This city has the UNESCO World Heritage designation, and the best way to discover its history is to explore the historic old town.
Cordoba was capital of all of Roman Spain, the first capital of the Islamic caliphate in Spain, the birthplace of Maimonides,for hundreds of years, one of the world’s most renowned centers of Islamic and Jewish culture and scholarship – religious, scientific and literary.
The historic quarter of Cordoba, declared a World Heritage Site in 1994, still preserves traces of the ancient splendour of the Caliphate of Cordoba. Dominating the landscape: the Great Mosque. Its fame spread after it was built, due to its ingenious construction. In addition to alternating brick with stone, and red with white, other decorative elements were used, such as sculpted marble, stucco, mosaics, and plasterwork. The Cathedral and Mosque now form a unique architectural space where we can find a Gothic-style cathedral, the Arabic mosque and Plateresque and Baroque elements.
Another part of the legacy is the charming Jewish quarter, Juderia with white-walled neighborhoods around the Mezquita and the Almodovar Gate , a delight to explore. The Plazuela de las Flores is located in this district, as well as the house of the Dukes of Medina Sidonia, and the Synagogue, the only one that still stands in the city. In the 13th century new defensive structures were built, such as the Tower of Calahorra and the Alcázar de los Reyes Cristianos (the Fortress of the Christian Monarchs) with magnificent gardens, fountains and water channels inside.
The palace city of Medina Azahara deserves a visit.. It was built at the wish of the caliph Abd-al Rahman III and it was designed to be the capital of a new province of the Caliphate of Cordoba but finally the sackings of the city/palace led it to be remembered as Córdoba la Vieja.
There are several outstanding museums, such as the Bullfighting Museum, the Archaeological Museum, the Regional Museum of Fine Arts, located in the old Charity Hospital, and the Julio Romero de Torres Museum which brings together the works of the Cordovan painter, who achieved great popularity with his populist symbolism. Cordoba also has important arts centres very worthy of mention, such as the Merced Palace, headquarters of the provincial council, and the Palace of Viana, also known as the Courtyard Museum.
In addition, Córdoba offer to the visitors a lot of activities for their spare time, specially during the month of may when take place the Patios Festival the competition of May Crosses and the Fair.
Nature lovers, and fans of environmentally friendly sports will find protected areas of great value, such as the nature reserves of Sierra de Cardeña and Montoro, Sierra de Hornachuelos and Sierras Subbéticas. These spots offer many hiking routes and the chance to go climbing, potholing, mountain biking and paragliding.