Córdoba: Colorful Alleyways, Festivals and La Mezquita

Córdoba: Colorful Alleyways, Festivals and La Mezquita

The capital city of Córdoba is one of those places you never realized that you wanted to visit. Located in the middle of the Andalusian region of Spain, Córdoba is known for its grand Roman-temple-turned-mosque-turned-cathedral, La Mezquita. Known for its impressive architecture and sacred status in Islamic culture, thousands of tourists and pilgrims flock to see La Mezquita every year. This is definitely a site I am glad to have visited, but the city of Córdoba should not be overlooked either. To give you a better idea, here are three reasons Córdoba can hold its own against other European cities.

 

Three Reasons Not to Miss Out on Córdoba

  1. So you can fulfill that elementary school dream to walk through history…

    • Like any good Andalucian city, Córdoba has been ruled by several distinct ethnic and religious group.  Romans were the first to conquer the land, followed by the Muslims and then the Christian Monarchs. Walk the streets and you will find that every bend of the city offers something different.
      IMG_2183

      The arches inside of La Mezquita. They are said to mimic palm trees due to their double arch and alternating red and white stone.

      Obviously there is the famous Mezquita and the Alcázar, each built by the Moors and renovated by the Christians. Both buildings have excellent stories to tell and fascinating architectural backgrounds.

    • Keep strolling and you will undoubtedly encounter a rustic area of town where every home is made of stark white clay and a pinch of charm. This being the Jewish quarter of Córdoba, an elaborate Synagogue has stood tall through years of religious toleration and exile.
    • Furthermore, Roman ruins still remain scattered throughout various places in the city. The Roman bridge of Córdoba straddles the Guadalquivir river and leads to the heart of a city where a tall arch marks the entrance. Even more impressive is the Roman temple near the city center. Discovered in the 1950’s, these ruins were believed to have been the city hall.
  2. Flowers! Flowers! Flowers!

    • There’s no denying that Córdoba is the best city in Spain to visit during May— even the streets are abloom. Every year during the month of May the city of Córdoba holds a Courtyards Competition where residents in the old sector open up their white washed patios and adorn them with colorful flowers. Stroll through and admire the smell of fresh jasmine and the contrast of bright red carnations against the city walls. I did not get to visit in May, but even in January flowers pop-up from the clay pots clinging to the clay walls.
    • If you’re looking for some more traditional gardening, the Alczázar gardens offer an equally gorgeous (and also historical) paseo. Flowing water, orange trees, a lavish rose garden and more fill the stone walls. An added bonus: It was here that Christopher Columbus met with Queen Isabel to request financial support for his trip to the Americas.
  3. Festivals are done the right way.

    • Luckily for us, we arrived in Córdoba during their Roman festival. Stretched along the river was a great outdoor market with men selling roasted IMG_2179meats; rows of candy, cheese and pastries; giant vats of sizzling paella and hot mulled wine sold inside a bull’s horn. This, paired with the parading “Roman guards” (aka the men of Córdoba dressed in Roman garb), makes you feel that, at any moment, Russel Crowe will come strutting around a corner wielding a sword.
    • Córdoba, like many Andalusian cities, is one for a good festival. Just check out the following dates:
      1. Late January/February—Carnival
      2. Week leading up to Easter—Semana Santa
      3. April—Montilla-Morales Wine Tasting Festival
      4. Late April/early May—May Crosses
      5. May—The Courtyards
      6. May—The Fair of Córdoba
      7. June—Feria Barriada de Los Ángeles
      8. July—Feria de El Higuerón
      9. July—Feria de Villarrubia
      10. July—Feria de Cerro Muriano
      11. July—Feria de Santa Cruz
      12. Late July/August—Feria de Alcolea
      13. August—Feria de Trassierra
      14. September—Velá de la Fuensanta

Here are some quick clips of Córdoba shot on my iPhone 5S (Please excuse the poor quality:))