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A Day in Córdoba

By: Cityseeker
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Gran Teatro de Córdoba

In 1871, architect Armadeo Rodriguez began crafting a horseshoe-shaped design for the Gran Teatro de Córdoba. The picturesque theater opened in 1873 with the operetta, "Martha." The theater experienced a tumultuous history: in the late 1970s, it was requested to be shut down and demolished; the city council took charge and declared it a point of historic and artistic interest and renovations ensued to restore it to its original beauty in 1986. The "Great Theater" is a striking depiction of Córdoba's multicultural eclectic, holding a variety of orchestra concerts, plays and dance shows for its thousand-person capacity.

Avenida Gran Capitán 3, Córdoba, Spain, 14008
Roman Theater

If you are interested in the Roman hand print on Córdoba, check out the ruins of the Roman Theater in the Historic Quarter. The theater, built during the reign of Augustus Caesar and the first entertainment complex of the city, served as a public forum for political debates and discussions. It was initially destroyed during an earthquake in 76 BCE, partially rebuilt, then was destroyed in another quake in 260 CE. After its second demolition, the site began to serve as a dumping area. Throughout history and Córdoba's development, dirt continued to be dumped on it; this actually helped to preserve the remains. In 1940, the first seats were uncovered, and a bit of white marble tile was found surrounding it; theories deduce that the theater's seating was all white marble tile. Presently, only about 30% of the theater has been excavated because many of the city's buildings were built on it. So much will never be able to be uncovered; the archeological museum itself sits atop much of the ruins.

Plaza de Jerónimo Páez, Córdoba, Spain, 14003
Museo de Bellas Artes

Located in the ancient city center, not far from the river, the Museo de Bellas Artes is housed in what used to be the Hospital de la Caridad. Founded in 1844, the permanent collection contains important works from the 16th and 17th Centuries, including works by Pablo de Céspedes and Alonzo Martínez. The collection as a whole is a good sampling of Spanish art through out the ages, especially highlighting the works of artists from Andalucía. Entry is free for citizens of Spain and other European Union countries.

Plaza del Potro 1, Córdoba, Spain, 14002
Julio Romero de Torres Museum

Regarded as one of the greatest painters of Spain, Julio Romero de Torres, a native of Cordoba, displays his important works at the museum of the same name. The museum, which is his former home, also displays works by Francisco Zurbaran, Alejo Fernandez, Antonio del Castillo and Valdez Leal. Apart from Torre's paintings, the six halls of a former church display his personal belongings, including his brushes, his guitar, chattels and scripts.

Plaza del Potro 1, Córdoba, Spain, 14002
Mezquita-Catedral de Córdoba

In a sun-dappled courtyard fragranced by resident orange trees, and in the collective shade of delicate cypress and palm trees, the Mezquita de Cordoba stands to serve as a fine example of Cordoba's dynamic religious history. One of the most compelling religious monuments to grace the Western Islamic world, this World Heritage structure was built on what was originally a sacred Roman site dedicated to Janus. Built over two centuries under the supervision of Abd ar-Rahman II, the mosque was extolled as a Muslim pilgrimage site for several years, before an invasion by King, Ferdinand rendered it a Christian cathedral. While the temple dramatically changed as a site of worship, its architectural splendor seldom dimmed during this transformation. Famous for its colossal arches that frame its glorious facade, the mosque-cathedral still nurtures a stunning set of 856 columns made from jasper, onyx, marble and granite. Boasting a mesmerizing mix of Islam and Western architectural styles that represent its religious dynamism, the mosque features intricate minarets as well as a rather out-of-place Baroque choir, dating back to the 16th Century. Although dedicated to Christendom in the Middle Ages, the mosque still alludes to its Islamic past – reminded by the presence of the mihrab, or a domed shrine that once housed the holy Koran.

Calle del Cardenal Herrero, Córdoba, Spain, 14003
Puente romano de Córdoba

Majestically spanning the Guadalquivir River, this ancient Roman relic remains in use today. Built at the beginning of the first century, the bridge served as the city's only bridge for a very long time. Although the bridge has been rebuilt several times, the design has remained the same and city officials agree that this important city landmark needs to be carefully preserved. Walking across the bridge will give visitors the best view of the Mezquita and the river. On the southern banks of the river is Torre Calahorra, now a museum.

Puente Romano, Córdoba, Spain, 14009
Sotos de Albolafia

The Sotos de Albolafia, a cluster of islands on the Guadalquivir river, is characterized by its unique flora and fauna. In October 2001, the area was declared a natural monument and now 70% of its fauna is protected by law. Home to over 120 species of birds, including the horned owl and egret, and native flora such as Alder and Oleander trees, the Sotos de Albolafia are a pictorial depiction of untouched Andalusian land. Situated between the Romano and San Rafael Bridges, the islands are accessible from the bank. The juxtaposition of this sublime patch of nature with the Old City Center and its views of the Mosque make this spot a must-see on any visit to Córdoba.

Between Romano and San Rafael Bridges, On Guadalquivir River, Córdoba, Spain, 14009

Écija, a town near Cordoba, is famous for its heat, and has been the site of the highest recorded summertime temperatures in Spain. Hence, the town’s sobriquet is, "The Frying pan of Andalucia." Écija holds a popular festival every September to celebrate St. Matthew's Day with a varied program of folk dance and music, bullfighting, exhibitions of local products, competitions, concerts and other activities and performances. The highlight of the festival is the Day of the Horse (Día del Caballo) when beautiful Spanish and Arabian horses parade through the festival.

Calle de Conde, Écija, Spain, 41011
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