How to Spend a Day Exploring the Charms of Cordoba, Spain
Colorful and Captivating Street Architecture
Wandering the streets of Cordoba is a true delight. In a city with so many attractions to see, simply strolling is pleasant as well. There are beautiful buildings that just jump out at you and capture your attention. This is a striking and colorful coral example of Moorish architecture in the historic centre that brightened up an afternoon stroll on a cool January day.
Strolling the Jewish Quarter
The Jewish quarter (established from the 10th to 15th centuries) offered an interesting maze like walk on incredibly narrow cobblestone streets (so glad the light rain had stopped during this stroll!) This was the path for the short 10 minute walk from Plaza de las Tendillas to reach the Mosque-Cathedral, and is located in the historic centre. I would have loved to have more time to enjoy learning more of its unique history with a guided tour but was glad to have had a glimpse of this amazing area.
Seeing the Magnificent Mosque-Cathedral of Cordoba
The Mosque-Cathedral is a must see for any visitor to Cordoba. This is an amazing example of Moorish and Renaissance architecture completed in the 16th century with a unique religious history.
It is one of the most interesting, cavernous and beautiful buildings I have ever seen. It has operated as a Cathedral since 1236 and prior to this it served as a Grand Mosque. The striped arches seem endless and are captivating to view, among many other renaissance era architectural features.
Checking out Calle de Las Flores
The super cute compact street full of hanging flower pots with geraniums is located on a side street close to the Mosque-Cathedral and is one of the most photographed stops in the city. The trade off in the month of January is that potted flowers aren't in their full bloom but it was wonderful to see this little street without crowds. I think the view of the flowers that were blooming was still lovely for a winter day. Displays of patio flowers are common throughout the city and there is even a Patios Festival held each May. It was sadly cancelled this year and will return in 2021.
A Snack Break, Spanish style
It is common in Spain to enjoy a bocadillo on the go from a cafe or tapas bar. It is essentially cold regional ham and cheese served on a baguette. More simple in style than our typical subs we have in North America. I even more so enjoyed the small cute paper cones filled with cheese or sausage. Definitely a fun and affordable snack to keep the energy going during an action packed day of exploring.
Wandering Across the Roman Bridge
This Roman bridge, originally built in 1st century BC, now features the mostly Moorish design from the 8th century (and has been restored extensively). It is a grand sight.
It really was a beautiful experience to stroll on this wide bridge overlooking the Guadalquivir River with the afternoon sun starting to come out to warm up the January day. The bridge walk leads to the Torre de la Calahorra, a fortified tower of Islamic origin featuring the informative and interesting Museo Vivo Al-Andalus, featuring history of Cordoba in the Islamic era. We unfortunately ran out of time to visit the highly recommended Alcazar of Cordoba, a medieval fortress and palace.
Pretty Plaza de Las Tendillas
I just love the look of European squares. This is the main square of the city, and the location of the hotel we stayed at, the highly recommended H10 Palacio Colomera. Modern, well appointed and an incredible value in the very low tourist season of mid winter, where the Andalusian region still offered moderate temperatures and minimal crowds. As social distancing is here to stay for the time being, if it does become safer to travel by next year, the winter off season is a great choice for this part of Europe.
But going back a few months remembering this view, I did have a brief moment of longing to experience a slightly warmer time of year in this area, to fully experience this broad open square with cafes and restaurants with outdoor patios a stones throw from the hotel. Note that patios are still open all year in Southern Spain, with heat lamps available for the chill in the air. Opting for an indoor seat at the bar, we enjoyed a wonderful Spanish Rioja wine selection at Gran Bar for a late afternoon wind down after sightseeing.
An Evening of Tapas and Jazz
One of the things I loved most about Cordoba, was how easy it was to explore the historic centre because of its compact layout. Therefore an evening out did not require much planning or effort. We wanted some Tapas, and some low key entertainment for the evening. Both could be found within a five minute walk. The Taberna San Miguel "El Pisto" was a spontaneous stop that turned out to be an authentic and historical local meeting place. Founded in 1880, this bar is filled with character and features bullfighting history adorning the walls. A selection of affordable and interesting tapas were enjoyed. In the mood for live music, the casual Jazz Cafe with its eclectic decor, neon glow and a laid back vibe featuring entertaining local talent rounded out the evening of a great experience in Cordoba.
This city captivated my senses and I long to return to enjoy a few more days of leisure and exploring its charms.
- H10 Palacio Colomera | Cordova Hotel | H10 Hotels
The H10 Palacio Colomera is a four star hotel located in an iconic building, the old Casa Colomera.
© 2020 Nella DiCarlo