The 7 essentials of Córdoba. You already choose Córdoba as an Erasmus destination and we are sure that it will be a decission that you’ll never regret 🙂 because of all the things that this city may offer to you and because it will be an unforgettable experience. People think that Erasmus students only want to party and doing nothing else except going out at night and sleep in the daytime, but we know that this is not completely true.
The Erasmus students look something more than party. They look for the experience, meeting new people, travelling, exploring other cities, growing personally and become autonomous. The environment, the city, the charm and the atmosphere will be very important to get all this and Córdoba will be the perfect ally to make your stay in Spain something perfect and special, thanks to all the history that is behind it. As we can’t focus in every monument, corner and street we’ll talk a little bit of those more important and emblematic ones. But you will have to promise that you’ll discover the others through the year. Is a deal?
Is one of the 5 most visited monuments in Spain and that’s not a surprise. The Orange Trees Courtyard and the sensorial peace of mind that you’ll feel while walking around its more than one thousand columns may transport you to another time. Its style and the fact that consists of a Cathedral inside a Mosque make this monument to be something unique. It’s construction started on 786 a.C. and the UNESCO named it World Cultural Heritage 1984. In the past it was the second biggest mosque in the world, only after Mecca, and it was overcome later by the Mosque of Saint Sofía in Istanbul.
If you are an early bird and want to follow our advice of visiting it in the early morning, you can go into it for free, but do it quietly, because from 8:30 to 9:30 (from Monday to Saturday) the individual visit is allowed without ticket or reservation. If you get to the Mosque later, the ticket will cost8€,nothing that an Erasmus in Córdoba can’t afford.
The most esceptical Erasmus who don’t understand why a bridge is among the 7 essentials that you should visit in Córdoba: it was built in the 1st century B.C. by the Romans and since then is connecting the two edges of the Guadalquivir river that runs through Córdoba. It was the only bridge in the city during more than 20 centuries (amazing, right?) until the construction of the San Rafael Bridge in the 50’s. At one of its ends is the Bridge Gate which was one of the main entrances to the city and in the opposite end there is the Calahorra Tower, the lookout point of this entrance. This is one of the wonders that you’ll find out when you walk around Córdoba. If you cross the river at sunset the amazing sights will make you to fall in love definitely with the city.
Alcázar de los Reyes Cristianos (Fortress of the Christian Kings)
Once that your Erasmus has finished, we won’t allow you to leave Córdoba without visiting the emblematic fortress that was the home of the Catholic Kings for more than 8 years. Its walls will allow you to see the city from a higher and different perspective. Walk around its walls and climb to the top of the towers that surround the fortress to comtemplate the amazing sights. A walk around its gardens will make you to forget that you are in a city of more than three thousand hundred inhabitants. The peacefulness and quietness of the walk will leave you fully relaxed.
Or the Bright City (this is what means in Arabic). It is located 8 km from Córdoba and it is worth to visit even though is not possible to reach the place by foot. You can get there simply by boarding a bus that goes there daily. It costs 8€ and the duration of the trip is 20 minutes. It was built by Abderramán III in the 10th century to show his dominance against his enemies. Although there is a legend that says that the construction of this beautiful city was a proof of love for his favourite slave Azahara. Only a third of the site has been discovered by now and the excavation works are still being done it is worth to visit it. Every Erasmus should visit it.
Calleja de las Flores (The Flower’s Lane)
In the middle of the Jewish Quarter you’ll find this amazing lane, one of the most traditional in the city. Narrow and winding, it ends at a little square with a beautiful sight of the Tower of the Cathedral. Is the perfect place to take pictures for your Erasmus that will get a lot of likes in Facebook :). Its name, the Flower’s Lane is not casual because its balconies are full of flowers that overwhelm to the visitor with its scent.
Plaza de La Corredera (Corredera Square)
It is very popular thanks to its atmosphere, because of the bars that surround the square and because is one of the most frequented places by the students (including Erasmus). Here you can make a stop in your tourist route and we are sure that you will sit down at one of its bars. It is a rectangular shaped square porticoed with arches, something not very usual in the Andalusian architecture that makes of it something unique. In the past it was used as a bullring. Today is possible to have a coffee or any other drink and even taste a tapa. The streets connected with the square are very narrow, which gives to the square certain sense of privacy. Even though this is a very big square where always is possible to find a young and fun atmosphere.
Plaza del Potro (Stallion Square)
It was named after the figure of a stallion that decorates the top of a fountain from the Renaissance period that is in the middle of the square in the Axerquia. It was traditionally a place dedicated to the artesanal activities and cattle trading.
As you will discover during the first days as Erasmus in Córdoba, the city of the Caliphs has much more spots and monuments to see but we don’t want make this post too long to let you to discover by your own what the city has to offer, although we expect you to enjoy of this route so much as we did.