Travellers exploring Spain have the chance to see diverse cities like Barcelona, Seville, Bilbao or even Málaga. But there’s another city with a big claim to fame that even avid travellers may not have explored yet.
Córdoba is about a two hours’ train ride from Madrid, which means it can be easily accessed by travellers heading through the capital. It’s most famous for the Mezquita, a mosque considered one of the most incredible Islamic buildings in the world, which remains from when the city was the capital of Islamic Spain. It is in the historic centre of Córdoba, a Unesco site that includes the mosque and the streets surrounding it.
The new Unesco addition in 2018, the Caliphate city of Medina Azahara, brought the city up to four in total. The city was built in the mid-10th century by the Umayyad dynasty and served as the seat of the Caliphate of Córdoba. According to Unesco, the city was ruined during a civil war that ended the Caliphate and the remains were forgotten for nearly 1000 years. The rediscovered site features roads, bridges and everyday objects and “provides in-depth knowledge of the now vanished Western Islamic civilization of Al-Andalus, at the height of its splendour.”
For travellers wondering when to explore Córdoba, it is also home to a festival that’s been designated by Unesco as “intangible heritage”. The Patios festival is a springtime celebration that allows people to explore the historic centre when its flower-covered traditional patios open to the public. Find out more about Córdoba here.
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