September 30, 2014

Cordoba Spain - The Cultural City with the Largest UNSECO Urban Area in the World

Cordoba, Spain

At Barcelona, Big Boned Guy (BBG) came down with a bout of stomach viral attack. He was quite miserable for 3 days.

A few days later, I was infected with the same virus, resulting in non stop diarrhea and stomach cramps. As BBG and Alcoholic set off for their early morning run at Cordoba, I had to roll around on the bed moaning in pain, wishing for the cramps to go away.

I had recovered somewhat by the evening and could go for a slow evening walk, with the cramps still plaguing me every hour or so. Even than, I would not want to spend the 3 days in Cordoba lying on the bed. 

Cordoba is a city in southern Spain and was one of the most important city during the middle ages. It was the Capital of Hispania during the Roman times and was the capital of the Islamic Emirate which included most of Spain and Portugal. It has  been estimated that in the 10th century, Cordoba was the most populous city in the world  and was the intellectual center of Europe.  

Cordoba in modern times has declined in importance and my impression of the city is that of a sleepy tourism city with the charm of the old world. It is still the nexus of the high speed railway system in Spain, connecting the southern cities of Spain to the capital of Spain, Madrid. The historical center of Cordoba is currently the largest urban area in the world declared World heritage by UNESCO. The most famous of the building in Cordoba is the Great Mosque of Cordoba.

The evening walk will take you to some of the most interesting sites at Cordoba in this city with a mixture of Roman, Muslim and Christian influences. The most famous building in the city is the great Mosque Cathedral of Cordoba (Civilization tend to take over another civilization's religious site and turn it into their own, which explain why it is a Mosque and a Cathedral at the same time). The building is the one of it's kind in the whole of Europe and although it is not as spectacular as other places of worship in the region, the unique architecture will leave you amazed. Here is a picture we took during our visit in the day.

The Great Mosque/Cathedral of Cordoba

 Meanwhile, I will let the pictures do the talking.. 

In terms of running, the old town of Cordoba is a fantastic place to run. Due to the narrow streets, there are few vehicles willing to venture to this part of the town and the wide pavements are tourists and pedestrians friendly. The run along Guadalquivir River during dawn or dusk will give you a breath taking view as the city is bathed in purple and orange light. If you are bored of open spaces, you can venture into the historical town and you will be consistently surprised by the number of Roman/Moorish/Christian monuments and buildings all over the place. There are a few slopes at the old area, but this is nothing compared to Lisbon ( which I will touch on later). Just be careful if you are running too early (before 730am) and too late (after 9pm) as the whole area will become quite desolated and with all these old buildings with shadowed corners, you will never know what lurks within....

Chilling out is extremely popular at Cordoba with most of the restaurants having
tables on the sidewalk

The streets of Cordoba are narrow, shared by cars, humans and horses

The Roman Temple of Cordoba

Chilling our and watching people stroll
past is an enjoyable past-time

Plaza de las Tendillas.The most  important Plaza in Cordoba
where people gather for important festivals

Statue of Gonzalo Fernández de Córdoba,
a great general during the 15th century
who is also known as the "Father of Trench Warfare"

Dog walking is a very popular activity in Cordoba

There are few people out during the night.
The Bell Tower of the Great mosque peeking from behind
the buildings

Narrow cobbled streets with most of
the shops closed after 6pm.

The Bell Tower of the Great Mosque at night.

One of the entrance to the Great Mosque.
Notice the unique semi circle shaped doorway!

One of the many monuments dedicated to
Saint Raphael, the Patron Saint of Cordoba

A Photography club out for some shooting activities

The Puerta del Puente. A Renaissance gate connecting
the Roman bridge and the old city

The Roman Bridge that spans across River Guadalquivir

The Statue of St Raphael in the middle of the bridge

The guard tower that guards the River and the Bridge. The Calahorra Tower

We paid a night visit to the Alcazar de los Reyes.
An ancient castle built of by the Muslim Moors

They have a marvelous garden and water
lightshow at night. We visited the place in the day.
The Alcazar Gardens in the day with the palace as the background

Location: Córdoba, Córdoba, Spain


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