CORDOBA or the Roman spelling CORDOVA, is a seductive city which must be seen on foot so that you can wander the narrow streets and peer into the shady patios where dozens of potted plants and scented, colourful flowers will engulf you with their aroma.
An especially beautiful time to visit is during the first two weeks of May when the patios around the MEZQUITA are in full bloom for the annual competition and are open to the public. Take a guided night time walking tour - as the sun sets the streets are bathed in artificial light and the city comes to life through its legends and traditions, and is filled with music, tinkling fountains and the fragrance of jasmine and orange blossom. With each step you are taken back to a forgotten time, to the soul of the city, with a serenity and mystery envisaged in the streets, squares, taverns, and the memory of CORDOBA will long remain.
The Old Quarter is spread out North of the river and is reached by crossing the Roman bridge, part of which is a walled enclosure, and then you enter the historic quarter where you will find the MEZQUITA dating from the 8th century.
This magnificent building is CORDOBA'S pride and joy, and the splendid Cathedral, come Mosque, is the largest and only one of its kind in Europe, and was put on the World Heritage list in 1984. The MEZQUITA is so imposing and impossible to give it justice, you must simply go and see it for yourself, and all the rest of the wonderful buildings within this, one of ANDALUSIA'S most stunningly beautiful cities.
A further 8 kms from CORDOBA, lie the ruins of MADINAT AL ZAHRA, built on the orders of the Caliphate Abd Al-Rahmann III in 936. He established a luxurious residence here at the foot of the sierras which became an administrative point of the Middle Ages due to the refinement, beauty and magnificence of the legends that surrounds the mythical city of ZAHRA.
The CASTILLO DE ALMODOVAR takes you back in time of Pedro 1 El Cruel where armoury, costumes, a chapel and much, much more can be viewed.
In the Jewish quarter lived CORDOBA Hebrews until they were ousted by the Catholic Kings in 1492. Walk the labyrinth of narrow streets and squares and imagine a bygone time. Well worth a visit to the restaurant Bandolero opposite the MEZQUITA, the old residence of the Count of Cabra, and numerous other buildings full of history, beauty, and with many a tale to tell. The Monastery of San Jeronimo del Valpariso was inhabited in the 15th and 16th centuries by the Kings and is now privately owned.
CORDOBA, by the banks of the Guadalquivir River in a valley, is sheltered from North wind by foothills. With a mild climate in the spring, autumn and winter any time is perfect to visit, but summer can be extremely hot with life stopping after lunch until the evening. The forests around the city are evergreen and cork oak, and are washed by the Bembezer river, streams and dams, and are plentiful with wildlife, lynx, black storks, vultures and Imperial eagles.
Beauty is CORDOBA, she holds and excites you, and will linger in your memory, beckoning you to return to her one day.
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