Cordoba is one of the must see cities of Spain. Located in Andalusia, it is often on the Spain itinerary along with Granada and Seville. A plan to see the famous Cathedral Mosque is high on the list. Having seen this stunning monument several years before, I re visited the city to discover things that you don´t usually see on a first visit. The Baños Califales was high on my agenda. As when I first visited this was not open to the public. These baths would probably have been the largest and most important ones of their day. The building that you can visit is only part of the actual complex that were there at the time. Parts of the building date back to 11th and 12th centuries. I find the rich history of cultures in Andalusia fascinating. The influence is still very clear in Andalusia today.
If you want to know more here´s an English Video about the Baths
That evening when the temperatures became more agreeable we walked around to see the monuments at night. One of the highlights for me was the Mezquita or Cathedral Mosque from the Roman bridge as the sun went down.
Then we walked back across the bridge and into the narrow streets beside the Cathderal and headed to the smallest square in the world.
The Calleja del Pañuelo or Calle de Pedro Gimenez is a very narrow alley which opens out into a delightful little square. Complete with an orange tree and babbling fountain. It´s a magical corner of Cordoba. (You can find it at Plaza de la Concha on google maps) There is just enough space for one person to go along the street.
Our accomodation in Cordoba was ideal for a romantic getaway. We stayed for two nights at the Hospes Hotel Palacio del Bailio which is a UNESCO Cultural site in itself. This 16th Century palace building has alot of great outdoor spaces. A tranquil shady courtyard perfect for a beer in the evening. The pool outside is a particularly relaxing area set in a lush garden full of plants and trees.
The breakfast is served in the area in the photo above. As you can see on the photo the floor is transparent. It reveals a Ruin of Roman Villa visible if you look down. The mosaic of the floor tiles could clearly be seen. We dined in the Senzone restaurant one evening, my review is on this seperate foodie post Six Cordoba Restaurants
Hospes Hotel Palacio de Bailio has a beautiful library. This room is a replica of the library of the Medina Azahara. The ceiling detail is breathtaking. This is one of the spaces that you can enjoy while staying here. For me these details greatly enhanced my visit to Historic Cordoba. We had history all arounds us for the whole weekend. Medina Azahara was built in 940 and is of important archaelogical interest. Just 5 kms from Cordoba this is a worthwhile trip.
Another typical place I enjoyed finding was the Zoco. This Andalusian courtyard had many stands selling crafts by local artists. Jewellery, Leather, ceramics and art. It´s an ideal place if you have to choose a gift for someone. This is not far from the Juderia.
The typical andalusian blinds (pictured below) could be seen is many places. These reminded me of Rural Cordoba and my visit last year to Priego de Cordoba This is a beautiful town in Cordoba province and they also have many colourful patios too.
I must mention the Cristo de los Faroles (close to Cuesta del Bailio) this is an impressive square and a well known landmark to all Cordoba locals. It´s best to see it at night or at dusk.
The Plaza del Potro is famous as it was written about in the Don Quixote book by Cervantes. The square was where Don Quixote stayed in a local inn, in the story. In this typical square nowdays is the Museum of Fine Arts, private houses and this much photographed fountain.
I didnt get to visit the chapel of San Bartolome Mudejar but I did manage to get this photo below. This beautiful building dates from 1400 and I wanted to see the intricate detail of the walls inside. I had wrong information of the timetable and we couldnt wait for it to open as we had to return that day. So I have to go back sometime…. However I recommend the visit if you are travelling to Cordoba.
I hope I have given you a detailed account of Cordoba. If you want to learn about more cities of Spain you can see similar posts about Barcelona, Granada, Malaga, Valencia Girona, or Almeria by clicking on each place name.