CORDOBA, SPAIN NIGHT AND DAYTIME PHOTOS.
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This gallery features Cordoba,Spain historical site photos including the Jewish Quarter. Cordoba has three World Heritage Sites granted by the UNESCO: the Mosque-Cathedral (1984), the historical quarter surrounding it (1994) and the Festival of the Patios (Courtyards) (2012). In addition, with the rest of Spain, it shares the titles of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity awarded to Flamenco (2010) and the Mediterranean Diet (2013).
KEY SITES TO VISIT ARE DESCRIBED BELOW.
The view over the Mosque-Cathedral, with the river, the Gate of the Bridge and the Roman Bridge of Cordoba itself, is one of the most wonderful sights of Cordoba, especially at dusk, when the last rays of the sun linger on and make the stone surfaces glow a deep golden red. The bridge was first built in the 1st century A.D., but has been rebuilt many times since then, and in its present form dates mainly from the Medieval period, with the latest changes being made in 1876. There are sixteen arches, four of which are pointed and the rest semi-circular. Halfway along the railing on one side is a 16th century statue of San Rafael by Bernabé Gómez del Río. At the southern end of the Roman Bridge stands the Calahorra Tower of Cordoba, an ancient defensive fortress which is mentioned in a number of Arab sources on “Al-Andalus” (Arab Andalusia), as well as historical records ever since the Christian conquest of Cordoba. Its architecture reflects the successive renovations made to the tower. The horseshoe archway serves as an additional entrance gate, and its rectangular enclosure flanked by towers was rebuilt in the 12th century.
The Gate of the Bridge
This gate originally formed part of the city walls, but from the Christian conquest onwards it became a gateway, known then as the Algeciras Gate, where the road leading south out of Cordoba started from. In the 14th Century, Hernán Ruiz III redesigned the gate to mark the visit of Philip II to the city, and gave it the grand, monumental style which survives to this day. It is made up of three sections, with fluted columns at each end, and the centre opening topped with a lintel and a curved pediment. At the turn of the 20th century, the surrounding buildings were cleared away and the ground was lowered to restore it to its original height. The Roman Bridge was featured in Season 5 of Game of Thrones, the hugely popular HBO TV series.
Albolafia Water mill
This mill is situated next to the Roman Bridge on the northern bank of the River Guadalquivir. It was built under Abd al-Rahman II to carry river water up to the Emir's palace by means of an ingenious aqueduct. The naura or water wheel has been restored; it was dismantled by order of Queen Isabel 'La Católica' who disliked the noise it produced so close to the Castle, the royal residence. Since the 14th century, this water wheel has appeared on the city's coat of arms.
City walls in Calle Cairuán
Running along the calle Cairuán, next to a cascading series of ponds and water channels bearing crystal-clear water, lies a stretch of the city walls which surrounded the Medina. Built on top of the previous Roman walls, what we see today owes much to the restoration work carried out in the 20th century. The unusual street name is because the city of Cordoba is twinned with the Tunisian city of Quairuan, whose main mosque has similar features to the one in Cordoba.
In the heart of the Jewish Quarter just next to the Synagogue, in calle Judíos, there is a small square containing the Monument to Maimónides, one of the great thinkers and doctors of Jewish Cordoba. The statue portrays Maimónides seated on his tomb, which is now situated in Tiberiade, in Israel, one of the four Jewish Holy Cities.
The Synagogue, situated in the heart of the Jewish Quarter of Cordoba, is unique in Andalusia and one of the three best preserved Medieval synagogues in the whole of Spain. According to the inscriptions found in the building, it was built between the years 1314 and 1315, and was in constant use right up until the Jews were finally expelled from Spain. A small courtyard leads to a narrow entrance hall. On the right, a staircase leads to the women's area and in front lies the main hall, which is rectangular in shape and decorated with Mudejar-style plant motifs. The wall supporting the women's tribune has three arches with exquisite decorative plasterwork. The Jews were expelled in 1492, and afterwards, the building was used first as a hospital, then as the Hermitage of San Crispin and finally, an infants' school. It was declared a National Monument at the end of the 19th century.
Calleja de las Flores (Alley of the Flowers)
In the Heart of the Jewish Quarter, not far from the Mosque-Cathedral, we find this charming little street, which everyone who visits Cordoba comes to see. The narrow alleyway leads up a gentle slope to open out onto a small square. Flowers fill the balconies, with their wrought-iron window grilles, filling the air with pleasant scent, to the delight of visitors. A fountain graces one side of the square, and there is a fine view of the bell-tower of the Cathedral.
Mesquita and Cathedral
The Mosque-Cathedral of Cordoba (World Heritage Site since 1984) is a significant monument in the western Moslem World. The complete evolution of the Omeyan style in Spain can be seen in its different sections, as well as the Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque styles of the Christian part. The great Mosque is made up of two distinct areas, the courtyard or sahn, with its porticos (the only part built by Abd al- Rahman III), where the minaret stands - nowadays, encased in the Renaissance tower - and the prayer hall, or haram. The area inside is made up of a forest of columns with a harmonious colour scheme of red and white arches. The five separate areas of the Mosque correspond to each of the five extensions carried out. The minaret built by Abderraman III has been preserved inside the present-day bell-tower. It remained intact until it was damaged by a heavy storm before 1593, and was repaired soon after by the Cathedral Council, who entrusted the project to Hernán Ruiz II. He promptly knocked down much of the old minaret and added the upper floors to house bells. Work on the tower continued in the 17th century, when Juan Sequero de Matilla built the clock chamber, and at the end of the century, the foundations were strengthened as the tower was deemed to be in danger of collapsing. The bell chamber is the work of Gaspar de la Peña in 1664, and the statue of San Rafael at the very top of the tower is by the sculptors Bernabé Gómez del Río and Pedro de la Paz.
Photos shot while on a Tauck Tour of Portugal and Spain in September, 2016.
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Cordoba and Andalucia Information