Much unlike the homogenous scenery of Málaga, Córdoba has summed up the confused history of Andalusía in literally a single building: Mezquita-Catedral de Córdoba.
From many angles outside and inside, this building is a place of Muslim worship and a place that the Moorish rulers established as sacred during their 800-year reign over modern-day Spain.
Look up and you can see depictions of Christ and Biblical babies on the roof as per the image below (clearly I’m not a religious person otherwise I could be more specific in describing):
This strange, architectural union between Christianity and Islam is incredibly unique but I’m not sure its worth the €10 entry fee. The building inside is relatively small compared to other sights in Spain for the same price and its not really adorned with many information plaques so that you can absorb the history – my feeling is that the Catholic Church (who operate it now) just wants tourists to admire the architectural wonder and not much more.
I also feel as if there is perhaps a missed opportunity in current affairs to use La Mezquita as a kind of bridging mechanism between two worlds torn in conflict. If you just dig a little deeper into the building, you see that modern-day Muslims seek to pray in Mezquita however their requests are being continually refused by the Vatican. Given the current climate with Islam and terrorism, a small gesture like this from the Catholic Church that nods to the past and embraces the future might go a long way to improving relations between religions and who knows what else.
Anyway, enough of the preaching. Córdoba itself, apart from La Mezquita is quaint and verrryyyy beautiful. Small little alleyways aplenty, plazas on every corner and it definitely maintains the atmosphere of Moorish culture that persisted for so long, but so many centuries ago.
Tip #1: Seriously weigh up how much you want to spend €10 to visit Mezquita. On one hand, its unique and once-in-a-lifetime. On the other hand, it’s a short trip around once inside and a lot of the WOW factor you can get from Google Images (sorry, I said it)
Tip #2: Street parking is quite easy in Córdoba. We managed to find a park right next to our hotel, €0.90 per hour and overnight until around 10am is free.
Tip #3: Walk around and absorb the atmosphere. Of many Andalusían cities, it retains a lot of the ‘Moorish’ feel to it and it’s worth soaking it in on your own steam.