When foreign people think about Spanish culture in its purest essence, they are probably thinking about the region of Andalucía, where there are some of the most amazing cities of Spain that attract many tourists every year. As many other countries in Europe, the north and south parts of Spain are totally different – in plenty of different ways, starting from the personality and character of its people to their colourful and fantastic landscapes. This is what, in my opinion, makes Spain such an incredible country, since it offers its visitors the best of everything. In the southern region of Andalucía, people are pretty loud, talkative, they dance lots of flamenco and they are relaxed and friendly. Andalucía is one of the hottest regions of Spain which offers you stunning beaches, mountain ranges, and has an incredibly beautiful and diverse historical background – it was once, in the 8th to the 11th Century, the most important part when Spain was ruled by the Moors and was called Al-Andalus.
As I mentioned before, Andalucia has some of the most visited Spanish cities, like the beautiful cities of Sevilla or Granada (check out this story to find out more about the Moorish history of Granada). But in this story, I am going to tell you about one of my favourite cities of my country: Córdoba. It was occupied by the Moors for a long time and became the capital of the Caliphate of Córdoba, which encompassed most of the Iberian Peninsula. During this period, it became a centre of education and learning until it was taken back by the Christian forces in 1236, during the 'Reconquista'.
As a result, Córdoba is home to many notable and incredible pieces of Moorish architecture such as the Mezquita, which was named as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1984, and is currently in use as a cathedral. Now, the whole old town of Córdoba is part of the UNESCO status area. Córdoba smells incredibly good thanks to its orange trees all over the main streets and its unique and famous Patios Cordobeses. All the houses in Cordoba have a patio (the rest of the buildings are apartments or chalets) since the Patio Cordobés is considered a typical element of the houses in Cordoba. Since the 1930's, they have been magnified with the famous Cordoban Patios Festival, declared a World Heritage Site in 2012, which makes this fame grow abroad. The collection of patios, from the courtyard of the Mosque-Cathedral to tiny hidden spots, is so wide that it makes cataloguing difficult.
I have visited Córdoba on several occasions and I can’t wait to go back again. The whole city is full of beauty and landmarks and I consider it to be quite unique. My favourite sight is undoubtedly the Mosque, that makes you travel back in time, but I also recommend walking along the Roman Bridge over the Guadalquivir River (the same one that goes through Sevilla) and enjoy the views and the warm temperatures. Córdoba has the highest summer temperatures in Spain and Europe, with average high temperatures around 37°C in July and August, so avoid visiting the city during those months.
Don’t miss the Moorish city of Córdoba, its beautiful mosque, its colourful patios and enjoy the food, the flamenco dancing, and its friendly people.
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