Exterior of the Great Mosque of Cordoba

Cordoba: What to do in a city with 4 World Heritage Sites?


The Spanish poet Federico García Lorca said that Cordoba is the city where even horses have their cathedral. And this city where three cultures lived together for centuries has wonderful places to discover. UNESCO has recognised its great artistic value with four World Heritage Site designations:

- Mosque-Cathedral: this is the first thing to do in Cordoba. This building of incredible architectural beauty reveals the city’s Visigothic, Christian and Arab past.- Cordoba Patios Festival: the people of Cordoba decorate their courtyards (patios) with beautiful flowering plants, and a competition is held in May to find the best.- Historic Centre of Cordoba: the main places to discover in Cordoba are here. The Alcázar de los Reyes Cristianos (a former royal palace), the Jewish quarter (Cordoba is one of the cities in the Spanish Jewish Quarter Network), the Zoco (a square with handicraft shops), the Roman bridge over the river Guadalquivir and the Calahorra Tower.Caliphate City of Medina Azahara: The Hispano-Muslim legacy of the ancient residence of the caliphate, where administrative work was dealt with, is a well-preserved Arab site located on the outskirts of Cordoba.

Top left: Courtyards in Cordoba. Top right: Great Mosque of Cordoba © Turismo de Andalucía. Bottom left: Álcazar de los Reyes Católicos. Bottom right: Medina Azahara

It was in Cordoba where the explorer Christopher Columbus presented the Catholic Monarchs with his plan for the trip on which he would go on to discover America. It’s also the city where the Roman philosopher and politician Seneca was born, which is why there’s a sculpture of him next to Almodóvar Gate. The majority of things to do in Cordoba can be found within that gate.Before leaving the city, you won’t want to miss the Plaza de la Corredera (you can have a drink on a terrace where the bulls used to run), see the remains of the Roman temple discovered in 1950, the Jewish synagogue and the Palacio de Viana, a museum with art, jewellery and antique collections.And your visit would not be complete without a photo beside the statue of Maimonides (a theologian who was a philosopher, doctor, astronomer and rabbi during the Middle Ages). And make sure you try the salmorejo, a cold soup of tomato, garlic, bread and olive oil—a staple in Cordoban cuisine. Satisfying your appetite whilst visiting its many monuments is one of the best things to do in Cordoba.

Statue of Maimonides in Córdoba