Córdoba Off The Beaten Path

  • The Seminario de los Ángeles in sight
    The Seminario de los Ángeles in sight
    by theo1006
  • Returning along the Sendero del Bembezar
    Returning along the Sendero del Bembezar
    by theo1006
  • A tempting spot for a swim
    A tempting spot for a swim
    by theo1006

Most Recent Off The Beaten Path in Córdoba

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    Hiking in Sierra de Hornachuelos Natural Park

    by theo1006 Updated Nov 18, 2013
    Cork Oaks on the Botanical Trail
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    There are lots of opportunities for hiking in Parque Natural de la Sierra de Hornachuelos. See our separate tips on the trails along the Bembezar river: Sendero del Bembezar and Sendero de los Ángeles. For hikes inland the usual starting point is the visitors' centre Huerta del Rey, some 4 km north of Hornachuelos town centre. From here four trails, some short and easy, some more demanding, are signposted (see the website for details):
    (1) Sendero de la Rabilarga, 0,5 km, access free;
    (2) Sendero Botánico, 1,6 km, access free;
    (3) Sendero del Guadalora, 6,1 km, authorization required, closed June through September;
    (4) Sendero del Águila, 11,3 km (one way), access free.
    We only walked the easy Sendero Botánico. The trail goes up and down partly through groves of cork oaks. At one point one passes an ancient limestone oven.

    Directions: For the visitors' centre proceed for 4 km beyond Hornachuelos town along the A3151.

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    • Hiking and Walking
    • National/State Park

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    The "Los Angeles" Hiking Trail

    by theo1006 Updated Nov 18, 2013
    Walking the Sendero de los ��ngeles
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    The 4.3 km trail Sendero de los Ángeles runs along the right bank (looking downstream) of Bembezar river from Hornachuelos to the ruins of a seminary, the Seminario de los Ángeles. The trail was once used by the monks who lived at the seminary, and has been restored by the community of Hornachuelos. That perhaps explains why no mention of the trail is made on the Andalucía government website.
    After having walked the Sendero del Bembezar on the opposite bank until beyond the seminary, we were curious to see it close up, so we walked the “angels' trail” the next day. The trail sticks mostly close to the water's edge until it climbs up to the seminary. Before reaching this we passed by a triple fountain Fuente de los tres Caños. Those who drink from these are supposed to obtain Health, Good Luck, and Love respectively. Higher up one can sidestep to a cross on a rocky outcrop, then one reaches the seminary grounds.
    Once there we saw that there is another approach to the seminary. An unsealed road winds down from the ridge away from the river.
    The huge building is in a sorry state; it seems it has been throughly looted. We walked all around and through it, but did not attempt to reach the upper floors.

    Directions: To find the start of the trail, head for Hornachuelos old town. You pass a set of traffic lights which lets traffic alternately through in either direction because the road is too narrow. At the lights on the other end of the narrow pass, find a sign pointing down into the valley to the Embacadero. When reaching a fork, choose left and soon you end up at a small parking at the water's edge. A larger parking is available on the right of the fork, from which one can walk to the trail entrance.

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    • Historical Travel
    • National/State Park
    • Hiking and Walking

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    The Bembezar Hiking Trail

    by theo1006 Updated Nov 18, 2013

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    Cut-out in the Sendero del Bembezar
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    The Sendero del Bembezar runs along the left bank of Bembezar river between the Embalse del Bembezar dam and the dam at Hornachuelos, a distance of 13.3 km.
    As it was signposted at the northeren end that one needs authorization to walk the trail, we sought to obtain that at Hornachuelos. But we found the tourist office closed and when we asked local people, they reacted “what authorization?” Indeed, the info board at the Hornachuelos end of the trail said nothing about authorization.
    When walking the trail from that end, we discovered that authorization is needed only from 4.5 km onwards. We walked for half an hour beyond that point and then turned back. Indeed,, we were quite happy to have got that far, as we never intended to walk the whole trail and back - which would have needed a whole day.
    The free accessable part of the Bembezar trail ends opposite the deserted Seminario de los Ángeles, which lies on the other bank of the river. We saw some hikers walking along the other bank, and so discovered that there is another trail, the Sendero de los Ángeles by which the seminary ruins can be reached. This we walked the next day.
    The Bembezar trail is the better maintained and in our opinion the most interesting. It makes a few U-bends to negotiate a small tributary. At one of these a board with pictures reminds one that here people used to cross the river by a 90 m long bridge, constructed between 1703 and 1712. The bridge is now submerged and the Hornachuelos dam has taken over its role. From there the trail gradually runs higher up the bank. Opposite the seminary the trail is partly cut out of the cliff and signs warn for falling rocks.
    At the entrance of the trail one is reminded that bathing in the reservoir is not allowed. Yet some of the tributaries rounded by a U-turn looked quite tempting in the heat of day.

    Directions: The southern starting point of the trail is located at the corner just across the Hornachuelos dam.
    http://www.juntadeandalucia.es/medioambiente/servtc5/ventana/mostrarFicha.do?idEquipamiento=20004&lg=EN

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    The Bembezar Barrier Dam

    by theo1006 Updated Nov 18, 2013

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    Above the Embalse del Bembezar
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    The Embalse del Bembezar was created by building the largest of three dams in Bembezar river, located 13 km north of Hornachuelos town. When staying near Córdoba by scanning the map we thought it might be a nice destination for a road trip. so we went there by road CO5314, turning north from A431 at Posadas. Along the road we discovered a deserted silver mine.
    Road CO5314 ends at a parking above the dam, providing a great view. From there we walked down to the top of the dam and crossed it on foot. The dam and adjacent banks are favoured spots for anglers.
    We walked down to the bridge below the dam by a sealed road closed for traffic, which gives access to the power plant. Near the bridge we discovered the northern entrance of the hiking trail Sendero del Bembezar. A sign warned that the trail may be walked with authorization only. So we decided to try and get that authorization another day in Hornachuelos.

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    Museo Julio Romero Torres

    by GentleSpirit Updated May 22, 2013

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    This museum is dedicated to the Cordobes painter Julio Romero Torres (1874-1930). There are about 50 of his paintings here and a replica of his studio in Madrid and some of his personal effects. There is a good overview of his work - religious paintings, some paintings that incorporate Cordoba, and his famous paintings of women. Torres was somewhat controversial in his time, not so much because he painted women. Rather, he focused more on Gypsy Women. He was an early photo-realistic painter, some of his pieces really are excellent in use of shadows and skin tones. His portrayal is warm, almost respectful, teasing in some places.

    I would suggest that you not come to this museum if you are offended by somewhat sensual portraits. I do not mean this is unsuitable, there are a lot of bare breasts, that's about it. It's not for everyone.

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    Argentina in Cordoba

    by GentleSpirit Updated May 22, 2013

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    In talking to several different locals i found an answer to the question i had about why I kept seeing small mentions of Argentina around the city. There is a major street in Cordoba called Republica Argentina, which you will see on the way into the old town from the train station, for example.

    At first I thought it might be a sister city sort of thing. After all, the city of Cordoba is one of the major cities in Argentina as well. Actually, it was something much different and I noticed a slightly pained expression when i first asked the question. The street was named in recognition of the Argentines sending large quantities of beef to Spain during the Franco dictatorship. The regime's policy of total import substitution, as well as its pariah status as a result of Franco's sympathy for the fascist powers during World War II, caused great economic hardship in Spain. In areas of the country that were less developed, or where the economy was less diversified, and Andalucia would fall into this category, there was what some would call a famine, or widespread hunger on a regular basis.

    So this act by the Argentines is remembered gratefully in Spain.

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    Guadalquibir

    by solopes Updated Mar 7, 2013

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    Cordova - Spain

    The Guadalquivir, more than a river, is a reference in Spanish culture, history and poetry. Its peaceful passage by the historical Cordoba, reminds the Moorish times, well preserved in most artifacts used to retain or extract the water.

    To understand all my feelings you need to:

    1 - Learn Portuguese or Spanish
    2 - Find a record of João Villaret
    3 - Listen to him asking:

    "...
    Antonio Torres Heredia.
    Camborio de dura crin,
    moreno de verde luna,
    voz de clavel varonil:
    ¿Quién te ha quitado la vida
    cerca del Guadalquivir?
    ..."
    From "La muerte de Antonito el Camborio", by Federico Garcia Lorca.

    (IF you did it... good! You may keep on listening to the magic Villaret. If you didn't, at least, try to read Lorca... in any language!)

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    Botanical Gardens

    by davidcross Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    Kitchen Garden

    I am surprised to find this is 'off the beaten path' but I spent a lot of time looking through this site and it seems near to unmentioned anywhere.
    It is not surprising that Cordoba, with its wonderful patios that several people have mentioned, should have good botanical gardens - more surprising that they did not open until 1989. For this reason the arboretum, while a lovely, interesting and shaded area does not have the huge, grand trees of some ther similar gardens.
    The gardens are extensive and include large areas of research and a garden for the blind with distinctive feeling as well as distinctive smelling plants.
    There are two museums in the gardens. One is the Paleobotanical Museum which has an excellent collection of leaf fossils . These are splendidly displayed to show development over different prehistoric periods and the building is an old water mill.
    The other is the Ethno botanical Museum which shows the interaction between humanity and plants. This has inter-active exhibits and is splendid for children.
    Entry is only a couple of euros.

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    Medina Azahara

    by sim1 Updated May 17, 2008

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    Madinat al-Zahra
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    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.

    Opening hours:
    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.

    Admittance:
    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

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    • Historical Travel
    • Archeology
    • Photography

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    The streets of cordoba

    by ilyathemuromets Written May 26, 2007
    Maimonides greets me
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    Walking around Cordoba is quite a nice experience. THe streets are very narrow and made of stones - transports you back in time. However, watch out for the cars that drive like crazy. Walking around at night the street were very quiet and poetic. In the day light, you are bound to stumble upon some very interesting things. So take some time too cool from from other all famous destinations.

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    • Architecture

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    Manolete Monument

    by Polly74 Written Aug 5, 2004

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    Monument and Curch of St Mary

    In 1997, Cordoba celebrated the 50th anniversary of the death of this historic bullfighter. A year filled with official ceremonies with expositions (from paintings to philately), prizes, contests (from news coverage to the plastic arts), conventions (from bullfighting surgery to Andalusian fashion and design), Graphic expositions (from the Ravel’s Opera Carmen to the motion pictures), conferences and panel discussions about the bullfighting world, bullfighting festivals at the bullfighting arena of the "Caliphs" and an array of many other activities such as championships of thorough bred horses, introduction and tasting of wines, and many other diverse acts.

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    Medina Azahara

    by Carmela71 Updated May 25, 2004

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    Just 8 km of Cordoba around 100 years ago, was discovered the city of Medina Azahara, one of the largest city of that times. Still is on restoration, and still lots to discover under the hill.

    After 75 years it was destroyed by the Bereberes, many works were stolen and taken to Cordoba palaces,



    Not sure if you can go by public transport, but if you have your own car, it deserves 100% a visit.

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    Palacio de Linares

    by pepples46 Updated Apr 20, 2004

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    gardens around the palacio

    Palacio de Linares, the entrance to the gardens, a little picnic in a beautiful surrounding
    the altitude of 1300m makes Linares special, the heat of the lower regions has not arrived here. I recommend a stroll along the River Linares just outside the city

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    Linares..ca.70km from Cordoba...

    by pepples46 Updated Apr 20, 2004

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    Andres Segovia

    Linares..ca.70km from Cordoba on the way to Madrid former Gardens of the Palacio de Linares on around 1300 altitude, they have snow in Linares, the roadtrip is quite special.
    But the Town is best known for it's famous Son..Andres Segovia..the great spanish Guitar player and Composer.He is born in Linares and rest here.

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    Zuheros Little village with...

    by Olaf_Janssen Updated Mar 31, 2004

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    Zuheros
    Little village with castle on a mountain. Try to stay at the Zahayra hotel. They will assist you by planning a hike-route.
    In front of the village is the tourist-office. They are very helpfull, have lots of information and sell local products.
    We made a hike-toer around the village, along the (former) river. We were confronted by a flock of sheep, walking over the road. Very nice tour. At the end you can you look down on the village. Great view.
    www.vakantieinfo.tk

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    • Hiking and Walking

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