After Seville and Granada our adventure in Andalucía continued to the city of Cordoba. The first two cities had impressed me with their beauty and all they had to offer, and Cordoba was no exception. Although you can see the main sites here in a day, spending a bit longer will give you time to really enjoy and appreciate this lovely city. We arrived by bus from Granada in the early afternoon of our first day here and made our way to our Airbnb which was located just behind the old city walls.
One thing I loved about where we stayed in Cordoba was everything was close! We were able to walk to the Alcazar, la Mezquita, the Roman Bridge, and the main city square within minutes of where we stayed. By the time we reached Cordoba we were also used to the small city streets that curved every which way and led you in different directions. We enjoyed them now and didn’t feel so alarmed when we found ourselves not where we wanted to be. The pace here was slower and we embraced it for our last couple of days in Spain.
After arriving and having lunch we headed to the Alcazar de los Reyes Cristianos. Although not as large and impressive as the Alcazar in Seville, it is still a peaceful place to wander around and appreciate the importance of this site. Built in the 13th and 14th century, this is where King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella first met Christopher Columbus and heard his idea of finding a western route to India.
There are ponds, fountains, orange trees, and gardens to stroll around and enjoy.
We walked along beside the river and got a great view of the Mosque-Cathedral of Cordoba from the Roman Bridge.
Meandering back through the narrow streets we made our way to Calleja de las Flores, a famous pedestrian lane where you can see the belltower of the Great Mosque of Cordoba at the end of the alleyway.
Later that day we walked down to the Roman Bridge to see it in the evening light….it was gorgeous!
The next day, our one full day in Cordoba, we decided to make our way to the Courtyards of Viana. Our Airbnb hostess had made this suggestion and having the morning free we decided to check it out. On the way to the courtyards we came across the ruins from the Roman temple, that was originally built in the 1st century and not discovered until the 1950s. What an interesting contrast with the old and new right beside one another.
The Courtyards of Viana were stunning with 12 courtyards to stroll through, each with its own theme.
This place was definitely worth visiting, especially if you like flowers and photography!
Our last stop was la Mezquita…the Great Mosque of Cordoba. This was something I had been looking forward to seeing! As you step inside the cathedral and your eyes adjust to the dim light, you are struck by how massive and spectacular the columns actually are. I definitely had a moment where my jaw dropped and I couldn’t believe the sight in front of me!
Originally the location of a Christian temple, it was converted in 784 to a mosque. The over 800 columns are made from jasper, onyx, marble, and granite, and they certainly add to the immense feeling of this site. Walking around inside this mosque-cathedral you can see where both the Islamic and Christian religions have added to this site.
You can imagine the thousands of people in the past, kneeling and praying to Allah…and then wander over to where the pews are used today by the Christian worshippers. It is a remarkable site and one that will leave a lasting impression.
Back outside, gaze up at the bell tower where for over 400 years the muezzin would ride a donkey to the top and call all Muslims to face toward Mecca and pray.
That evening we strolled along the streets, grabbed a bite to eat, and packed our bags with lots of souvenirs and magnificent memories that we were taking home with us.
Sadly, our time in Spain was now over. The next day we got up early and took a train to Madrid where we overnighted before our flights back to Canada. The Andalucía region of Spain was more fascinating than I had imagined. The culture and the history has left me wanting to return sometime in the future!