Patio de los Naranjos, Córdoba
In its original design, la Mezquita's courtyard, Patio de los Naranjos, was open to the interior of the mosque. However, during later Christian rule, the courtyard the mosque were separated by the walling up of the archways between. Only la Puerta de la Palma remained as the gateway leading from the courtyard into the interior of the mosque.
As you enter the Mezquita complex you happen upon the delightful Patio de los Naranjos (more or less the Orange Tree patio in English). It is nice to walk around the patio where there is a photo in every corner.
You can also see the original fountains used for washing before prayer in the patio and Mudejar Puerta del Perdón (forgiveness gate) built in 1377.
The patio being the huge garden of the Mesquita, full or orange trees that in October are full of green oranges still waiting to ripen.
Many of the fountains weren't working on our visit, but the peaceful surroundings mean yu can sit in the shade and listen to the burble of the small irrigation waterways and watch the pigeons bathing!
Is a large outer courtyard where you can rest from the Cordoba sun under the shadow of the orange trees, before entering inside the other sections of the mosque. The entrance tickets are sold from a kiosk here.
Es un gran patio donde puedes descansar del sol de Córdoba debajo de la sombra de los naranjos, antes de visitar la Mezquita por dentro. El kiosko para comprar las entradas de la mezquita se encuentra en un lateral del patio.
In the Patio as is characteristic of all mosques, are fountains for ritual ablutions. Since this is a now a museum there is also a ticket office off to the right after you enter. The North wall of the Mezquita did not exist until after the Reconquest. This allowed for the overflow lesser status crowds to pray in the courtyard. The orange trees continued the rhythm of the pillars inside (where it was also cooler?). One enters through the Puerta del Perdon which is actually next to and not part of the belfry (another post-Moorish addition), the stair for which wind around the ancient tallest minaret at its core. The minarets are gone but are depicted on the upper lateral part of the facade of the Puerta de Santa Catalina (see picture here).Immediately upon entering one encounters a large Baroque fountain on the left (there are 3 others, one inside a fence but probably not original?). Ahead is the entrance to the Mezquita and Cathedral, the Arco de las Palmas. Like all of the of the 16C work hereabouts this can be called Mudejar, but not the most graceful of that blend.
As all the mosques converted in cathedrals, we find here another Oasis of Gardens where the water, orange trees, stone paths.... make you feel relaxed.
It was used for cleansing purposes before the praying. I had read some place that the fountains are not the original ones, that the ones you can see where done by the Catholics.
Walk along the patio for a rest after the mosque, around the fountains and do not forget to have again a look to the tower or minaret ….
Close to the cathedral, a peaceful and beautiful place plenty of orange trees (emblematic of Andalucia !!).
Tout pres de la cathedrale, un endroit reposant et splendide, rempli d'orangers (emblematiques d'Andalousie !!).
The patio just outside the Mezquita is worth relaxing at a few minutes just to soak up all you just saw inside. An old olive tree by the fountain keeps on tickin.