Cordoba قرطبة in the Andalucia province of southern Spain is a city with more than 2,500 years of developed history. Established around the 8th century BC, Cordoba at one point was probably the world’s most populous city. Today, with only around 325,000 inhabitants, it’s actually one of the smaller cities in Spain but that doesn’t stop it being one of Spain’s most visited cities.Cordoba is not only historic and beautiful, there are also so many things to see and do it’s often difficult to choose. If you are planning a first trip to Cordoba, or even a second or third one and haven’t seen every must see place on previous trips, there are five must see things everyone who visits Cordoba should see.
You can visit Cordoba in our Spain & Morocco Tour and Andalusia Routes
1. Great Mosque of Cordoba/Mezquita-Catedral
One of the most beautiful mosques in Spain, the Great Mosque of Cordova, or Mezquita-Catedral (Mosque Catheddral) is a World Heritage Site known for its stunning architecture. It is the world’s third largest mosque, although today it is used as a Roman Catholic church. Muslims in Spain have been lobbying the Spanish government since the year 2,000 to be allowed to pray in the mosque, but so far have been denied permission.
Construction on the mosque began in the year 785.
The big attraction here are the gardens, laid out in descending terraces with typical Islamic rectangular pools - some of the most beautiful in Andalucia - perfect for a cooling waterside break on a hot spring day.
3. The Jewish Quarter "La Juderia"
The Jewish quarter of Cordoba goes back to the time of the Romans and consists of a network of narrow streets full of shops, restaurants and cafes, synagogues and museums. A must see is the Bullfight Museum and don’t miss the Zoco, where in the summer you can see flamenco dancers performing. You can visit too the 14th century synagogue and a restored Sefardi house.
4. The Calahorra Tower and its "Al-Andalus living museum"
The Al-Andalus living museum is located in an old Moorish fortress, and recreates the time of maximum splendour in this Andalusian city. The museum is in the Calahorra Tower, opposite the Great Mosque, at the end of the Roman Bridge. Its aim is to provide a recreation of the Cordoba of the period between the 9th-13th centuries.
5. Madīnat az-Zahrā مدينة الزهراء
Medina Azahara (Arabic: مدينة الزهراء Madīnat az-Zahrā: literal meaning "city of the flower") is the ruins of a vast, fortified Arab Muslim medieval palace-city built by Abd-ar-Rahman III al-Nasir, (912–961) Umayyad Caliph of Córdoba, and located on the western outskirts of Córdoba, Spain. It was an Arab Muslim medieval town and the de facto capital of al-Andalus, or Muslim Spain, as the heart of the administration and government was within its walls. Built beginning in 936-940, the city included ceremonial reception halls, mosques, administrative and government offices, gardens, a mint, workshops, barracks, residences, and baths.