Córdoba is well-known for its ancient cathedral/mosque. In the early 700s a Muslim army captured Córdoba, although most of Spain was predominantly Catholic at the time. The Muslims and Catholics lived side by side through the Muslim rule and after. The Catholic cathedral and Muslim mosque are both in the same building; half is the Catholic side and the other half is the Muslim side.
The beautiful patio/courtyard is free for all to visit and enjoy. The landscaping, orange trees, and water fountains are peaceful and lovely to enjoy.
The cathedral itself costs 8 euros per person and is open until 6pm. Inside, you enter the cathedral side. It is beautiful with a lot of attention to detail, and unsurprisingly you will see much more gold in the cathedral side. The intricate carvings, beautiful organ, and large ceilings are an excellent place to reflect and appreciate life.
Once into the mosque part, you notice history and an ancient feel in the details. It’s not as flashy as the Christian part, but you will time travel back to medieval times when looking at the old bell gears, old Andalucían tiles, and pieces of the old recovered mosque.
The Catholics and Muslims lived together in harmony for years. The cathedral celebrated 775 years together last year, since 1239. It’s wonderful to see everyone living together peacefully!
Spanish Inquisition Museum
Nearby the mosque is the super touristy Spanish Inquisition museum. The knights lining the hallway entrance dragged me in, but I’m glad it was a short exhibit because it was a little gruesome! The museum shows all the torture devices used during the Spanish Inquisition, and it started to make me sick to think that any of the things in that museum were actually used on people. It must have been a terrible time, and the best thing you can do after visiting this 3 euro museum is go have a drink to ease the pain!
Beers and Tapas
Next to the mosque is La Juderia, the most famous place in Córdoba and the place where you can find the most typical architecture, food, and trinkets of the Muslim rule. There are also a ton of bars in this area, including a local microbrewery called Cervezas Califa. There are hundreds of local Spanish beers, and a good amount of local Córdoba beers as well! Each draft beer is only about 2 euros and every drink order comes with a tapa, and the tapas are delicious. It’s a wonderful place to go to feel like a local!
Córdoba also has a great shopping district. The Plaza Tendillas has a whole street dedicated to shopping, and after a long, hard day, you can relax in the square at the outside cafes with a tinto con limón. The shopping area has all types of stores, from high-end clothing to cheaper clothing to jewelry to trinkets. It’s perfect to take something non-touristy with you before you leave beautiful Córdoba!
All in all, Córdoba was a beautiful city with a wonderful historic center. There is a lot to offer and it’s worth a visit to see the world-famous cathedral/mosque!