cordoba

introduction

Córdoba is a city in Andalusia, southern Spain, and the capital of the province of Córdoba. It was conquered by invading Islamic armies in the eighth century, and then became the capital of the Islamic Emirate and then Caliphate of Córdoba, including most of the Iberian Peninsula.

It has been estimated that in the 10th century Córdoba was the most populous city in the world, and under the rule of Caliph Al Hakam II it had also become a centre for education under its Islamic rulers. Al Hakam II opened many libraries in addition to the many medical schools and universities which existed at this time. During these centuries Córdoba became a predominantly Muslim society with minorities living in a restricted second-class status. It returned to Christian rule in 1236, during the Reconquista. Today it is a moderately sized modern city; its population in 2011 was about 330,000. The historic centre was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Córdoba has the warmest summer high temperatures in Spain and Europe with average high temperatures around 37 °C (99 °F) in July and similar heat in August.

info
POPULATION : 325,453
FOUNDED : 
TIME ZONE :• Time zone CET (UTC+1)
• Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
LANGUAGE :
RELIGION :
AREA :  1,255.24 km2 (484.65 sq mi)
ELEVATION :  120 m (390 ft)
COORDINATES : 37°53′0″N 4°46′0″W
SEX RATIO :
ETHNIC :
AREA CODE : 957
POSTAL CODE : 14001–14014
DIALING CODE : +34 957
WEBSITE :  www.cordoba.es

Tourism

Córdoba is a mid-sized city of 350,000 inhabitants and the capital of the province of Córdoba, situated in the center of Andalucia in Spain. A great cultural reference point in Europe, this ancient city has been declared a World Heritage Site and contains a mixture of the diverse cultures that have settled it throughout history.


Understand

Very few places in the world can boast of having been the capital of a Roman province (Hispania Ulterior), the capital of an Arab State (Al-Andalus) and a Caliphate. Such splendor is palpable in the intellectual wealth of this city, that has seen the birth of figures like Seneca, Averroes, and Maimonides. The historic quarter of Córdoba is a beautiful network of small streets, alleys, squares and whitewashed courtyards arranged around the Mezquita, which reflects the city's prominent place in the Islamic world during medieval times.

Córdoba also has much to offer in terms of art, culture and leisure, thanks to a myriad of cultural events that are organized here throughout the year: Flamenco festivals, concerts, ballet and other activities. These events are complemented by a number of museums and a good nightlife scene.


Tourist Information Office

History

Prehistory and antiquity

The first trace of human presence in the area are remains of a Neanderthal Man, dating to c. 42,000 to 35,000 BCIn the 8th century BC, during the ancient Tartessos period, a pre-urban settlement existed.The population gradually learned copper and silver metallurgy. The first historical mention of a settlement dates, however, to the Carthaginian expansion across the Guadalquivir, when the general Hamilcar Barca renamed it Kartuba, from Kart-Juba, meaning "the City of Juba", the latter being a Numidian commander who had died in a battle nearby.[citation needed] Córdoba was conquered by theRomans in 206 BC. In 169 the Roman consul Marcus Claudius Marcellus founded a Latin colony alongside the pre-existing Iberian settlement. Between 143 and 141 BC the town was besieged by Viriatus. A Roman Forum is known to have existed in the city in 113 BC. The famous Cordoba Treasure, which mixes local and Roman artistic traditions, was buried in the city at this time. It can now be found in the collections of the British Museum.

At the time of Julius Caesar, Córdoba was the capital of the Roman province of Hispania Ulterior Baetica. Great Roman philosophers such as Lucius Annaeus Seneca the Younger, orators such as Seneca the Elder and poets such as Lucan came from Roman Cordoba. Later, it occupied an important place in the Provincia Hispaniae of the Byzantine Empire (552–572) and under the Visigoths, who conquered it in the late 6th century.


Islamic rule

Córdoba was captured in 711 by a Moorish army. Unlike other Iberian towns, no capitulation was signed and the position was taken by storm. Córdoba was in turn governed by direct Moorish rule. The new Moorish commanders established themselves within the city and in 716 it became a provincial capital, subordinate to the Caliphate of Damascus; in Arabic it was known as قرطبة (Qurṭubah).

Different areas were allocated for the services in the Saint Vincent Church shared by Christian and Moors, until the former Mosque started to be erected on the same spot under Abd-ar-Rahman I. Abd al-Rahman allowed the Christians to rebuild their ruined churches and purchased the Christian half of the church of St Vincent. In May 766, it was chosen as the capital of the independent Muslim emirate of al-Andalus, later a Caliphate itself. During the caliphate apogee (1000 AD), Córdoba had a population of roughly 500,000 inhabitants, though estimates range between 350,000 and 1,000,000. In the 10th and 11th centuries, Córdoba was one of the most advanced cities in the world as well as a great cultural, political, financial and economic centre. The Great Mosque of Córdoba dates back to this time. Upon a change of rulers, though, the situation changed quickly. "The vizier al-Mansur–the unofficial ruler of al-Andalus from 976 to 1002—burned most of the books on philosophy to please the Moorish clergy; most of the others were sold off or perished in the civil strife not long after.

However, following al-Mansur's death, internal struggle for power between different factions led to the pillage and destruction of Medina Azahara and other splendid buildings of Córdoba. The city fell into a steady decline in the next decades and after the fall of the caliphate (1031), Córdoba became the capital of a Republican independent taifa. This short-lived state was conquered by Al-Mu'tamid ibn Abbad, lord of Seville, in 1070. In turn, the latter was overthrown by the Almoravids, who were later replaced by the Almohads.

During the latter's domination the city declined, the role of the capital of Muslim al-Andalus having been given to Seville.


Modern history

During the Spanish Reconquista, Córdoba was captured by King Ferdinand III of Castile on 29 June 1236, after a siege of several months. The city was divided into 14 colaciones, and numerous new church buildings were added.

The city declined, especially after Renaissance times. In the 18th century it was reduced to just 20,000 inhabitants. The population and economy started to increase only in the early 20th century.

With the most extensive historical heritages in the world declared World Heritage Site by UNESCO (on 17 December 1984), the city also features a number of modern areas, including the districts of Zoco and the railway station district.

The regional government (the Junta de Andalucía) has for some time been studying the creation of a Córdoba Metropolitan Area that would comprise, in addition to the capital itself, the towns of Villafranca de Córdoba, Obejo, La Carlota, Villaharta, Villaviciosa, Almodóvar del Río and Guadalcázar. The combined population of such an area would be around 351,000.

Climate

Córdoba has a Subtropical-Mediterranean climate. Córdoba has the highest summer average daily temperatures in Europe (averaging 36.9 °C (98 °F) in July) and days with temperatures over 40 °C (104 °F) are common in the summer months. August's 24-hour average of 28.0 °C (82 °F) is also among the highest in Europe, despite having relatively cool nightly temperatures.

Winters are mild to cool with isolated frosts. Precipitation is concentrated in the coldest months; this is due to the Atlantic coastal influence. Precipitation is generated by storms from the west that occur most frequently from December through February. This Atlantic characteristic then gives way to a hot summer with significant drought more typical of Mediterranean climates. Annual rain surpasses 600 mm (24 in), although there is a recognized inter-annual irregularity.

Registered maximum temperatures at the Córdoba Airport (located at 6 kilometres (4 miles) of the city) are 46.6 °C (115.9 °F) (23 July 1995) and 46.2 °C (115.2 °F) (1 August 2003). The minimum temperature ever recorded was −8.2 °C (17.2 °F) (28 January 2005).

Climate data for Córdoba

MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDecYear
Record high °C (°F)22.9
(73.2)
27.8
(82)
33.0
(91.4)
34.0
(93.2)
41.2
(106.2)
45.0
(113)
46.6
(115.9)
46.2
(115.2)
43.8
(110.8)
36.0
(96.8)
29.7
(85.5)
23.5
(74.3)
46.6
(115.9)
Average high °C (°F)14.9
(58.8)
17.4
(63.3)
21.3
(70.3)
22.8
(73)
27.4
(81.3)
32.8
(91)
36.9
(98.4)
36.5
(97.7)
31.6
(88.9)
25.1
(77.2)
19.1
(66.4)
15.3
(59.5)
25.1
(77.2)
Daily mean °C (°F)9.3
(48.7)
11.1
(52)
14.4
(57.9)
16.0
(60.8)
20.0
(68)
24.7
(76.5)
28.0
(82.4)
28.0
(82.4)
24.2
(75.6)
19.1
(66.4)
13.5
(56.3)
10.4
(50.7)
18.2
(64.8)
Average low °C (°F)3.6
(38.5)
4.9
(40.8)
7.4
(45.3)
9.3
(48.7)
12.6
(54.7)
16.5
(61.7)
19.0
(66.2)
19.4
(66.9)
16.9
(62.4)
13.0
(55.4)
7.8
(46)
5.5
(41.9)
11.4
(52.5)
Record low °C (°F)−8.2
(17.2)
−5.0
(23)
−4.2
(24.4)
0.2
(32.4)
2.4
(36.3)
7.0
(44.6)
11.0
(51.8)
11.0
(51.8)
6.0
(42.8)
1.0
(33.8)
−3.6
(25.5)
−7.8
(18)
−8.2
(17.2)
              
Source: Agencia Estatal de Meteorología

Geography

The city is on the banks of the Guadalquivir river, and its easy access to the mining resources of the Sierra Morena (coal, lead, zinc) satisfies the population's needs.

The city is in a depression of the valley of the Guadalquivir. In the north is the Sierra Morena, which defines the borders of the municipal area.

Córdoba is one of the few cities in the world that has a near-exact antipodal city – Hamilton, New Zealand.

Subdivisions

Since July 2008, the city is divided into 10 administrative districts, coordinated by the Municipal district boards, which in turn are subdivided into neighbourhoods

DistrictDistrict
CentroPoniente-Sur
LevanteSur
NoroesteSureste
Norte-SierraPeriurbano Este-Campiña
Poniente-NortePeriurbano Oeste-Sierra

Prices in Cordoba

PRICES LIST - EUR

MARKET / SUPERMARKET

Milk1 liter€0.76
Tomatoes1 kg€1.70
Cheese0.5 kg€7.00
Apples1 kg€1.75
Oranges1 kg€1.35
Beer (domestic)0.5 l€0.95
Bottle of Wine1 bottle€4.00
Coca-Cola2 liters
Bread1 piece
Water1.5 l€0.65

PRICES LIST - EUR

RESTAURANTS

Dinner (Low-range)for 2€21.00
Dinner (Mid-range)for 2€32.00
Dinner (High-range)for 2
Mac Meal or similar1 meal€6.80
Water0.33 l€1.00
Cappuccino1 cup€1.50
Beer (Imported)0.33 l€2.50
Beer (domestic)0.5 l€1.70
Coca-Cola0.33 l
Coctail drink1 drink

PRICES LIST - EUR

ENTERTAINMENT

Cinema2 tickets€14.00
Gym1 month€35.00
Men’s Haircut1 haircut
Theatar2 tickets
Mobile (prepaid)1 min.€0.09
Pack of Marlboro1 pack€5.00

PRICES LIST - EUR

PERSONAL CARE

Antibiotics1 pack
Tampons32 pieces
Deodorant50 ml.
Shampoo400 ml.
Toilet paper4 rolls
Toothpaste1 tube

PRICES LIST - EUR

CLOTHES / SHOES

Jeans (Levis 501 or similar)1
Dress summer (Zara, H&M)1
Sport shoes (Nike, Adidas)1
Leather shoes1

PRICES LIST - EUR

TRANSPORTATION

Gasoline1 liter€1.21
TaxiStart€3.80
Taxi1 km€0.90
Local Transport1 ticket€1.20

Tourist (Backpacker)  

46 € per day

Estimated cost per 1 day including:

  • meals in cheap restaurant
  • public transport
  • cheap hotel

Tourist (business/regular)  

139 € per day

Estimated cost per 1 day including:

  • mid-range meals and drinks
  • transportation
  • hotel

Transportation - Get In

Transportation - Get In

By plane

Córdoba lacks an airport. The closest major airports are in Seville, Málaga and Madrid; from there a train or a bus to Córdoba takes but a few hours.

Transportation - Get In

By Train

AVE, Spain's high-speed rail network, offers very fast and comfortable train service to Córdoba, but it is a bit more expensive compared to regular bus or train services. AVE trains run hourly from Madrid (1 hour 45 minutes), Seville(45 minutes) and Malaga (50 minutes). There are also two daily AVE services to Barcelona (about five hours). Additionally, there is a very cheap sleeping train option from Córdoba to Barcelona (Andalucía Express).

As an alternative to the AVE there are also cheaper RENFE trains, such as the Lanzaderas to Seville and Malaga (for around 15-20€) or the Altaria and the Alivia trains going to Granada (2 hours 30 minutes) and Madrid (2 hours 30 minutes). Schedules, prices and tickets are all available online.

  • Córdoba Central Train Station (Estación de Córdoba Central), Glorieta de las Tres Culturas,  +34 902 432 343. Daily 24hrs. Córdoba's modern train station is location in Avenida de America, at the northern end of the central district. Luggage lockers, wi-fi, cafés, and a tourist information centre are all available. To get to the old town and the Mezquita, you can catch a taxi (about €6) or just walk about 25 minutes (head along Avenida de America and turn right on Avenida del Gran Capitan).

Transportation - Get In

By Bus

Córdoba Bus Station (Estación de Autobuses de Córdoba), Avenida de la Libertad (just across the street from the train station),  +34 957 40 40 40, e-mail:. Regular bus service is available from almost every town in Andalucia as well as from Madrid departing from the "Estación Sur" (around 6 buses per day). ALSA and Socibus both have timetable and ticket information online.

Transportation - Get In

By Car

Distances to/from Cordoba: Madrid 407 km. Badajoz 278 km, Granada 166 km, Malaga 175 km


Transportation - Get Around

Just about everything of interest in Córdoba is within easy walking distance (the one notable exception being the Medina Azahara), and the typical tourist can do with the standard tourist map which can be obtained from the tourist offices (one on the east side of the Mezquita, another between the Alcázar and the city walls, and yet another in the train station, to name a few).

The area with by far the most to see is the Old City surrounding the Mezquita. The Old City is a tangle of medieval-style streets roughly bounded by the Guadalquivir River on the south, the area surrounding Plaza de las Tendillas on the north and the tree-lined Paseo de la Victoria on the west. This area is crammed with places to stay, eat and buy souvenirs, though many visitors may find certain areas (particularly immediately surrounding the Mezquita) too touristy, with more interesting things found wandering into the tiny streets of the Jewish Quarter to the west and north of the Mezquita. Behind the Mezquita the Roman Bridge crosses the Guadalquivir River to a museum in the old gate on the opposite side.

The area immediately to the north of the Old City, roughly from the area around Plaza de las Tendillas to Avenida de America is a more modern section of town and is where the train and bus station is located as well as a major shopping area. Along Paseo de la Victoria on the west side and Avenida de America on the north are large parks that make for a pleasant stroll.

Hotels

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Hotels

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Shopping

The main shopping area is around the Plaza de las Tendillas: Concepción street, Cruz Conde street, Gran Capitán boulevard, Ronda de los Tejares avenue...

  • Sukia - cocktail shop, Cuesta Luján 4. (between Plaza de las Tendillas and San Fernado), 95749051, Really cool shop. Its sells Kitch, be it in clothes, music, decorations form, if its Kitch from the 50's 60's or 70's its here.
  • Blas s - Artisanal Ceramics, Calle Martinez Rücker. (The street leading to the Mezquita with a Moroccan restaurant.) This store is one of Córdoba's hidden gems. The owners sell beautiful ceramics of various different styles from their patio, so not only do you get to take a look at lovely handmade ceramics, but you also get a feel for the traditional Córdoba patio. If you're not lucky enough to visit Córdoba during the weeks of the patio competition, this store offers you a great opportunity. The ceramics are also of a higher quality than those of most of the stores around the Mezquita, since the store is dedicated to ceramics and isn't tourist-oriented. They are currently displaying the works of Carlos Durán, a Toledo surrealist with a flare for color.

One of the traditional craftwork in Córdoba is jewellery. Good value jewels, specially gold, can be found around the city. However, it is advisable to buy far from touristic sites as they are the most expensive places to buy that. One place to check it is around Jesus Rescatado avenue.

Restaurants


Budget

  • Restaurante Casa RubioCalle Puerta de Almodóvar, 5,  +34 957 420 853, e-mail: . M-Th 13:00-16:30 19:30-23:30, F Sa 13:00-24:00, Su 13:00-23:30. Located in the heart of the Juderia, this place offers decent tapas for the price. A bit more expensive version of it is next to the mosque, called Casa Pepe de la Juderia, which serves the same food at a slight markup for location. Excellent bravas. Worth checking out.
  • Taberna GóngoraCalle del Conde de Torres Cabrera, 4+34 957 49 03 62. Daily 12:30-16:00, 19:00-23:30. Popular with locals and well known for their cured meats (carne de monte).
  • La AbadiaAvenida. del Aeropuerto, 4. 0900 - 0000. One of the few places in Cordoba that serves free tapas. It is located along a 'tapas' boulevard popular with the locals for food. Crowded on football game days. Tapas range from 1.70 - 3€.
  • DeloreanCalle Alfonso XIII, 2. 0830-1600; 2000-0030 (Kitchen opens at 1230). Located near the Templo Romano, this place serves free tapas with every drink, with every additional tapa at 1€. Their house specialties include Piruleta de Barbacoa (Barbecued meat on a lollipop) and Pulpo a la Gallega (Galician-style cooked octopus). 2-3.50€.

Splurge

  • El Caballo RojoCalle del Cardenal Herrero, 28 (near the Mezquita),  +34 957 47 53 75fax: +34 957 490 318. Locals claim it has the best "rabo de toro" in town.
  • Bodegas Campos, Calle Lineros, 32+34 957 497 500. Daily 13:00-16:00, 20:30-23:00; closed 24 Dec, 31 Dec. Classic Córdoba place to eat. Historic building and famous for people who have visited. Food is fantastic, very recommended!
  • Casa MazalCalle Tomás Conde, 3 (between the mosque-cathedral and the synagogue),  +34 957 94 18 88, e-mail:. Daily 12:00-16:00, 20:00-23:30. This restaurant offers customers a chance to sample traditional Sephardic Jewish cuisine. Kosher guests will be pleased to note that, although the meat is not kosher certified, none of the dishes mix meat and dairy. The restaurant is run by a Sephardic family. The food is, truly, divine.
  • Restaurante Castillo de la AlbaidaCarretera De Trassierra, km 3+34 957 27 92 69. A refurbished castle in the foothills of the Córdoba Sierra, 10 minutes from city center by car. Very good Cordoban food with splendid city sights.
  • Restaurante El ChurrascoCalle del Romero, 16 (very close to the Mezquita),  +34 957 290 819, toll-free: +34 957 421 661, e-mail:. Daily 13:00-16:00, 20:30-24:00. With amazing meat dishes and much more.
  • Restaurante Amore BonapastaCalle Reyes Católicos, 17+34 957 48 4848. Su-W 13:30-16:00, Th-Sa 13:30-16:00 21:00-0:00,.Fantastic pizza and pasta at $-$ prices. Try the pasta carbonara, very nice. Pizza is great as well.
  • Taberna La FraguaCalleja del Arco, 2 (off C/Tomás Conde), +34 957 48 45 72, e-mail: . Delicious home made food and traditional cooking with a modern and personal style. Enjoyable meals in an authentic 16th-century charming courtyard accompanied by flamenco ambient music. It is also possible to try tapas and drinks for a very reasonable price. Relaxed atmosphere.
  • Taberna La LechugaCalle Tomás Conde, 12. Córdoba traditional style food. Try their brand name tasty specialty, seasoned "lettuce sprouts", served with garlic. They serve a wide range of traditional dishes. Don't forget their croquetas, but to be sure about their daily recommendations just try and ask their friendly staff.
  • Taberna San Miguel (Casa El Pisto), Plaza de San Miguel, 1(behind Iglesia de San Miguel),  +34 957 47 01 66. M-Sa 12:00-16:00, 20:00-24:00. Established in 1880, this very popular place should not be missed. Serves great Montilla, as well as rabo de toro and pisto.

Sights & Landmarks


The Mezquita

M-Sa 8:30-19:00, Su 8:30-10:30 and 14:00-19:00 (last entry 30 minutes before closing). €8 (free entry during 8:30-10:00 morning mass).

The biggest attraction in Córdoba and a truly must-see building, the Mezquita is a massive former mosque-turned-cathedral famed for its "forest" of columns topped with Islamic-style red and white striped arches among its other many architectural highlights and serves as a reminder of the glory and importance Córdoba held in medieval times. The building is full of history and beauty - you'll want to give yourself at least a couple of hours to do it justice.

Built in 786 as a mosque, the structure was expanded several times under Córdoba 's Muslim rule while still remaining largely true to the original design. Following the Christian Reconquista of Córdoba in 1236, work immediately went underway to convert the building to a church, and four centuries later a cathedral at the center of the building was constructed, though not without controversy as it significantly altered the space. Today, despite the presence of the cathedral, most of the original mosque structure remains remarkably well-preserved.

Approaching the Mezquita, the first thing you will notice is the massive bell tower on the building's north side which looms over the surrounding buildings. Built in the 1600s the tower replaced a minaret previously on the site. Along the outside of the building the wall takes on the appearance of a fortress, with an elaborate set of Moorish-style archway and windows spaced every so often.

Stepping through one of the doors you'll enter the Patio de los Naranjos, or Court of the Oranges, which true to its name contains a grove of orange trees, planted in symmetrical rows that replicate the forest of columns within the building. A large fountain drips pleasantly in the middle, and the views of the bell tower framed by trees are excellent. The Patio is free to enter and is open during the day as a public park - the ticket booths are located on the bell tower side of the courtyard.

Entering the interior you'll immediately be standing before the forest of columns which recede into the distance, topped with their dazzling horseshoe arches. The light in the space will play interesting tricks with the arches and varies pretty dramatically as you walk through the building, going from rather dark when you enter to very bright at the cathedral in the middle and back and forth as you continue.

Opposite the room from the entrance is the Mihrab, a spectacular archway decorated with Arabic writing which was the focus of the mosque, as it faced in the direction of Mecca and was what every Muslim faced as they knelt on the floor to pray . Once, tens of thousands of people could fit into this space to pray, the multitude knelt on their rugs before the Mihrab. In the corner of the building nearby are glass cases with artifacts excavated from beneath the Mezquita, and the walls along the side of the building are lined with chapels, each one with an intricate piece of artwork.

At the center of the building, the Cathedral towers over the rest of the building, and the transition from the impressive-but-intimate mosque structure to the overwhelming awe of the cathedral is abrupt and rather jarring, but don't let that stop you from taking in the beauty of the cathedral, with its rich decoration and well-illuminated interior, standing to suggest triumph over the Muslims who previously used this building. The presence of the cathedral also offers the unique opportunity to so easily compare the differences between Muslim and Christian architecture.


The Old City

A tangle of narrow medieval streets surrounding the Mezquita, the Old City sits just uphill from the muddy Guadalquivir River and contains the vast majority of Córdoba's tourist attractions. North and west of the Mezquita sits the Jewish Quarter, a neighborhood which dates from the late Middle Ages and offers an interesting stroll, some lovely patios and a few scant reminders of the Jewish population that once lived here.

  • Roman Bridge (Puente Romano). A Roman-style bridge over the shallow Guadalquivir River that was once the main crossing over the river, securing Córdoba's importance to the region. The entrance to the bridge is marked by a triumphal arch and an adjacent single-column monument and it crosses to an old fortified gate (now a museum, described below) on the other side.
  • Museum of Al-Andalus Life (Museo Vivo de Al-Andalus), C/ Puente Romano (at the opposite end of the Roman Bridge),  +34 957 293 929.October-April 10:00-18:00, May-September, 10:00-14:00 and 16:30-20:30. A history museum located in the Torre de la Calahorra, which once served as the old fortified gate to the city. Upon entering the museum the greeters (who speak good English) have you don a headset which will explain the exhibits and artifacts on Muslim Andalusia you will view as you walk from room to room. The narrators take a very philosophical take on the whole thing and their descriptions of Islam may come off as rather flowery, but the artifacts are worth a look and the balcony on the top of the tower offers an excellent view of the river and the city. €4.50, €3 children.
  • Alcazar de los Reyes CristianosC/ Caballerizas Reales. Tu-F 8:30-19:30, Sa 9:30-16:30, Su 9:30-14:30. Built in the 8th century as a caliphate residence on the site of a Visigoth fortress, the Alcazar was used as the residence and fortress of Ferdinand and Isabella (the "Christian Monarchs" for whom the building is now named) as well as a headquarters for the Spanish Inquisition. The fortress, with its artifacts (including a series of Roman mosaics and a Roman sarcophagus) and two towers is now open for touring, but the main attraction here is the lush and beautiful gardens on the site. €4, free on Wednesdays.
  • Calle de las Flores (near the Mezquita, on the tower side). A beautiful narrow street, full of flowers with a wonderful tiny square at the end and excellent views of the Mezquita's Tower framed by the buildings lining the street.
  • Synagogue (La Sinagoga), C/ Judíos (in the Jewish Quarter). Tu-Sa 10:00-14:00 and 15:30-17:30, Su and holidays 10:00-14:00. A small but beautifully preserved synagogue - one of only three remaining in Spain - the structure was built in 1315 and consists of a single small, square room with high ceilings and gorgeous Mudejar decorative plaster on the walls. Technically €0.30, but you may find no one staffing the door, in which case it's free.
  • Casa de Sefarad.
  • City Wall.
  • Plaza del Potro - A small old square where Don Quijote de la Macha stayed in one of his adventures. You can find there a nice fountain with a small horse and a 'Triunfo de San Rafael'. Julio Romero de Torres local painter Museum and Fine Arts Museum are also located in this place.
  • Plaza de la Corredera - The only 'Plaza Mayor cerrada' (closed main square) in Andalucía.
  • Capilla de San BartoloméCalle Averroes,  +34 957 78 76 44.15 Sep – 14 Jun: Tu-Sa 10:30-13:30, 15:30-18:30; Su 10:30-13:30; M 15:30-18:30; closed during summer. A marvelous Gothic-Mudéjar chapel from the 15th century, with beautiful tiles and vaulting. The chapel is maintained by Córdoba University. €2 (Sa, Su and holidays), €1.50 (M-F), free (Córdoba University students).
  • Albolafia Water Mill (west of the Puente Romano). A reconstructed Moorish water wheel, and the only one remaining in Spain. Free.
  • Templo Romano (Roman Temple of Cordoba), Along Calle Claudio Marcelo. Just 5 mins' walk from Cordoba's main square is the Templo Romano, the ruins of Roman temple dating back to the 1st century A.D during the reign of the Emperor Domitian (81-96 CE). The ruins are badly degraded and the columns have been reconstructed, but at night the place is nicely lit up. A family of feral cats at the site attracts as much attention as the ruins themselves. The Templo Romano, Puente Romano and fragments at the Archaeological Museum are all that remain of Cordoba's Roman past. Technically free.
  • Museo Arqueológico (Archaeological Museum of Cordoba), Plaza Jerónimo Páez, 7,  +34 957 35 55 17. 16 Sep-15 June: 0900-1930 (Tue-Sat), 0900-1530 (Sun & public holidays); 16 June-15 Sep: 0900-1530 (Tue-Sun); Mondays closed. Small museum tucked away in a plaza in the old city, it showcases artefacts from Cordoba's prehistory, through its Roman and Islamic eras to Medieval times. Most impressive of all, the museum is built over the ruins of Cordoba's old Roman amphitheatre, and allows visitors to walk through the actual ruins. 1.50€ (non-EU visitors), free (EU visitors).
  • Calleja del Pañuelo (Handkerchief Alley), Calleja del Pañuelo. Tiny alleyway near the Mosque-Cathedral. At its narrowest point, it is supposedly only 72 cm wide. Built in the Moorish style, it leads to a small square (smallest in the world) with a fountain.

Outside the Old City

  • Plaza del Cristo de los Faroles Cuesta del Bailio (Close to Alfaros street). The most impressive square, the best time to go there is the sunset or night (see picture). A Christ in the Cross statue adorned with lot of old lanterns, candles and flowers in a very quiet atmosphere. While, apparently, technically outside the old city - it's really not far.
  • Plaza de las Tendillas.
  • Viana Palace - former residence of the Marquise of Viana, is an impressive museum featuring furniture, tapestries, porcelain, tiles, paintings, leatherwork, muskets, a 7000-volume library and extensive gardens spread out over 14 patios.
  • Medina Azahara - Carretera de Palma del Rio. Ruins of the capital of the Western Caliphate, built beginning in 940. Huge archeological interest, a beautiful and very special walk. Approximately 5km west of town. (Free entrance for EU-citizens, very cheap for non-EU. The tourism office currently runs a bus at 10:15AM / 5PM for 7 Euro. [www])

Museums & Galleries

  • Archeological and Ethnological Museum of Córdoba
  • Julio Romero de Torres Museum
  • Museum of Fine Arts
  • Dioceses Museum
  • Baths of the Fortress Califal
  • Botanical Museum of Cordova
  • Three Cultures Museum
  • Bullfighting Museum
  • Molino de Martos Hydraulic Museum
  • Museo Palacio de Viana

Things to do

  • Hammam - Arabic baths. Just 5 minutes walking distance west of the mosque there is a modern Arabic bath that recreates the ones used during the Moorish era. During the golden times of the western caliphate Cordoba was said to have more than 400 hundreds baths. The site offers a session of two hours (including a massage).
  • Take a Segway Tour in Córdoba, passing by places which are normally missed by the visitor. English spoken tours. From 15€ per person.

Festivals and events


May - ¡Mayo!. The best time to visit the city. 'The Month of Córdoba'.

  • Feria de Córdoba - Last week in May, a huge fair of drinking, dancing, eating, and not working. Flamenco and salsa music. A great time!
  • Cruces de Mayo - 1st week of May. Very fun, a lot of public squares in the city center, the old city, with big crosses flower-made, with music and drinks full of people having fun!
  • Cata de Vino-Montilla Moriles Cordovan Wine tasting fair. Very good wine selection and music in a huge tent in the city center.
  • Festival de Patios - About 2 weeks during May. People living in the ancient districts of Córdoba are proud to open their courtyards to visitors and participate in a contest in which colourful plants and different elements invite to contemplate the beauty of traditional style houses.

March-April

  • Semana Santa (The Week Before Easter) - Processions throughout town involving scenes from the life of Christ, bands, and penitents. Very nice exhibition of the city's culture. Approximately six processions each night from 6PM to midnight.

July

  • Festival Internacional de la Guitarra. The city become the world Guitar Capital during two weeks full of concerts featuring the top world guitar players and bands ranging from Jazz/Blues, Classical, and of course, Flamenco. Excellent music and dance seminars, music courses, and conferences about guitar.

February-March

  • Carnaval A typical Andalusian carnival (not as huge as Cadiz's festival, but a great time nevertheless). The city center is full of people in costumes during the weekend, funny songs are sang throughout city squares.

Nightlife

  • Plaza de la Corredera. A lot of bars in this beautiful place, nice environment and nice people.
  • Vial Norte (Paseo de Córdoba). A lot of modern bars in the newest part of the city. Cute people and fancy pubs.
  • El Brillante, el Tablero Avenida del Brillante. For summertime, fancy bars, fancy people in those rich neighborhoods. From June to September.
  • Polígono industrial de Chinales (Chinales, industrial park). Very close to the city center (5-10 min. by car, €4 by taxi). Clubs/Discos: Maná, Silos, Kenia, Go...
  • Ciudad Jardín neighborhood Alderetes street, Julio Pellicer street. A lot of small but very fun places to dance, drink... to have fun! From October to May.

Safety in Cordoba

Stay Safe

Exercise caution when walking around the area near the Mezquita: beggars will try to sucker you for some money and they often work in teams. You may find yourself being charged 40 Euro for a palm reading, or having your money snatched by a little kid working together with the supposed palm reader. Just keep an eye on your things and don't get caught up with their scams.

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