Córdoba

Located in the foothills of the Sierra Morena mountain range and lining the Guadalquivir River, Cordoba is a living testament to the civilizations- Muslim, Jewish and Christian, which settled in this Andalus city. Few cities can boast having once been capital of Roman Hispania and also the capital of the Umayyad Caliphate. Declared a world heritage city in 1994, Cordoba’s mosque was awarded a similar title ten years earlier. Visitors to this paradise will be left in awe of Cordoba’s beauty.

Before us is the world’s third biggest mosque, with 24,000 square metres full of history and legends. One of the legends talks of a hidden tunnel that runs between the mosque and the roman bridge and which is just wide enough for a horse-drawn chariot. The tunnel was for exclusive use by the ruler as a means of escape from the city when under siege or attack.

A roman fortress, prison and a residence for the Catholic Monarchs are just some of the many uses made of the Alcalzar. Inside its walls the re-conquest of Granada from the moors and the discovery of America were both orchestrated. Christopher Columbus was also entertained here by Isabel and Fernando the Catholic before setting sail on his voyage.

Just as striking is the Palatina city Medina Azahara which was built to show the world the power and that of the newly established independent caliphate of Cordoba. The construction is a fine example of the beauty and elegance of the period. Today we can marvel at only a small part of the city, as just 11 percent of the original medieval palace-city has been unearthed.

The patron saint of the city Saint Rafael is never far away, as he accompanies us on our tour of Cordoba. The name Rafael is also very popular amongst locals.

The second largest roman theatre once stood at the exact point where today the Cordoba Archaeology museum now stands. One of the most important of its nature in Spain, the museum is home to one of the world’s finest collections of Andalusí coins.

The really authentic Taberna de San Miguel is close by. The tavern, which is also known by its other name, the House of Pisto and, was a regular haunt for famous bullfighters like Manolete, intellectuals and also artists like Julio Romero de Torres.

The tavern has many stories to tell, and the counter and shelves are a throw back to 1880, the year was built.

So what better after a good satisfying meal, than to take an enjoyable stroll through one of the Viana Palace’s 17 beautiful patios. An enchanting place where we can sit back, relax and contemplate the many amazing sights Cordoba has had to offer. And remember, our journey doesn’t stop here, in fact, this is just the start….