Cordoba (also known as Cordova) in the Andalucia province of southern Spain is a city with more than 2,500 years of developed history. Established around the 8th century BC, Cordoba at one point was probably the world’s most populous city. Today, with only around 325,000 inhabitants, it’s actually one of the smaller cities in Spain but that doesn’t stop it being one of Spain’s most visited cities.
Cordoba is not only historic and beautiful, there are also so many things to see and do it’s often difficult to choose. If you are planning a first trip to Cordoba, or even a second or third one and haven’t seen every must see place on previous trips, there are five must see things everyone who visits Cordoba should see.
Great Mosque of Cordoba/Mezquita-Catedral– One of the most beautiful mosques in Spain, the Great Mosque of Cordova, or Mezquita-Catedral (Mosque Catheddral) is a World Heritage Site known for its stunning architecture. It is the world’s third largest mosque, although today it is used as a Roman Catholic church. Muslims in Spain have been lobbying the Spanish government since the year 2,000 to be allowed to pray in the mosque, but so far have been denied permission.
Construction on the mosque began in the year 785.
The Roman Bridge (Puente Romano) – Don’t miss seeing what was Cordoba’s only bridge for 20 centuries. Built by the Romans in the first century AD, it’s been recently renovated back to its original state.
La Juderia – The Jewish quarter of Cordoba goes back to the time of the Romans and consists of a network of narrow streets full of shops, restaurants and cafes, synagogues and museums. A must see is the Bullfight Museum and don’t miss the Zoco, where in the summer you can see flamenco dancers performing.
The Palace-Museum of Viana Marquis – This palace is an important museum in Cordoba as it houses a stunning collection of paintings, tapestry, statues, furniture and ceramics. It’s a National Monument and is also famous for its 12 courtyards and beautiful Artistic Gardens.
Galeria de la Tortura – Cordoba’s Museum of Torture is an absolute must see if you are even remotely interested in Spain’s terrible history of torture. Here, it’s not just the Spanish Inquisition, as torture was a large part of Spain’s judicial system from the 13th through the 19th centuries. You’ll see all the torture instruments used, as well as what the process was like from being accused right through to imprisonment, toture and, in many cases, execution.
For some stunning photographs of Cordoba and its must see sights, check out this video.