Located half way between Seville and Granada, the city of Cordoba is a must-see cultural destination to anyone visiting Andalucia. The third biggest city in Spain boasts rich cultural heritage as it used to be one the greatest cities of the medieval world. Under caliphate, Cordoba used to be the largest city in Western Europe.
The Old Town, the second largest in Europe, is full of fascinating historic landmarks with the Moorish influence clearly visible everywhere. In the maze of colourful cobbled streets lies Juderia, a beautifully preserved Jewish quarter, with old synagogue, one of only three originals remaining in Spain, being the most interesting attraction of the place.
The center point of the old district and a stand-out attraction of the city is Mezquita, one of the largest mosques in Europe. This glorious building reminds of the days when Cordoba was the capital of Arabian state. The mosque is quite a sight to behold – a spectacular huge building supported by massive pillars, adorned with an ocean of mesmerizing arches. The Mezquita of Córdoba evokes respect and admiration.
Located at the foot of the Sierra Morena, a short drive from Cordoba, lies the mythical Madinat al-Zahra complex, impressive ruins of the palace-city, another must-see attraction of Cordoba. The excavated part of the complex is really large covering 115 hectares, yet it shows only a small part of what one thousand years ago used to be the heart of the Great Kingdom of Cordoba. Before heading off to the excavation site, it can be useful to visit the Madinat al-Zahra museum first and watch a very informative short film of the history behind the ruins.
Cordoba is recommended for cultural holidays, preferably a weekend trip. It can be combined with a visit to Seville or Granada or, since it’s the Andalucian city closest to the capital of Spain, with a visit to Madrid. The closest airports are Seville, Malaga and Madrid.