A View Of Spanish History at the Alcazar in Córdoba Spain
The first day of our stay in Cordoba gave us a view of Spanish history at the Alcazar in Córdoba. Our NH Collection Amistad Hotel was located in the heart of the old town of Córdoba. Most of the sights we wanted to see were a short walk away. So this meant we moved at our own pace most days.
We left the hotel by the back door and walked outside of the walls of the old city. Along the walls we saw more examples of the colourful flowers that adorned the balconies in southern Spain. A statue of Córdoba A Averroes kept watch over the gate. In places we found decorative stone work on the sidewalks.
It was easy to see when we arrived at the Alcazar. As we walked through a shaded plaza, the castle walls stood high above us.
This was a great spot to learn more about Spanish history at the Alcazar in Córdoba.
A Little History of the Alcazar in Córdoba
The Alcázar de los Reyes Cristianos was a castle with beautiful gardens and a moorish bathhouse. It served as one of the primary residences of Isabella I of Castile and Ferdinand II of Aragon. We found statues to these rulers in the gardens.
The Alcazar buildings illustrated the history of this part of Spain. The building started out as a Muslim Alcazar before it was an Episcopal Palace. It was reformed in the Baroque period and was recently reconditioned and housed the Diocesan Museum. This mix of architectural styles and decoration were evident as we walked the property. We learned more about Spanish history at the Alcazar in Córdoba.
We visited a number of Moorish Alcazars in Spain. Our first experience with Alhambra in Granada set a very high bar for our expectation of Moorish architecture. The Alcazar in Seville provided much more varied designs and added colour to design. The remaining Moorish portions of the Alcazar in Córdoba were quite small in comparison to the others we saw.
The Alcazar was free Thursday evening (after 1800); however, adult admission was only a small amount. We walked through the gate and were greeted by a statue to Alfonso X el Sabio.
Wandering Through The Alcazar Gardens
It was very hot in Córdoba. Even though we arrived at the Alcazar in the mid-morning, we headed first for the gardens. We left the cooler palace interior for last.
The gardens were typically Moorish in design with ponds, fountains and aromatic plants. At the top of the stairs over the garden, it was easy to see that the gardens were massive (about 55.000 square metres). Fountains lay in the centre of long beds of flowers.
Flowers and trees were in bloom in the gardens. The ever-present orange trees still bore fruit. At the back of the gardens there were topiary displays and trellises.
Statues were arranged artfully around the garden. There was a large statue that showed King Ferdinand II, Queen Isabella and Christopher Columbus. A tour guide stated that we stood on the space where these 3 once chatted.
As we walked back to tour the rest of the Alcazar, we saw the stone walls highlighted by the gardens. The gardens were a great place to see the mix of Spanish history at the Alcazar in Córdoba!
The Outer Courtyard
Leaving the gardens we entered the outer courtyard. This was also a garden with fountains and what were once outdoor baths. These provided fine examples of Moorish architecture.
Around the outside were porticos that still had what looked like original Moorish roofs. The nooks and crannies we explored were closed off but occasionally we found something interesting.
The Moorish period of the courtyard area was a part of Spanish history at the Alcazar in Córdoba.
Climbing To The Top of the Lion Tower
We left the inside exhibits to the last and started up the Lion Tower. The first set of stairs were steep but wide. At this level we went outside. Across the stone upper walkway we saw the Homage Tower or Keep. We went back down and walked along the battlements. When we looked back, we saw the Lion Tower where we first stood.
The stairs up the Homage Tower were a narrow spiral with steep risers. People waited and went up or down one at a time. Once we reached the top level, there were even more stairs to the very top terrace. Of course we did that too. This top terrace was once the place where public executions were carried out.
Great Panoramic Views From Above The Alcazar in Córdoba
The views were definitely worth the climb. We got a real sense of the Spanish history at the Alcazar in Córdoba from this great panoramic view. The brick and tile roofs were below us. We saw out over the inner courtyard to the circular Tower of the Inquisition. And the gardens spread out below us.
There was a great view over to the Mosque-Cathedral we visited on the next day. Beyond that we saw the Guadalquivir River and the old Roman Bridge we explored in old town Cordoba.
We also got a view of the Equestrian Centre. Horses and riders practiced on the field. We enjoyed this typical Andalusian horse show on our evening out in Córdoba!
The view from above gave us a different perspective on the Spanish history at the Alcazar in Córdoba!
Heading Into the Alcazar
There was an interesting array of things in the first exhibition area inside that reflected the history in the Alcazar.
The next large room which was the former chapel of the Inquisitions. We saw a series of mosaics on the walls. The Roman mosaic art from the 2nd and 3rd century AD ranged from typical geometric patterns to portraits, including a head of medusa!
From the window we looked out into an inner courtyard. There was a vast amount of excavation still needed at this site.
Get A View Of Spanish History at the Alcazar in Córdoba
The Alcazar in Córdoba was a great thing to see on our stay in Córdoba. The gardens were a green oasis with calming fountains and the smell of blooming flowers. We certainly got a view of Spanish history at the Alcazar in Córdoba. Moorish design elements showed in the gardens, courtyards and baths. As we toured the castle, we saw a mix of historical periods.
We climbed the towers to the very top and were rewarded with great panoramic views of the Alcazar and the surrounding area in Córdoba. We saw the Mosque-Cathedral of Córdoba standing high. The horses and riders in the Equestrian Centre practiced for the show that night. When we left the Alcazar a costumed rider and horse beckoned people to get tickets for the horse show. We were sure we were not the only people that got tickets for the horse show that night.
Did you get a good view of Spanish history at the Alcazar in Córdoba?
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