A UNESCO World Heritage site, the city of Cordoba has been many things to many people over the years. Serving as a Roman provincial capital, the centre of Moorish Spain and as a Caliphate, Cordoba has played host to cultural figures such as Seneca, Roman statesmen including Marcus Claudius Marcellus, and religious representatives such as Cardinal Salazar. With a wealth of artistic, religious and cultural heritage on display throughout the city, Cordoba is currently home to a modest 300,000 permanent residents, with many visitors throughout the year eager to explore its attractions.
If you're thinking of discovering Cordoba for yourself, be sure to see the city's best features. Here are our recommendations of the must-see spots in Cordoba.
Ancient and glorious, Cordoba's long history is reflected in its delightful architecture and its popularity as a holiday destination for the culturally-minded. Estimated to have been the world's most populous city during its 10th century heyday, modern Cordoba melds peaceful cobbled back-streets with packed bazaar-like alleyways, all hemmed in by golden buildings with architecture that reflects the city's bygone theological diversity. Although under Islamic rule, Cordoba was home to amicably cohabiting Christians, Jews and Muslims, who thrived in this cultured cosmopolitan centre a millennium ago.
Nowadays, visitors can enjoy the remnants of these civilisations in the stunning architecture of Cordoba, particularly in the Mezquita, a grand 8th century mosque. Considered one of the world's finest examples of Moorish architecture, the Mezquita was one of the largest mosques in the world, and went through several centuries of renovations and extensions, including the building of a cathedral in the midst of the original structure, resulting in the unique cathedral-mosque that still brings tourists to the city today.
Visitors may also be enchanted by Cordoba's sprawling Juderia, or Jewish Quarter, a medieval section of the city with a characteristic maze of charming streets and whitewashed houses. Boasting Andalucia's only surviving medieval synagogue, and adjacent is the delightful Casa de Sefarad, with original 14th century features guests are bound to enjoy. The house's interiors have been restored to reflect their original layout, before the Jews were expelled from Spain, and provide intriguing insights into ancient Judeo-Spanish culture.
Discover the highlights of Cordoba for yourself on our Treasures of Andalucia tour. Featuring a guided exploration of this incredible city, as well as visits to Granada, the mesmerizing Alhambra palace, and beautiful Antequera, soak up Spanish splendour and UNESCO heritage sites on this relaxing 8-day holiday by rail.