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Here we have put together some of our suggestions for exploring the most beautiful and most recommendable areas within the city of Cordoba:

Route 1: Mezquita Mosque and Cathedral and
The Ancient Jewish Quarter

Route 2: Alcázar de los Reyes Cristianos (Royal Fortress),
San Basilio Quarter and Botanic Garden

Route 3: From Plaza del Potro Square to Corredera Square

Route 4: Plaza de los Capuchinos Square and
Santa Marina Quarter

Route 1: Mezquita Mosque and Cathedral and
The Ancient Jewish Quarter

For more than two millenniums, the Roman Bridge (or Spanish: Puente Romano) has been stretching over the Guadalquivir river and providing access to the city of Cordoba.

While crossing the bridge, the magnificent Mezquita Mosque and Cathedral arises in front of the visitor, while the bulky Calahorra Tower towers behind him. Before entering the Mezquita, you should not have missed a visit to the interactive Museum of The Three Cultures that is harbored in the Calahorra Tower.

The Mezquita is the most famous attraction in town and certainly one of the highlights of Spain and Europe. So be prepared to wait at the entrance (alternatively, you may get into the Mezquita early in the morning and see the Calahorra Tower later). Once you have made it inside, enjoy the magnificent atmosphere and experience the breath of history.

The Mezquita Mosque and Cathedral are surrounded by the enchanting historic Jewish quarter or the so called Judería de Córdoba: A maze of small winding streets and alleys framed by whitewashed walls of neat houses that is worth seeing! Recommendbale is the Flower Alleyway (Or Calleja de las Flores) with thousands of blossoms gushing from the white walls. It is one of the most picturesque places in town.

Not far away is the Maimonides Square where the Bullfighting Museum allows a deep insight in the history of bullfighting. The same building also harbors the so called Zoco Municipal. This is a market site of local artists and craftworkers who are selling their handmade products there. So be prepared to take some minutes to watch them working and, finally, purchase some of the most valuable souvenirs you can find.

A few feet ahead, in the Jew Street (Calle Judios) you will find another “jewel”: the Codoba synagogue. Appearing small and inconsiderable, the synagogue’s inside features beautiful Mudejar architecture. Therefore, the synagogue - one out of three to still exist throughout Spain - is worth a visit, as well.

Go ahead and you will soon reach the Almodovar city gate (Puerta de Almodóvar) that gives you a glimpse of the impressive city wall system that protected the city in ancient times.

While strolling through the Judería streets, don’t forget to have the one or other delicious tapa. The historic quarter is packed with authentic taverns and restaurants. So you’ll find countless opportunities to enjoy the local cuisine.

Route 2: Alcázar de los Reyes Cristianos (Royal Fortress),
San Basilio Quarter and Botanic Garden

This itinerary begins at the Royal Fortress that dates back to the year 1328 and that is renowned for its maginificent gardens. Large water bassins, fountains and lots of flowers and trees make this attraction a place full of peace and harmony.

Within the fortress building, visitors may marvel at an extensive collection of ancient Roman mosaics.

Just a throw of a stone away, you may visit the Royal Stables (Caballerizas Reales) which was founded by Felipe II in 1570 in order to breed the best horses for the Royals.

As a result of these efforts, the Spanish Horse was created and became famous all over the world.

The neighboring San Basilio Quarter is famous for the large number of beautiful patios. Each year in May, on occasion of the Patio Festival, house owners open their doors to allow the general public insights in these refreshing and blooming “treasuries”

You may stroll around through that quarter on your way to the Botanic Garden that you may find on the northern bank of the River Guadalquivir. Being one of the major green lungs in town, these gardens are divided in several areas. Of particular interest are the Paleologic and Ethnobotanic Museums. On the occasion of the International Guitar Festival, the gardens host a number of performances. Workshops, exhibitions and nightly visits are taking place all summer.

If you like, go back to the San Basilio Quarter where you will find opportunities to eat and drink.

Route 3: From Plaza del Potro Square to Corredera Square

Probably one of the most picturesque routes through the old town of Cordoba, it connects two of the city’s most remarkable squares. Start right at Plaza del Potro which is located not far from the river. The site derives its name from a stony filly (Potro) topping a fountain on the square.

At one time, many guest houses were located in the square’s vicinity providing accommodation to travelers and tradesmen. In contrast, today the homonymous Posada del Potro is the only guest house that is still existing. Famous author Miguel de Cervantes used to reside here when being in town. Vis-à-vis is the former Hospital de la Caridad (Charity Hospital), today home to the Museum of Fine Arts and Museum Julio Romero de Torres.

The latter displays a wide range of this local artist’s works as well as items and documents representing him, his life and his time.

When you leave the site, your way leads you to San Francisco Church. Over the way, there is a small wicket in the former city wall - the so-called Arco de Portillo which provided access between historic uptown and downtown. After you have passed this tiny portal and gone through Julio Romero de Torres street, you come to Plaza Jerónimo Páez, a square with old trees providing ample shade on hot summer days. Here you find the Museum of Archaeology being harbored within the walls of a Renaissance Palace. The actual building features the remains of a Roman theater that had been carefully integrated in the construction. The museum displays goods and art works stemming from various cultures that left their traces in Cordoba. Not far from the museum you may find another relict of the Roman age: the Roman Temple from the first century.

Finally, you are approaching Corredera Square. This square, unparalleled in Andalusia, features an architecture more common in the northern region of Castilia. At one time, Corredera Square hosted bullfights and religious celebrations. Today it is a popular spot. Under the square’s arcades numerous bars, taverns and tiny shops are found.

Route 4: Plaza de los Capuchinos Square and
Santa Marina Quarter

This route has its origin at Plaza de los Capuchinos Square. Named after a monastery that used to be here long time ago, the square is said to be the most picturesque in town. In the middle there is a Christ statue which is deeply admired by locals. Surrounded by lanterns, the statue is known as Cristo de los Faroles (Lantern Christ).

When you follow a small passage to the south-east, you’ll reach Cuesta del Bailío, a beautiful staircase which used to connect ancient uptown and downtown. Cuesta del Bailío is a popular photo motif.

If you head north, you will enter the neighborhood of Santa Marina. This area is called the cradle of bullfight, because many bullfighters were born right here, including one of the most famous Cordoba bullfighters, Manolete. A statue honoring him is found at Plaza de los Condes de Priego Square, right in front of Santa Marina Church. Not far from here you will find an unusual museum: Palacio de los Marqueses de Viana (Viana Palace). Due to its vast number of patios encircling the main building, the palace is also known as the Patio Museum.


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