Córdoba is only a 45 minute ride on the fast train from Sevilla which makes it an excellent day trip.  It is also a fairly small city with only a few major sites that we were interested in seeing.  Its past history is notable for having served as a regional capital for both the Romans and the Moors.  It is said to have been the second largest city in Europe in the tenth century.

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This was a very comfortable and quiet ride with a top speed on our trip of 250K/hr. or 150+MPH.
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We arrived early and had a 10 minute walk from the train station through this park to the city center of Plaza de la Tendillas.

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Plaza de las Tendillas with Art Nouveau hotels and buildings surrounding it.
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Even a Hotel Boston in this small city.
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First glimpse of the Mezquíta.

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Bell tower of The Mosque-Cathedral of Córdoba.

The Mezquita-Catedral de Córdoba or Cathedral of Our Lady of the Assumption is one of the most unusual Cathedrals that we have ever been in.  According to one account, a small Visigoth church, the Catholic Basilica of Saint Vincent of Lérins, originally stood on the site.  In 784 Abd al-Rahman I ordered construction of the Great Mosque, which was considerably expanded by later Muslim rulers. Córdoba returned to Christian rule in 1236 during the reconquest by Christians, and the building was converted to a Roman Catholic church, culminating in the insertion of a Renaissance cathedral nave into the center of the Mosque in the 16th century.

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The outer courtyard of the Mosque-Cathedral.  We found a private guide here to give us a formal tour of the building.
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Our private tour guide Joaquin, a Fullbright scholar who received a degree in movie production in California.
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This is part of the original Mosque although it would have had packed earth floor on which the Muslims placed their prayer rugs.
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Remains of an earlier ?church? which can be seen beneath the present floor.

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In the middle of the Mosque they have inserted this jaw dropping Renaissance cathedral nave
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Looking down the nave from the altar through the choir.  It is absolutely spectacular and in such a strange location, inside of an old Mosque.

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Joaquin was very good at helping us understand the complexities of this very unique building and pointing out the religious and cultural differences while showing great respect to all.
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Such intricate carving and craftsmanship are exhibited in the beautiful wood of the Choir.

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The Cathedral ceiling.
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The Mosque then continues on the other side of the Cathedral.  This picture illustrates the unique double arches which allow a higher ceiling on relatively low columns.
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The pillars and arches of the Mosque just go on and on all around us in this large edifice.  It was literally breathtaking.
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Joaquin pointing out the Moorish architecture.

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This is the mihrab or prayer niche which all Mosque’s have.

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This is the largest monstrance that we can remember seeing.  It is paraded through the streets during Corpus Christi which is 60 days after easter.  The monstrance holds the communion wafers which are believed to be the body of Christ so its designers made it this elaborate.
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The Treasury is just overflowing with gold communion vessels and other religious artifacts.
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Sunlight coming through the stained glass windows.

IMG_2591Since the early 2000s, Spanish Muslims have lobbied the Roman Catholic Church to allow them to pray in the cathedral.  This Muslim campaign has been rejected on multiple occasions, both by the church authorities in Spain and by the Vatican.

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View from the bathroom of the Mezquita.
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Old Roman bridge spanning The Guadalquivir river which also runs through Sevilla.

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This is called Gate of the Bridge.  It used to be part of the city wall and has been changed and remodeled over the centuries.
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Looking from the Roman bridge at the gate and dome of the Mosque.
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We walked across the bridge to the Torre De Calahorra which houses an Andalusian museum.  We did not go into that.

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Great view of the Mezquita from the bridge.  The sloped roof is the nave in the middle.

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Back to the Gate of the Bridge to climb to the top of it.

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Views from the top.

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Now we are climbing the Mezquita-Catedral minaret-bell tower, part way up.

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Now we are at the top.
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Jim got in trouble for banging on the bell with his hand.  Apparently one of the first instructions was do not bang on the bells.
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The disobedient tourist in all his pride

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The streets are no wider than Seville.  At least the sidewalk is present.  We learned that the narrow winding streets were built that way to afford more shade to the city.  The whitewashed walls were also to keep the inhabitants cool.  Córdoba is the hottest city in Spain during the summer.
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We just love looking into open doorways and seeing the patios behind and Córdobans are proud of their patios, leaving their doors open for a purpose.  The patios were also meant to be an oases from the summer heat.
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The streets were so quiet with very few shops or tourists.  This is the old Jewish sector.
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During the first two weeks of May there is a patio competition in which participants open their patios to anyone during certain hours.  Prizes are awarded in many different categories.

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The Roman Temple of Córdoba was discovered in the 1950’s.  The pillars all appear to be new.  Apparently the only remains were the foundation, stairs and an altar.

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Our final destination of the day in Córdoba is Palacio de Viana.
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This was originally a manor house which has undergone a gradual transformation from medieval house to renaissance palace.  We took a self guided tour of the house, garden and 12 courtyards.

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Courtyard of the orange trees.
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Courtyard of the cats.

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Courtyard of the columns.

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The garden.

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Jim hamming it up for the photographer

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Back at the train station for our fast ride home.

We all enjoyed Córdoba and would definitely recommend it for at least a day trip just to see the Mezquita as it is so different from any other cathedral in the world.

5 Replies to “Córdoba”

  1. Oh my God we loved Cordoba and your lovely pictures just bring back wonderful memories!!! Did you get to see the horse show? Jim and Sandy we are so glad that you have had the time to experience Spain before this shut down. Please stay safe. We love you.

    Like

  2. Spectacular!

    On Sun, Feb 16, 2020 at 4:38 AM Living the retirement dream wrote:

    > Living our retirement dream posted: “Córdoba is only a 45 minute ride on > the fast train from Sevilla which makes it an excellent day trip. It is > also a fairly small city with only a few major sites that we were > interested in seeing. Its past history is notable for having served as a > region” >

    Like

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