Cordoba Patios Festival is one of the most coloutful events in the Spanish calendar. Celebrated in one of the most photogenic cities in Spain. Cordoba. Every month of May the city blooms with plantpots crammed into each corner.
The Patios of Cordoba festival is from the 1st to 13th May 2018 this year.
If you are planning to visit Cordoba before or after that date, don´t worry as this springtime tradition can be witnessed throughout the year. Since being declared UNESCO Cultural Heritage in 2012, many patios are open to visitors every day.
The most accesible ones are in the Alcazar Viejo district. Buy a ticket with details of which patios are open for visiting.
Plantpots & Flowers
These beautiful Andalusian Patios which you can now visit most of the year are close to the Alcazar de los Reyes Catolicos on San Basilio street. The group of neighbours have each patio clearly marked with a sign outside. When I visited I saw 7 different houses on the route.
The entrance fee was a few euros per person and was well worth it.
See more photos and information (in Spanish) on the Facebook page of the Patios del Alcazar Viejo.
Patios de Cordoba
While walking around these colourful Andalusian homes I try to imagine all the work involved. Lots of watering, deadheading and replacing faded plants. Each display has so many individual plants and decorative elements. With the hot temperatures in Cordoba each summertime this really is a labour of love.
The Cordoba Patios remind me of the Crosses of May, another floral festival celebrated in Granada and Cordoba each Spring.
The patios aren’t just about the flowers and plant pots. They are also about local traditions and customs. Often yo
u can see local ceramics, baskets or tools decorating the walls too. Agricultural gadgets or old kitchen implements may be displayed alongside the plantpots.
Cordoba patios are popular here due to the building style. Many years ago the large population of the city and growth in a short space of time made space become a premium. So families lived in these buildings and shared the patio, the central courtyard.
As they didnt have gardens or alot of space, they used the walls to decorate them and also to have a cooler space with the plants and flowers refreshing the area.
Visiting the Patios
At first it seems odd knocking on the door and asking to be let into the house of a stranger. But it´s soon clear that the people doing this have a passion for their home, the tradition and for the festival. I was very happy to see these Cordoba Patios. The photos don´t quite seem to do them justice.
When you see these spaces in real life they are much more of impact.
Of course if you do visit when the Patio festival is one expect long queues at each patio before you can go in to see.
Palacio de Viana
Another way to see Cordoba Patios is to head over to the Palacio de Viana. This grand home has 12 patios and a garden. Located at the top of the city, close to Cuesta de Bailio, this fits in neatly with the Patio and garden theme. A 16th Century building with a layout completely planned around the outdoor spaces.
All the rooms of the house look out onto a garden or patio. It is an adorable space to enjoy while you are in Cordoba.
There are two entrance tickets, one is just the gardens and patios. (as above) The other combined ticket allows you to see the inside of the house too. The Palacio de Viana patios are packed full of fountains, trees, plants and flowers.
If you are a green fingers I´m sure you´ll enjoy this visit.
This vertical garden pictured above was a stunning curtain of tiny blue flowers. It was actually a little too big to fit into the shot. Vertical gardens seem to be a new trend in gardening now but they have actually been around for sometime.
Cordoba years ago wanted to use all the space to grow plants making sure that the temperatures inside the building were kept cooler. Moving upwards with features like these was a clear plan to keep the freshness in these patio gardens.
Jardin de la Reja
This garden with this delicate water feature reminded me of a similar fountain in Granada´s Generalife. This garden above is called Jardin de la Reja. While here you could hear the peaceful sound of the trickling water and the birds in the trees.
Its such a soothing space, its difficult to imagine that you are in the city centre.
Inside the Palacio de Viana
The visit to inside of the house was a guided tour. It was scheduled just as we had arrived. The house has tapestries, fine arts, chandeliers and old books from centuries ago in it´s library. Some of the rooms inside reminded me of Chatsworth House in Derbyshire as the time period of some of the furniture was a similar.
Some of the delicate furnishings or glass chandeliers were quite extravagant and eye catching. Find out more on the website: Palacio de Viana:
Staying in Cordoba
On this trip to Cordoba I stayed at Hotel Selu A three star hotel close to the Victoria Gardens. In the commercial area and just a short walk to the Juderia. This was a practical hotel for families and comfortable. For the quality of the rooms the price was very reasonable.
Recently refurbished in Early 2018 this hotel was comfortable and quiet. Situated on Calle Eduardo Dato this is a 500 metre walk to the Juderia and main tourist area. Yet as it is located in the commercial area with the shops and market on the doorstep, this is a handy location for your Cordoba City break.
Also the bus to Medina Azahara leaves from Glorieta Cruz Roja which is also very close by.
You may also like to check out my guide to Restaurants in Cordoba
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