Much To See In The Old Town in Córdoba

Old Town in Córdoba Spain.jpg

So Much To See In The Old Town in Córdoba

We saw a lot in the old town in Córdoba even though we had a very relaxing stay! Some days we visited the major tourist sites. And some days we visited spots that many people missed on day trips. Staying inside the the walls of the old town in Córdoba meant we had opportunities early and later in the day. We enjoyed the sights after many tourists left old town in Córdoba.

The Old Town Of Córdoba Sat Inside The Wall

Walls surrounded the old town of Córdoba. They were originally built when the Romans captured the city in 206 BC and acted as fortifications. Only part of the wall and some gates remained. We saw part of the wall close to our hotel. And passed through the gates when we toured old town in Cordoba.

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We Started With the Major Tourist Sites

We had four days in Córdoba. That was enough time to spread out our visits to the major tourist sties in the old town in Córdoba. We started with the Alcazar. The massive gardens provided a green space with blooming flowers and the trickling sound of fountains. Inner Moorish designed courtyards and baths led us into the palace. Exhibits inside provided a view into the history of the building and some amazing recovered mosaics. We went up the Lion Tower for three levels and got a panoramic view.

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From the tower at the Alcazar, we saw the vast site of the Mosque-Cathedral Of Córdoba. One day we wandered around the outside. This gave us a view of the main gates, the inner courtyard and the multiple doors into the church. On a second day we tackled the inside. Inside we found a fascinating mix of Islamic and Catholic design and decoration. It was easy to see why the Mosque-Cathedral Of Córdoba was regarded as one of the leading Moorish sites in the world.

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Jewish History Inside the Walls

The major tourist sites in the old town in Córdoba gave us a view of the Islamic and Catholic history of Córdoba. A visit the the old Synagogue in Córdoba provided another religious view. The old Synagogue inside the walls of Córdoba was in the Jewish Quarter. Built in 1315, it may have originally been the private synagogue of a wealthy man.

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We entered through a small courtyard into the main prayer hall. The square hall was decorated on each side with different stone carved panels.

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Synagogue Walls.jpg

When we looked close, we saw the remains of writing around doorways and on panels. We wondered what stories they told.

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In one alcove, we saw the remains of a fresco of a black and red cross. This dated back to the time when this building was used as a hospital.

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The Bull Museum

Touring around the south of Spain, we had many Andalusian experiences. We saw flamenco in Seville. In Córdoba we saw an Andalusian horse show. And we relaxed in a hammam in Córdoba. While we saw the bull fighting ring in Seville, we never experienced bull fighting in Spain. On our trip to South America, we toured the small Amazon town of Parintins where bull fighting was a major attraction. But we still never saw a bull fight!

In the old town in Córdoba there was a small Bull Fighting Museum (Museo Taurino). The main courtyard welcomed us with a statue of a bull and a matador’s head.

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When we toured the inside, we found information about bull fighting. And display cases filled with authentic costumes.

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Bath Houses

Córdoba had a strong Moorish history. We found bath houses in the Moorish gardens at the Alcazar in Córdoba. We also found a whole site in the old town of Córdoba for baths at Los Baños Del Alcazar Califal.

When we walked into this underground site, we found 3 zones: the Caliph’s baths from the 10th century, a reception hall from the 11th century and the Almonhade baths from the 12th century.

A traditional bath ritual moved visitors from the cold room to the warm room to the hot room. We saw this same bath tradition when we visited the hammam in Córdoba. Beside the bath we saw the Taifa Hall. This was used as a reception hall. Some of the plaster that once decorated this room has been found. This provided a view of what the room originally looked like.

Banos del Alcazar Caliphal.jpg

Banos del Alcazar Caliphal.jpg

Cordoba Banos del Alcazar Caliphal - Old Town in Córdoba Spain.jpg

Cordoba Banos del Alcazar Caliphal

Plaza Del Triunfo

When we climbed high in the Alcazar, we saw the old town in Córdoba. The Guadalquivir River (the same river we crossed in Seville) ran close by. The Roman Bridge crossed the river at one end of the old town in Córdoba. The San Rafael Bridge crossed at the other end.

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When we walked along the Guadalquivir River we got a close up view of the Roman Bridge with the Calahorra Tower on the far bank.

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The Gate of the Bridge (Puerta del Puente) led to the old town in Cordoba. This giant arch drew tourists in with their cameras. It was also a favourite stopping point for both horse drawn carriages and the Hop-On-Hop-Off bus.

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Standing high above the square was the statue of the Triumph of San Rafael (Truinfo de San Rafael). The whimsical detail was interesting.

Plaza del Triunfo San Rafael (Truinfo de San Rafael) Statue.jpg

Plaza del Triunfo San Rafael (Truinfo de San Rafael) Statue.jpg

Wander In The Old Town in Córdoba

We were very happy that we stayed within the walls in Córdoba. When we visited Seville for 4 days, we travelled every day and visited the major sights. Being inside the walls put us within easy walking distance of the great sights we found in the old town in Córdoba.

Instead of planning long days with multiple stops, we casually visited the sights one by one. Many of the sights in the old town in Córdoba had an admission fee. But many of these also had days and times when admission was free. Because we were so close, we planned our visits and saved some money too.

What sights did you see in the old town in Córdoba? What did you leave for another visit?

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  1. Córdoba looks like such a wonderful place to visit! You’ve captured the vibe of the place very well – and the photographs are beautiful!!

  2. I think we had considered visiting here but hadn’t made a decision yet. Thanks for putting this together… this makes me want to make that stop now. Your pictures are beautiful; thanks for putting all this together!

  3. Thank you for sharing the amazing Moorish architecture, the gardens and museums of Cordoba retelling it’s golden history!

  4. Although I visited a couple of times, I never really warmed up to Spain. Actually, there are two places on my bucket list: One is the Dali Museum and the other one is…Cordoba. I find the past absolutely fascinating and the architecture just amazing – as everyone can see on your pictures. Funny enough, with the pandemic, I’m going on two trips to Spain this summer, albeit, to the Balearic and Canary islands. Let’s see if I can squeeze in Cordoba in autumn – hoping that it won’t be as packed as it supposedly is in Summer. Thanx for this amazing introduction 🙂

    • I would love to go back to the Canary Islands. That will be an awesome trip. Hope you get to Cordoba in the fall. It should be cooler and less busy then.

  5. I was in Cordoba 15 years ago and the best part about cities with some history is they don’t change too much! It’s such a stunning city and the Mosque-Cathedral Of Córdoba is by far the most impressive part (in my eyes). Such a unique place that it keeps me fondly looking back at Cordoba as a place I need to revisit in my future!

  6. The tradition of the Bath Houses is so interesting! I also would love to visit the Bull Fighting Museum. I also have never seen a bull fight (partly because I’m a bit terrified) but I’m sure the museum had everything you could want to know about the tradition right from the source. So neat!

    • It was indeed interesting to see the different local traditions as we wandered in Old Town Cordoba. We have visited Spain a lot but not yet done a bull fight. Not sure how I feel about that sport though.

  7. Thank you for this beautiful travel inspiration! I’ve walked across northern Spain, but never made it to the southern region. You’ve inspired me so much. Cordoba is now on the list!

    • I hope you do get to visit the Andalusian region in Spain. We found it so different than our trip to the north. Definitely should be on a travel wish list.

  8. Córdoba is such a beautiful city and has many places to visit. I’d love to visit the Alcazar and see the bath houses as well and the view of the old town. The Bull Museum seems like an interesting spot too. I visited Seville a few years ago and love it, so I think Córdoba would be a great choice for my next trip to Spain.

    • We did Seville and Cordoba on the same trip and it was a bit overwhelming. There were just so many great spots to see in both. Similar but different so definitely worth seeing Cordoba too.

  9. Cordoba is indeed an interesting city! That ‘horse show’ sounds like fun. Also the bull museum. These are places I have not been to and would love to see next time. Your photographs are stunning as usual! 🙂

    • Thanks Jan for the comment on the photos. It was hard not to find amazing things to take pics of in Cordoba. It was a busy few days but there was so much to see.

  10. This is a great guide! I’ve visited Cordoba before, but I haven’t been to all of these places. I can’t wait to go back and check those places I haven’t been. I am saving your guide for the future 🙂

  11. Stunning photos! I’ve been to Málaga but I’d love to explore more of Andalucia and this has certainly inspired me more. Do you think that a day trip wouldn’t be enough time there?

    • If you planned just a day trip, you would need to prioritize what you wanted to see. We ran hard for 3 days and still did not see it all. But then you could return for more!

  12. Cordoba looks lovely I’d love to visit the baths and just wander around admiring the historic architecture.

  13. A great guide to Cordoba, it is one of the most interesting Andalusian cities. I love the Roman Bridge with the Calahorra Tower on the far bank. But most of all I’m impressed by the Mosque-Cathedral Of Córdoba.

  14. Love the architecture and gardens in the old town of Cordoba! I could surely see myself enjoying roaming around there and taking in all the sights.

    • It was hot when we visited so we loved the chance to find gardens all over Cordoba for some shade and a chance to sit and take it all in. A city we were so glad we did not miss!

  15. I don’t know why the Alhambra in Granada called to me more than Alcazar in Cordoba. The Mosque-Cathedral is a great architectural site! Plus there is more to see in Cordoba…Roman ruins, a Synagogue, a Bull Museum, Bath Houses, and a Plaza del Triunfo!!!

    • We did not expect to find so much when we visited Cordoba. Alhambra was a great introduction to the Moorish design. And Cordoba just sent the point home so much more. A great spot in Andalusian Spain to visit.

  16. What a fascinating place! The gardens and the architecture look stunning! It looks like there is so much to see and do in Cordoba! Thanks for the great guide! Hopefully I’ll manage to visit one day!

  17. Cordoba looks lovely! Visiting the Old Town in any city I visit is always a must, I just love the older style of architecture. the bath houses sound very interesting and would be so cool to see. I love that you were able to visit some of the major sites and the quieter ones as well, these are just as important and interesting!

    • We had a busy few days in Cordoba. We wanted to visit the big sites but were amazed at how many we found as we just wandered in the Old Town. A great city for so much.

  18. Wow the blend of the catholic and Moorish architecture looked amazing. And the grand hams and squares in the old town is worth a fact!

  19. Thank you for such inspiring photos and an informative post! What an amazing constellation of cultures and traditions. I would love to visit, especially to see the religious sites and the bath houses. I appreciate the history you shared and the tips for visiting!

  20. It’s pretty impressive how much of the Roman walls survived in Córdoba, as well as so many of the other old buildings. It must have been fantastic to explore while learning about the history! Those bath houses are impressive! It must have been an important part of their culture.

  21. I would love to visit old town in Córdoba on a return visit to Spain. This is a fabulous guide on all the cool things to see and do here.

  22. It looks like there’s so much to do there — so much history and the architecture is so beautiful! I’ve never seen a bull fight either (unsure that I want to as it doesn’t sit well with me) but it’d be interesting to learn more at that museum.

    • So many interesting Spanish traditions. I too am not sure I would want to see a bull fight (or the running of the bulls). But it was fascinating to see the history.

  23. Even though I feel very sad about the bull fighting, the bull fighting museum sounds interesting and I would like to know more about how and when it started. I have never been to Córdoba, but it definitely looks old from the pictures. The buildings and the landmarks look very pretty and I would like to visit it someday.

    • I hope you get to visit Cordoba one day. So many beautiful sights. The Bull Museum was interesting but we too are not sure that a real bull fight is for us.

  24. It’s interesting to learn that Cordoba was a ‘gated community’ and it looks planned really well. There were bridges to connect to the other world, and there were houses of pray for the citizens to spend time with their Creator. If only the bath houses were still open. Imagine after a long walk you can relax in it, moving from cold room to warm room and end with hot room.

    • Cordoba was fascinating for the history and the look into the traditions. We were glad we visited a Hammam and got a modern interpretation of the bath house experience.

  25. Reading this brought back good memories of Cordoba for me. As much as I love the Alcazar and Plaza Triunfo, I’m happy to just wander through the old town. The architecture and detail is so beautiful here.

  26. Again a place that I would love to visit but had never heard of before. Usually we get to read about the bigger cities in Spain but Cordoba seems like it has a lot to offer. And anywhere you go in Spain there is always so much history around. I am slightly jealous by the way, that on your trip you got to see Andalusian horse show. That must of been amazing.

    • We were glad we planned Seville and Cordoba on our last visit to Spain. They were both amazing cities. And it was so great to experience some of the local traditions like the Andalusian horse show. A wonderful night out.

  27. This place is fascinating with its rich history. It would be a delight to visit and explore this old town. Thank you for sharing with us your experience. I think my husband would enjoy the bull fighting museum.

  28. I loved everything about Cordoba. The history, the architecture and just the great feel of the place. Alcazar gardens look so refreshing and would love spending time there. Having watched a bull fight in Madrid which we really didn’t enjoy except the atmosphere inside the arena, we missed out on the museum there. Would love to visit it in Cordoba

  29. Skipping Cordoba while visiting Spain a couple of years ago was one of the hard decisions we had to make but we just did not have enough time! I would have loved to visit The Alcazar and see the views of the Old Town from up there. And then walking the streets of the old town is always one of my favourite things to do in European cities like these. Would not have wanted to see a bull fight though!

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