The charming patios of the houses are the signature of Cordoba. Romans started building their houses around a central patio, full of plants and normally a well, trying to combat the hot and dry weather of Cordoba. Arabs continued this tradition, adding their cobblestone roads and the famous Great Mosque to the city.
I was very lucky to visit the city while they were celebrating La Fiesta de los Patios: a contest in the city center where dozens of private houses open their doors, competing to win the award for the most beautiful patio. This fiesta happens every year in the month of May, for two weeks. If you have the opportunity to visit the city on a weekday you will avoid the big crowds. Otherwise, start early or get ready to fight with old cordobesas, experts on jumping queues!
When the night arrived, the City council had a free flamenco music stage. The dancers were amazing:
The Great Mosque of Cordoba was turned into a church in 1236. For the last few years, Spanish Muslims keep requesting to be allowed to pray in the cathedral. Spanish authorities and the Vatican, following their speech of how tolerant they are to other religions, rejected the campaign on multiple occasions.
As every other Andalusian city, Cordoba offers a rich selection of typical recipes. If you want to do a tapas stop, try the classic Croquetas with their variety of fillings or the cold soup Salmorejo. I decided to try Vino Fino, a white dry fortified wine that made your day (it may taste like wine but it is strong for monkeys!). For a consistent meal, try the Rabo de Toro, a tasty stew (guiso) of oxtail.
Places I liked:
- Amapola music bar is a nice place to have a drink and listen good music.
- Sociedad plateros is a beatiful restaurant serving excellent Andalusian tapas.
- Mesón San Basilio serves the best “rabo de toro” (oxtail) in Córdoba.