This is celebrated throughout Andalucia on February 28, which celebrates the 1980 referendum that made Andalucia an autonomous community in Spain. This appeals to the regionalism that is still strong in Spain. You will see the green and white flag of Andalucia
During the feast of Corpus Christi (60 days after Easter Sunday) the Arfe Monstrance is taken from the Cathedral Museum. It is loaded onto the shoulders of the faithful for the procession of Corpus Christi. This is not a light undertaking, the monstrance is huge, standing almost two meters tall and weighing 200 kilos. It is in silver and gold.
The magnificent monstrance was created by Heinrich of Arfe, (Enrique de Arfe) who was part of German goldsmith family from near Cologne that was working in Spain in the 16th century. His work can also be seen in the magnificent monstrance in the Cathedral of Toledo. Interestingly, Enrique de Arfe's son, Juan also created monstrances. His grandson, Juan de Arfe y Villafañe was a major artist in gold and respected writer. Some examples of Juan de Arfe's work in gold can be found at the Cathedrals of Avila, Burgos and Seville.
One of the more popular names in Cordoba is Rafael or Rafaela. Why? Well the patron saint of the city is San Rafael, the archangel Raphael, who locals by tradition see as having saved the city from the Plague.
The feast of San Rafael is celebrated in Cordoba on October 24. It is traditional to go out into the counry en masse to eat feroles. It is also traditional to visit the Church of the Juramiento (Church of San Rafael) which was built on the site of where the oath to protect the city is thought to have taken place. This oath took place in 1578 when the archangel appeared to Father Roelas, a priest who apparently had been struck by the symptoms of the plague.
Foreign visitors, and particularly Americans, might not be used to restaurants in Cordoba, or Spain for that matter. We are used to coming to a restaurant, being seated, eating and off you go. In Spain it is the same, except for one very major thing, time. Spaniards take their time eating. A waiter will never hurry you, will never come and check on you constantly. Usually they will take your order, serve your food and discreetly check on refilling your drinks. They will leave you in peace. To hurry through a meal is not common here and is frowned upon. The waiter will almost never hurry to give you your bill. Though a tip is always appreciated, most of the time service charge is included already. Check your bill to make sure service charge is not included.
Locals will have a nice cup of coffee and chat after the meal is over. Often a few glasses of wine. With Spaniards, dinner can easily last 2 or more hours (if there is time). Then one almost always goes for a stroll.
Look for the menu del dia- which normally has a starter, entree.
Menu in foreign languages- you will often have to ask for a menu in a foreign language
Some dishes you might like:
-a lot of fish is served, both as appetizer and entree. In entrees you will often find it with nuts (Moslem tradition)
-jamon serrano- local ham, is delicious!
-ox tail- rabo de toro- not for everyone. It has a very gelatinous consistency.
-gazpacho soup- served cold.
Most meals in this part of Spain are prepared with a lot of olive oil, if you do not often use olive oil, or if you have difficulty digesting olive oil, ask them to prepare it with less olive oil (con muy poco aceite de olivo)
Flamenco is the typical dance of Andalusia, the southern parts of Spain. But today in Cordoba, as in all of Spain, the national dance is Flamenco, not only a dance, but a Spanish art form. We went for a show at the Caredenal Tablao Flamenco, in the old town of Cordoba. We have no way to guage if this was a professional or "good" show, but what is for certain is that as an introduction to Flamenco we enjoyed it immensely. I recommend that any visit to Spain be accompanied by a Flamenco show.
I found an excellent explantion of WHAT, WHERE and HOW Flamenco came to be at -
Carmen introduced me to a delicious Spanish dish called SALMOREJO. I really enjoyed the taste of it. It's basically a dish that you dip bread or little crackers into. It had a lovely mild taste. I'd like to share the recipe I found for it.
Recipe for 6 Persons
1/2 kg of bread
1 kg peeled red tomatoes
1 clove of garlic
olive oil - salt - vinegar
boiled egg - parma ham
Mix bread, tomatoes, oil and garlic with a food mixer.
Puree' with salt and vinegar
Garnish with boiled egg and parma ham
the many culture of Cordoba made the City what it is today..but it is said, Cordoba these day's is not the most beautiful amongst Spain's City's..that might be so, although beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but in my humble opinion..Cordoba has great Character and Charme, a feel good City, I felt good and many I know felt the same way.
I must begin by saying that I dont like bullfighting at all. But as a fact, it is present in Cordoba everyday life, at least you see it in most bars. Most of all, you will find pictures of Manolete, a torero from Cordoba who was killed by a bull in 1947. He was a star in his age and his death was a kind of national drama in a poor, hungry Spain of the worst years of Franco dictatorship. So deep was the impression caused by his death that there exists presently a very common proverb with his name: “a ver si soy yo el toro que mato a Manolete”, which is used when one thinks that is being blamed unfairly. The picture was taken in a bar and I have added a Manolete photo so that you could recognise him.
Debo empezar por decir que no me gustan nada los toros. Pero es un hecho en la vida cotidiana de Cordoba, puesto que hay decoracion alusiva a los toros en muchos bares. Sobre todo, encontraras cuadros y fotos de Manolete… Bueno, a los que sois de aquí, que os voy a contar de Manolete? El cuadro estaba en las paredes de un bar, concretamente de la Taberna El Pisto y he anhadido una foto de Manolete para que podais reconocerle.
Along Cordoba streets you will find some of these little altars. This one is devoted to Our Lady of Dolores (the religious advocation of Mary the Virgin on the day of Crucifixion) and made with coloured tiles. It is located in Cuesta del Bailio, near Cristo de los Faroles, and for me it might be an example of how people from Andalucia tend to externalize their religiosity, often in a aestheticist way, which is not so usual in another parts of Spain.
Por las calles de Cordoba encontraras alguno de estos altarcitos. Este concretamente esta dedicado a Nuestra Señora de los Dolores (la advocacion religiosa de la Virgen Maria en el dia de la crucifixion) y esta hecho con azulejos de colores. Esta situado en la Cuesta del Bailio, cerca del Cristo de los Faroles, y para mi podria ser un ejemplo de como los andaluces tienden a exteriorizar su religiosidad, a menudo de un modo esteticista, lo cual no es tan frecuente en otras partes de Espanha
The Feria is held the last week in May. Large cuestas (square open tents,striped red or green, with wooden floor areas for dancng, decorated with paper flowers and lanterns) are installed in the park-like are at the west of town. Some of the venues are open, but most are private or social clubs (like the floats in the "selective" parades in our new Orleans Mardi Gras). 20 years ago when I took this picture tourists were few, we were timid neophyte world travellers, and declined their offers to join in! The young middle-aged men in correct attire with low broad-brimmed hats and leather overpants arrived on horses with consorts in flamenco skirts seated behind on the horses' rumps; the less athletic arrived by carriage. The women showed off their flamenco skills on the dance-floor and as the wine was consumed were joined by some of the men. (A hired band worked nearby) . The partying lasts till dawn. The downside of this affair was that the park-avenue blocked our access to the bridge at the West, we had no map, our hotel was on the South bank , and we were dangerously low on gasoline.
Aquarius is produced and marketed by Coca-Cola and is THE sports drink in Spain. If you like Gatorade or PowerAde, you'll go for Aquarius. And there's really nothing like a sports drink with the right amount of sodium and electrolytes when it's steaming hot outside, which is what it will be if you go to Spain in July or August. Heck, I was there in June and the temps were in the 90s!
Most little sundry/grocery stores will have Aquarius in a refrigerated case either in cans or larger-sized plastic bottles
In may, all the town is prepared for a great party: "Los patios".
All the inside yards in every house are carefully decorated, painted in white and dressed with flowers. And they are open for people to visit them.
Some of the "patios" are absolutely beautiful and that is a perfect week to walk around from house to house visiting the "patios" and (why not?) having a glass of "fino" (wine) in your way.
Patios are quiet, shaded interior gardens behind the wrought iron gates of many houses. There is a custom in Cordoba, that in springtime, when the flowers are in bloom, you're invited to see these hidden beauties (marked with a "patio" sign on the street). What more, there is a competition for patios each year.
You absolutely MUST NOT leave CORDOBA without trying out the following things (I'm sure you'll never forgive yourself if you do miss it!):
1. Catch a fiery Flamenco show.
2. Try a dish of Paella (seafood rice).
3. Drink a glass of Sangria (a nice alcoholic cocktail drink)! I love this drink!!
4. Take up Flamenco dancing and make Joaquin Cortes (did I spell his name correctly?) envious. Kidding!
The best time to visit Córdoba is the beginning of May, when the festival of the Saint Cross is held: crosses made of flowers are put in every corner of the old town, and many patios are opened for visitors to admire the wonderful fountains and flowers.