Staying in Cordoba
A lot of visitors usually only give Cordoba a day or two at the most. The number of tourists that came in on large buses is staggering. At night you tend to notice a much less crowded atmosphere.
If you stay in Cordoba, particularly when the flowers are in bloom, give it at least two days. One day is just not much time unless you just want to come in and see the mezquita and get out of town.
Medina Azhara, which is outside of town, might be a reason to stay extra time. (I didnt go, cant say for sure)
LA MEZQUITA - PUERTA DEL PERDON c.1377
As you walk through this wonderful Arch PUERTA DEL PERDON (c.1377) you are treated to the delightful "Patio de los Naranjos" (Courtyard of Orange Trees). You will also see Palm trees, olive trees and cypresses and wonderful views of the Minaret / Belltower.
Originally, entrance to the Mosque was gained via many doors, which were designed to let in the light. This door, Puerta del Perdon or "Gate of Forgiveness" is in Mudejar style and is now the only one open to the public.
On the foothills of the Morena Sierra, only 8 kilometres outside of the city of Cordoba you can find the remains of what once was one of the most beautiful cities in the world and also the capital of al-Andalus: the Madinat al-Zahra (or in English also referred to as Medina Azahara).
Now it seems a forgotten place, which only attracted a handful of visitors during our visit on this gorgeous sunny afternoon in March 2008. The number of archaeologists, working constantly to discover more and more of this lost city, easily outnumbered the number of visitors. Only 10%, approx 112 hectares, of this once Islamic city in Southern Spain has been excavated and restored so far and one can only imagine what lost splendour is still hidden underneath the ground.
Madinat al-Zahra dates back to the 10th century, built by Abd ar-Rahman III, the Caliph of Córdoba. Its heydays were only short-lived as the city only flourished for approximately 80 years. The building started around 940, and between 1010 and 1013 its period of glory came to an abrupt end. A civil war put an end to the Ummayad Caliphate and the city was plundered and abandoned. Lots of it remains were used to build other constructions. But despite all that, walking through these 'newly' discovered and restored piles of stones, walls and arches, one can still imagine what this place must have been like in the 10th century. If you are in Andalucía, and especially if you are in the area of Cordoba, a visit to Madinat al-Zahra is something you shouldn't miss. Especially if you have an interest in history, archaeology and/or architecture you will without a doubt be fascinated by Madinat al-Zahra.
16 September to 30 April:
Tuesday-Saturday: 10.00 to 18.30.
1 May to 15 September:
Tuesday-Saturday: 10.00 to 20.30, Sundays: 10.00 to 14.00.
During public holidays: 10.00 to 14.00
Closed on Mondays and on the 1st and 6th January, 1st of May, 24th, 25th and 31st of December.
EU citizens with proof of nationality: free (although no one asked or checked during our visit). Other nationalities: €1.50.
You can read more about this fascinating archaeological site on my Medina Azahàra Page
Taberna Juramento: order croquetas
We arrived in Taberna Juramento, which was recommended to us for a local friend in a rainy day for a very late lunch. We ordered five kind of different tapas to share. All them were good. Perhaps the salmorejo was not the best. But what one must surely order at this place is Croquetas: they made a not usual type, with spinach and pine nuts. Yummy, yummy. We also try Rabo de Toro, which was the usual stew, quite tasty.
It is a good election and it doesnt seem to be very crowded.
Llegamos a la Taberna Juramento, que nos habia sido recomendada por un amigo cordobes, en un dia lluvioso para almorzar bastante tarde. Pedimos cinco tipos diferentes de raciones para compartir y todas estaban buenas. Quizas el Salmorejo no era el mejor que he probado. Pero lo que uno debe pedir sin ninguna duda en este sitio son las croquetas: no hacen las tipicas de toda la vida, sino unas con espinacas y pinhones. Deliciosas. Tambien probamos el rabo de toro, que venia preparado en estofado, bastante sabroso. Es una buena eleccion y no parece estar demasiado concurrido.
A good restaurant
In an old palace with a patio, a very nice and good restaurant.
Its the second time weget here for diner (first time in 2004) and its always good and the service is soft and smily...
Over all, we were drinking an aperitive with my wife, at the bar -it was to early for dining- and some one near me remember that we were drinking with El Cordobes, the wellnone torero...A great moment... Salmorejo, ajo blanco, ternera con setas...
Very fine wines from Rioja and Ribeira de douro.