Cordoba is a city with a history, and it is a history that you can feel when you walk through the narrow-cobbled streets of its old town.
To the modern visitor, Cordoba is known for its monuments such as The Alcazar of the Christian Monarchs, (14th Century), The Synagogue, (14th Century and one of only three medieval synagogues still standing in Spain), or The Royal Stables, (16th Century). However, above all other monuments and buildings, Cordoba is renowned for its Mosque Cathedral, better known as the Mezquita of Cordoba.
Cordoba was a once Roman city, and another of its attractions is the Roman bridge which spans the Guadalquivir river from north to south. The city was raised to the ground by Julius Caesar in 45 bc, as a punishment for standing against him during Roman Civil war, (46 bc – 48 bc). The city lay desolated for over 150 years until the Roman Emperor Hadrian pardoned it and it rose again to be a prominent commercial city.
When visiting the Alcazar of the Christian Monarchs in the city, modern day visitors cannot help to be amazed by mosaics that are on show on the walls of the great hall……these massive mosaics were only found by accident when construction workers unearthed them in the Plaza de la Corredera in 1959. These mosaics all date to the period reconstructed Codrdoba.
After the fall of Rome, Cordoba was ruled by Vandals, Visigoths, Arab and North African Muslims and was finally conquered by the Christian King Fernando III in 1236.
Cordoba was however at its zenith when it was the capital of Al-Andalus, (the western Caliphate of the Muslim world) from 711 until 1029, and it was during this period that its main monument, The Mezquita was constructed. During this period, known for the coexistence of the Christian, Jewish and Muslim cultures, Cordoba was known as a city of enlightenment and was the birthplace of many philosophers, such as the universally respected Maimonides, a Jewish philosopher, doctor, and theologian, who was born in Muslim ruled Cordoba and died in Muslim ruled Cairo, and you will find a statue of him close to The Synagogue, in the Jewish Quarter.
Cordoba is a city of 300,000 plus people but the historic centre, with its winding streets transports you back in time. No where else in Andalusia will you find so much history and historical architecture within such a small area.
Cordoba is also known for modern day cultural events such as the Fiesta de los Patios where each May, fifty or so private homes in the historic neighbourhood of San Basilio, allow the public to visit their patios, (open courtyards within their homes).
Cordoba has so much history and culture to offer its visitors and on top of that it is famous for its cuisine as well. The historic centre is the perfect place to sample this delight, (try Salmorejo, a cold tomato, garlic, and bread soup). You will also find dishes in Cordoba which have a distinct Jewish or North African flavour which are absolutely delicious …. try restaurant Casa Pepe de la Juderia or Bodega Mezquita in Calle Cespedes and you will be more than happy with what is on offer.
Cordoba is small but packs a punch …. this city simply must not be missed!
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