Introduction to Cordoba, Spain

mequita bell towerCaptivating, evocative, unforgettable. That is Cordoba in a nutshell.

It has been called melodious names such as “Pearl of the Moorish Spain” or “Constantinople of the Occident”, names that are very much deserved, as Cordoba is perhaps one of the most beautiful cities in the world.

Cordoba owes much of its beauty and charm to its Moorish past, when it once reigned as the center of art, culture, medicine and science. It once stood as the capital of Al-Andalus, Moorish Spain at its glorious height.

Cordoba’s baths and palaces were famous for their grandeur and luxury. Cordoba was also the first city in Europe which had its street lighting. Undoubtedly, Cordoba was once and is a cosmopolitan city that reigns supreme in Andalusia.

Its unique buildings attest to this. The grand and majestic Mezquita is among the most magnificent examples of Moorish architecture in the world. Its forest of graceful arches and marble columns is a formidable statement of the past glory of Al-Andalus and Cordoba’s role in it. There is also the mihrab. This set of mosaics were a gift from the Emperor of Byzantium and is said to signify the direction of Mecca. Indeed, Cordoba was once hailed as the Mecca of the West.

Cordoba’s La Juderia - the historic Jewish quarter - is a testimony of the richness of Jewish heritage in Cordoba and in Spain. It offers a highly beguiling walk along patios and narrow, cobblestone streets, where the air is filled with the fragrance of the flowers. It is also in the Jewish Quarter that one of the three remaining synagogues in the country (before the Expulsion of 1492) still stand. This is where the great Jewish physician Maimonedes prayed.

There are other fascinating sights, such as the Alcazar of the Kings, the Roman Bridge, the Arabic baths, tree-lined streets and squares and, of course, flower-filled patios. Yes, Cordoba is a veritable feast for the eyes. It is no wonder that Cordoba was declared by UNESCO as one of the world cultural heritage sites.

What’s more, Cordoba is not just all about historical buildings and sights, it also a center of music and the arts. There are plenty of choices when it comes to events and activities; shout "ole!" during a bullfight, watch a flamenco performance (you can even try it out yourself!), visit the museums in the city, party with the people. Its cozy pubs and taverns are good for relaxing and unwinding while you learn more of the city and its people.

Indeed, Cordoba is a treasure that brims with history, art, culture and a vivacity that is all its own. Come to Cordoba and decide. We are sure that you will come out of Cordoba declaring it one of the most gorgeous places in southern Spain.