Córdoba

We took the bus from La Campiña to Cordoba (€4 each, 45 minutes) while Rick very kindly looked after the Kray twins.

Calahorra Tower

Calahorra Tower

Time was limited so we took a taxi from the bus station to the Calahorrra tower, which lies to the south of the River Guadalquivir. The tower is directly across the Roman Bridge from the Mezquita-Cathedral, the cathedral within a mosque which is one of the buildings for which Córdoba is famous.

The tower was built by Henry II, who we had met earlier in the tour when we lunched with Alan and Joy overlooking his birthplace in Le Mans.

Early surgical Instruments

Early surgical Instruments

There is a good museum inside the tower, established by the ‘Foundation of Dialogue Among Cultures’ and showing the time of the tolerant Córdoba of the Caliphate, when Moors, Christians and Jews lived peacefully together. For many centuries Córdoba was a great intellectual and scientific centre. In Roman times great poets and philosophers including Seneca and Lucano lived here.
It was under Moorish domination, after 929, when an independent caliphate was declared, that Córdoba became one of the most important cultural centres in the west. The city housed a famous university, libraries and much sumptuous architecture, some of which has survived.

Roman Bridge

Roman Bridge

From the Calahorra tower there are good views across the Roman Bridge (modernised but with Roman foundations) to the Mezquita and old city.

Mosque and Cathedral

Mosque and Cathedral

The mosque in Córdoba, covering 24,000 square metres, is the largest in the Western world.

Mosque Doorway on West Side

Mosque Doorway on West Side

The imposing mosque walls are studded with square turrets and contain many ornate gates.

Orangery

Orangery

To the west of the mosque is a garden planted with a grid of oranges, cunningly kept watered by a grid of rills or water channels running from tree to tree. In Moorish times the faithful washed here before entering the mosque.

Bell tower of cathedral

Bell tower of cathedral

In 1236 Córdoba was reconquered by the Christian armies of Ferdinand the Holy and over subsequent centuries a cathedral and bell tower was built within the mosque, preserving much of the original Moorish building.

The Mosque

The Mosque

Aisles and Archways in the original Mosque

Aisles and Archways in the original Mosque

The mosque was started by Abd-ar-Rahman I in 786. There is a stunning interior of bi-colour arches on two levels. The columns were pinched from Visigoth and Roman buildings in Spain, Europe and North Africa, making the mosque a museum of first millennium architecture.

Interior Arch

Interior Arch

The Cathedral

The Cathedral

A sumptuous cathedral has been built within the mosque, which was consecrated and named Santa Maria la Mayor a few weeks after the conquest by Ferdinand the Holy in 1236. Up to the 16th century, further additions and changes to the architecture were made; cathedral construction began in 1523.

Choir Stalls

Choir Stalls

Choir Stalls

Choir Stalls

The seats have been carved in Antilles mahogany and feature scenes from the Bible and the lives of various Córdoban martyrs.

There is a massive organ within the cathedral and we were treated to a stunning rendition of Bach’s Toccata and Fugue in D minor while we were there.

After the cathedral we moved to the Jewish quarter for a tapas lunch, then walked back to the bus station. There is much more to see in Córdoba and we are planning to return.

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Rambling about Europe with the Kray Twins (Colin and Penny).

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Posted in - Spain, Andalucia, Autumn 2015, Córdoba
4 comments on “Córdoba
  1. I so want to be there! We are planning to travel in southern Spain next April and have been looking into the ferries and taken your advice and looked at Britanny Ferries and their Voyage club which we have just signed up to. Have a great time soaking up the sun whilst we endure the horrid British weather. Love to you both xx

    • Thanks Penny…it has been great; we are moving north now heading to the ferry from Caen Dec 6th…currently in Aranjuez….another place well worth a visit.
      love to you and Marc
      xxx

  2. ibreevin says:

    We are in Seville at the moment and liked your post so much, we have decided to go to Cordoba next week…thanks.

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Places Visited
Dordogne Guide
Our Guide to Bordeaux, the Médoc and the Dordogne

Our Dordogne Guide Book is now available. See motorhomefrance.com

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