Here’s some advice for future travelers: do Cordoba first, then Sevilla. It will be easier to appreciate Cordoba’s charms when not comparing to Sevilla’s.

Cordoba has an Alcázar. The palace is mostly ruined and nothing special. The gardens are wonderful, full of the noise of playing fountains and the intoxicating scent of jasmine.

Not far from the Alcázar sits the mass of a truly remarkable church. First a Visigoth (Christian) basilica, then a mosque, then a cathedral, the complex is the most eclectic amalgam of architectural styles I have seen. It’s stunning. Unlike the Alcázar in Seville, where the Christian king had the Muslim artisans build something new in the moorish style, the Cordovan building was built by each group as their own, outing their own distinct layers in top of the others in a form of appropriation and power. It’s layering, not blending. But still, it’s great fun to see the influence of Rome, Byzantium, the Muslims, the Christians, the gothic, renaissance, baroque and rococo all in one place. You could basically teach an art history course (and politico-religious history too) just walking through.


  1. Cindy Davis · · Reply

    Well, that explains why a mosque has a crucifix. Some parts are truly magnificent.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. 100% agree – I did Cordoba and then Sevilla. Sevilla really is something else and I was glad I did Cordoba first as it has a lovely small town charm. Loved Cordoba and went to the Mezquita every single day I was there – I was totally bewildered by it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I bet you picked up on a lot of details if you went multiple times!


      1. I did indeed! I found it so peaceful and absolutely stunning. I studied it at university too so it was amazing to see it in real life.

        Liked by 1 person

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