Captivating Córdoba…

Our second day was spent in Córdoba, an absolutely stunning city of approx. over 300,000 people–And boy, what a city…

Once the capital of Al-Andaluz (which was the name of the territory occupied by the Muslims from the 8th century-1492), Córdoba at the height of its splendor had over 1,000,000 people, and it was a place where the 3 major cultures of Europe (Jewish, Catholic, and Islamic) blended together and a thriving center of advancement in philosophy, the sciences, and the arts–For this reason, it was considered the most important city in Europe…

There are 3 particular places that stuck out for me–the first of which was the Capilla de San Bartolomé (Chapel of Saint Bartolomé)…

Situated in the Barrio Judío (Old Jewish Quarter) of the city, it was constructed towards the end of the 15th century after the Jews were expelled from Spain in 1492, in order to “Christianize” the area…It’s distinctive for it’s style–a mixture of Islamic and Gothic…

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The 2nd stand-out place–which I absolutely adored–was the Alcázar de los Reyes Cristianos…

Comissioned by Alfonso XI in 1328, this splendid fortress was buit over the ruins of Islamic buildings…Los Reyes Católicos (Fernando and Isabel) lived here for 8 years, and Colón (or Columbus for us native English-speakers) visited them here in order to ask for $$$ for his trip (just a little voyage–no big deal), and now it belongs to the City Council of Córdoba…I have to say that this place will probaly go down as the most beautiful (or at least one of the most beautiful [I haven’t seen the Alhambra, yet]) places I’ve seen yet–not just in Spain, but throughout the entirety of my short life–Look and see what I mean:

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The other place I fell in love with was the Mezquita (Mosque)…Initiated in the 8th century (I say initiated because it’s gone through many amplifications and reforms over the years), it’s the largest mosque in the Western world and, without question, the most famous structure in all of Córdoba–and it’s not hard to tell why…It’s resplendent, with the alterations of red and white (typical of Islamic architecture), decoration with silver and gold, and pillars of colored marble…

But one cannot enter the Mezquita without noting one glaringly obvious thing: there’s a cathedral (La Asunción de Nuestra Señora [The Assumption of Our Lady]) right smack dab in the middle of the whole mosque…The thing is, in 1236, when Córdoba was conquered by the Christian forces, instead of choosing to destroy the Mezquita (like they would have normally), they appreciated it for all its artistic value and spared it…Come the 16th century, Carlos I decides to build this cathedral within the Mezquita, and, well, there you go!!…It’s still a functioning cathedral today, I must point out…And like all the grand cathedrals of Europe, this place is chock-ful of treasures…

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Not to mention, I got some nice souvenirs:

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Un abanico (hand fan–which coincidentally matched the eyeshadow I was wearing),…

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All-in-all, a very exciting, fun day exploring a glorious city, :-)…

Have any of you been to Córdoba–And if so, what did you like about it???…

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