one day in Córdoba
April 12, 2014
Straight forward, Córdoba is spectacular. Went there last week and loved it! You have to visit it if you ever come to Andalucía. One day is enough to get a glimpse of the cool stuff this city has to offer, so there’s no excuse for you to miss it!
I went there with some friends by car from Sevilla, the trip takes around an hour and a half, and returned home the very same day at night. So, how to see Córdoba in 12 hours?
First, the well-known Great Mosque, with its red & white arches. Important tip: the entrance is free between 8:30 and 9:30 just for individuals. We arrived at 9:40 and had to pay 8 euro for the entrance. Shit happens! The visit took us around an hour and, honestly, I was expecting more from this edifice. I was imagining it more impressive and spectacular than I actually felt it was when I got there. Don’t get me wrong! I was amazed by the mixture of extremely different styles, from islamic to different european architecture and the way they seemed to blend in perfectly. The flyers were giving a short resume of the history of this cathedral and I also blended in in a group of old people with an English guide and found out some interesting pieces of information. But overall, I was expecting the feeling of i’m-so-freaking-small to be stronger.
Then, a walk on the old Roman bridge, which for many years used to be the only bridge in Córdoba. We also took a walk on the other side of the river in search of some Koolhaas contemporary architecture, just to find out it wasn’t built yet. But that was just because we are future architects, so you don’t have to take this walk as well 😉
We crossed the river on the next bridge, a red corten modern one and got lost on the cute streets (and discovering here and there a great old patio or an impressive colourful church), making our way back towards the heart of the old historic center and passing by Plaza de la Corredera as well (with which I don’t have an uploadable image, sorry for that). By the way, I’ve gone nuts to find Calleja de las Flores, a well-known street full of flowers, but when I saw it I was so disappointed that I didn’t even photograph it! It might not have been at its best, but there were plenty of other prettier streets. I loved this part of the old city! I have a thing for narrow stone streets, so please understand my excitement.
It was about time to feel hungry, so we headed off to a place my friends knew, una cerveceria on Avenida del Aeropuerto (I don’t remember the name but I can look it up if you’re interested), with cheap but very good tapas (2 euro tapa + tinto de verano). On our way here we walked through large commercial streets, discovered ancient columns next to modern buildings and visited the mercado. So yea, we’ve seen plenty of Córdoba.
After eating, drinking and relaxing at the bar, we returned in the historic city center for a 2-euro coffee (pay attention where you take you coffee or where you want to eat, the historic center is expensive). With plenty of time left, we decided to give a chance to the Alcázar as well. The panorama from the tower and the gardens are exceptional, however the one from Sevilla is much more beautiful. If you have time left it’s worth a visit, the entrance was around 2,5 euro for students. This doesn’t include the visit to the arabian baths!
It was around 6 o’clock in the afternoon when we left Córdoba and headed to the cherry on top, which is the arqueological site of Madinat al-Zahra, 8 km away from the city. It’s and old islamic city, well preserved with some parts reconstructed as well. I simply loved it. We arrived there at the end of the visits and, as we were the only ones at that hour, the guardian acted as our guide. Well, that guy knew a LOT of interesting things and gave us valuable information about the place and what each ruin represented. I imagined enourmous islamic rooms and baths and kitchens and toilets. And there were pieces of original wall or pavement where you could see the reddish tint they had. These ruins actually represent the kalif’s residence (with all the generals and houses of the military) and all the green fields that lie at the foot of this enourmous residential constructions would be the city, yet undiscovered.
The museum looks great as well and the project was realised by Nieto Sobejano Arquitectos, in 2009.
And now I have to hurry and pack my bag ’cause tonight I’m heading off to… Lisbooooon! See’ya! ♥