The decision for me to head to Córdoba was largely inspired by instagram. I was amazed at the beauty of the blue flower pots on the white walls, but was amazed to see that there was oh so much more to enjoy! Córdoba has been declared a World Heritage Site and still portrays the mixture of cultures that have settled throughout history.
At first arrival, it was something ridiculous like 38 degrees (celsius) and I was sweating from absolutely everywhere. But it didn’t stop me wandering through the old town to find the Calletera de los Flores, the most photographed street in Córdoba. Next, with a new friend from the hostel, we went for a walk along the river, and ended up at the Victoria Markets to watch ESPAÑA in the fútbol. (Luckily, they won). The markets were great, with so many options, such a great vibe and these amazing mist machines that cool down the air without actually getting you super wet. Great inventions!
I also wandered through the Palacio de Viana, or the house of Patios as colloquially called, which showcased some spectacular garden designs dated up to five centuries ago. It was absolutely beautiful (and also free!)
OF COURSE an absolute highlight of Córdoba was the Mezquita. This incredible building highlights the changes in rule and religion like I have not seen anywhere else. The changes throughout the centuries not only shows the growing worshippers and population, but the complete change in religion upon the reclamation of Spain. In 1236, the sacred site was established as the official church of the city, but only upon the reconquest of Spain by King Ferdinand (and Isabella). In the 6th Century AD however, it was the Church of St Vincent, before the city had been conquered by the Visigoths, as shown by the Roman ruins still present. The Mosque was built after 45 years of worship in the one spot. Originally, the mosque could hold 5,000 worshippers, but in multiple enlargements, steadily grew to hold 40,000 worshippers. The architecture is simply incredible when walking inside. The double archways give a sense of lightness and openness to the space. There is a stark contrast between the Islamic architecture and the Christian overhaul. The understated, beautiful arches in my mind were standout, without having to be over the top and catchy. This isn’t to say that the Christian expansion of the building isn’t beautiful in its’ own right, but it did highlight the difference in the decoration and display in places of worship. Today, the space works harmoniously as a tribute to the religions and customs that were celebrated in the city.
The rest of Córdoba was a dream. There was one park in particular where I was privileged enough to experience and observe ‘normal life’ in Córdoba; a group of teens playing basketball (despite the heat), dog owners playing with the cutest pups, kids and families playing, other catching up over coffee, and others such as myself appreciating the street art. The park also had an elderly ‘fit zone’, designed to keep older persons fit, well balanced and strong! Amazing!
Córdoba was beautiful and highly recommend for anyone visiting Spain! It’s not just about the flower pots!