Cordoba, the Iberian Treasure

Andalucia is one of Spain’s most beautiful regions mostly because it receives most of the yearly European dose of sunlight which perfectly complements the sandy hues and feels of its old towns. One of the most beautiful old Spanish towns in this region is Cordoba, a friendly sister of also nearby stunning cities of Seville, Malaga, and Granada.

Cordoba used to be a very important city during the Roman Empire and the persisting ancient structures and ruins scattered across the city are testaments of this glorious past. The Guadalquivir River snakes through the periphery of the old city and amplifies further its distinct old city charm. It also used to be an Islamic territory when it was invaded by Islamic armies in the 8th century which explains why Moorish influences are still engraved in many of the city’s old buildings and structures.

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Clockwise From Top Left: The Moorish arches inside the Mezquita de Cordoba, a view of the The Alcazar de los Reyes Cristiano’s gardens from one of the fortresses, the Puerta del Puente that guards the Roman Bridge by the Guadalquivir River and the typical verdant potted flowers hanging from the verandas and walls of old houses along the Cordoban streets.

The Cathedral of Cordoba is probably the biggest, most imposing, and most famous structure in the city. It is familiarly called the Great Mosque of Cordoba (Mezquita de Cordoba) as it was originally built as a Mosque. Later, it was divided into a mosque and a cathedral to serve both faiths until it was fully taken over by the Catholic Church during the Reconquista. It is probably the most beautiful Cathedral interiors I have seen so far since it possesses the typical ornate renaissance nave but is still surrounded by a seemingly endless array of unique Moorish arches and ornaments. The first hour of opening in the morning is free access to the church interiors and it is totally worth waking up to first thing in the morning!

The Alcazar de los Reyes Cristiano’s is also a total feast for the eyes. Used to be a Royal Palace, it is surrounded by high wall fortresses where one can have an amazing view of the well trimmed gardens and the serene pools and fountains.

The old city center is also not a very huge place so one can just comfortably walk across the city through some of the cobblestone and sandy pavements and small streets and enjoy the intense Andalusian sun with the warm greetings of friendly Spaniards. Overall, Cordoba is a very unique experience in the Iberian Peninsula and I highly recommend it for people who would want to stumble upon a charming gem of a city in the south of Spain.

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