Cordoba is well known for its elaborate and elegant courtyards, and one of the best places to see these is in Palacio Viana. The palace contains 12 courtyards and a garden, and you can visit these on one ticket or buy a combined ticket for entry to the palace interior as well.
The most impressive courtyard is the large reception one close to the entrance. A series of smaller courtyards is attached to this, rather like the way chapels in a church are linked to the nave.
Each of the courtyards has its own style, with their names hinting at their contents. So, for example, there is the Chapel Courtyard, attached to a former chapel; the Orange tree courtyard, named after the orange trees which surround a fountain; the Madame courtyard which contains a statue of a woman over a fountain.
Though each is different they combine to make the Viana Palace one of the best places to see Cordoba's famous courtyards.
The Viana's were the last aristocrats of Cordoba and the mansion was sold to the local authorities only in the 1980s. Henceforth could we common folks peek into the lives of the local aristocrats.
Surprisingly, not many people visit the "Palace" and you must be guided through the interior (no wandering around on your own). Beautiful paintings, brocades, tapestries, crockery fill the place - a collector's dream home. The difference between visiting this palace and museum is that the articles were actually utilised in a real home and left as it would be decorated in a residence.
I was most attracted to the 12 patios of the palace with each being styled differently. There was one with watery features, another resembling a gardener's workarea etc.
Palacio de viana is an amazing palacio owned now by a spanish financial company but who used to be a family palacio.
With its walls you will discoverd many treasure of arts, books, and paintings from all centuries.
There are also 12 gardens within the palacio to be visited and each of one is a peaceful place to relax.
The visits are commented only in spanish which was strange as most of the people visiting the palacio are tourists.
The day I visited it, a very rude lady doing the visit refused to speak any english to us while among the 20 people only 2 were spanish...