Cordoba is strategically situated on the northern site of the Guadalquivir River, and it remains, until today, one of the most impressive examples of the country’s ancient Moorish heritage. The signs that Cordoba has previously been the Moorish and Roman capital of Spain are visible through the unique combination of architectural characteristics. We’re talking about a stunning medieval city, where three different religions coexisted throughout the centuries. This is further illustrated in the unequaled mixture of styles and customs.
1. The Mosque-Cathedral – Mezquita
Undoubtedly, Mezquita is a representative illustration of Spanish Islamic architecture. As you enter the architectural masterpiece, through the Puerta de Las Palmas – translated into the door of the palms, you’ll feel as if you’ve entered into a different, ancient realm. The imposing towering pillars give you the impression that they are endless. As soon as you set foot in the colorful Patio de Los Naranjos, you’ll be surrounded by fragrant trees and stunning flowers.
In 1523, the Mosque was transformed into a cathedral; nonetheless, the Islamic architectural influences were untouched, and serve, until the present day, as a reminder of the city’s multicultural heritage.
2. Alcazar de Los Reyes Cristianos – Castle of the Christian Monarchs
The Alcazar is another architectural masterpiece and one of the most popular Cordoba attractions. It’s a palace surrounded by splendid, lavish gardens, which construct the typical postcard image we correlate Cordoba with. This is a place you shouldn’t omit visiting if you wish to explore the multicultural heritage of the region.
The palace was the home to Moorish rulers until King Fernando III, of the Catholic faith, conquered the city. The castle comprises of a fine collection of Roman antiquities. Certainly, the stunning gardens, in Arabic style featuring decorative fountains, pools and hedges further increase the charm of the dwelling.
3. Madinat al-Zahra
At a distance of eight kilometers from Cordoba, tourists can visit what has remained of Madinat al-Zahra, which was an awe-inspiring, magnificent palace, built in the 10th century by Caliph Abd al-Rahman III. Legend had it that he built the palace for his favorite wife, who was homesick and yearned for the imposing, snowy mountains from her hometown in Syria. Therefore, he surrounded the city with charming almond and cherry trees, to please his wife.
The museum guides you through the majestic history of Madinat al-Zahra, introducing travelers to its origins, the way in which it was constructed, and how it eventually collapsed. This palace is the mere definition of magnitude, being a prominent component in building Cordoba’s heritage.
4. The Roman Bridge
One of the primary Cordoba attractions, this timeworn bridge still marks the path to the Mezquita. It carries a unique cultural significance. Enjoy a relaxing walk along the bridge, and enjoy the unique, picture perfect view encompassing the one and only Mezquita and its colorful gardens.
5. Cordoba Juderia
Cordoba Juderia is the ancient Jewish quarter of the city, which is worth exploring. The winding, narrow roads, accompanied by whitewashed houses, with patios overcrowded with colorful flowers – all these components create a distinctive, dreamy atmosphere. Apart from the unique Andalusian ambiance, this site also carries historical significance.