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Photo Tour of Cordoba
June 7th, 2010 by Kate

Yes, I know, we have fallen woofully behind in our blog posts – its just so hard with all the beautiful sites, sounds and food to sit down long enough to write!

But I must stop and capture for posterity the wonderful time we’re having in Spain… a beautiful county with rich culture, lovely people, beautiful countryside, dynamic cities, and of course amazing food!

Our “home base” in Malaga allowed us to really explore the region of Andulusia.  Our first big roadtrip was to Cordoba.  Spring in Cordoba was like walking through an orange grove in full bloom.  The entire city is filled with orange trees and flowers!  The smell of orange blossoms used to remind me of growing up in Florida, but now that memory will forever be replaced with thoughts of the Patio de los Naranjas (Court of the Orange Trees) in Cordoba!

The historic city of Cordoba is within the old city walls.  The streets are narrow, cobblestoned, and every window is dripping with flowers!

The historic city of Cordoba is within the old city walls. The streets are narrow, cobblestoned, and every window is dripping with flowers!

If you are lucky enough to catch someone leaving their building, you might get to peak inside their courtyard and see one of the spectacular courtyard gardens that Cordoba is known for.  One weekend a year they have a courtyard tour where buildings vie for the honor of being the courtyard-of-the-year.  This was a winner one year.

If you are lucky enough to catch someone leaving their building, you might get to peak inside their courtyard and see one of the spectacular courtyard gardens that Cordoba is known for. One weekend a year they have a courtyard tour where buildings vie for the honor of being the courtyard-of-the-year. This was a winner one year.

And this was a winner another year.

And this was a winner another year.

The big attraction in Cordoba is the La Mezquita-Catedral.  Back in the day, it started as a tiny little Christian Church, then the Moors came though and built a massive, and I mean MASSIVE mosque on the same site.  I think it was like the second or third largest mosque in the world at the time.  It is famous for the hundreds and hundreds of pink arches that hold up the massive roof.  I’m pretty sure I read that the interior footprint of the interior of the mosque is the size of three football fields!  Just the mosque itself is amazing and impressive, but not to be outdone, when the Christians came back through in the late 1400’s they decided to build a full size cathedral right smack dab in the middle of mosque!  They blew out a few hundred arches, raised the roof, and built one of the prettiest cathedrals in the world!  Our pictures do it NO justice, so please put it on your list of places to see in the world :-) .

Outside of the mosque/cathedral.  Not as impressive from the outside as some of the other cathedrals, but still FAB!

Outside of the mosque/cathedral. Not as impressive from the outside as some of the other cathedrals, but still FAB!

A close-up of the girls in front of the same fountain, just because I think they're cute!

A close-up of the girls in front of the same fountain, just because I think they're cute!

A few of the beautiful arches.  I tried my darndest to capture more of the space, but my photo skills held me back!

A few of the beautiful arches. I tried my darndest to capture more of the space, but my photo skills held me back!

A bit of the "new" cathedral's ceiling

A bit of the "new" cathedral's ceiling

A bit more of the ceiling...

A bit more of the ceiling...

Pheobe and I trying to take in the ceiling.  We would have prefered to lay down on the floor, but there were too many darn toursits there and we surely would have been stepped on.

Phoebe and I trying to take in the ceiling. We would have preferred to lay down on the floor, but there were too many darn tourists there and we surely would have been stepped on.

As amazing as the mosque/cathedral was, the highlight for me is always the gardens.  After a quick lunch of fresh bread with jamon and Manchego, we headed over to the Alcazar de los Reyes Christiano (Castle/Fort of the Christian Kings).  The castle was cool, but the gardens were amazing!  Everything was in bloom, and while a sneezing nightmare, it was totally worth it!

cor garden overview

cor topiary

cor blooming tree

Climbing to the top of the castle

Climbing to the top of the castle

Loved Cordoba!  I don’t think there could be a prettier time of the year to visit there then in the springtime, but I bet its charming whenever you go.  It was a bit touristy, but overall a quaint town with lots of cute little hotels, nice cafes, and very manageable historic sites (some of the other historic sites are so massive and spread out they are hard to do in one or two days, and can be exhausting for the kids).  I would happily visit again… maybe next time I’ll time it so the roses are in bloom instead of the orange trees…


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