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Walking through hot Cordoba


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Spain, summer 2001, Walking through hot Cordoba

Although we had driven through the city for more than an hour the night before, we have no idea where exactly we are. So we are quite surprised to find ourselves almost in the centre of the medieval city, near the famous mosque and the old town ramparts.
Breakfast is not served in this hotel, but we like it better to have it somewhere outside. In Barcelona it had been tolerably warm but here in the south it is already hot early in the morning.
Cordoba is located in Andalucia, called "Paradise lost and recovered" by the Moorish. Under the rule of the caliphs the city flourished and the mosque was (and still is) a magnificent prove of Islamic architecture. The university of Cordoba was famous throughout the known world in the 10th century AD.
Mosque in Cordoba City wall in CordobaAlong the old town rampart, we first walk to the Alcazar de los Reyes Cristianos (Castle of the Christian kings). This castle, or at least parts of it, were used earlier by the caliphs and even before them by the Visigoths. After 1328 AD. it got it's present form, thanks to king Alfonso the 11th.
Castle Alcazar de los Reyes Cristianos Castle garden, CordobaThe castle gardens show most clearly the Moorish influences and give evidence of the luxury and wealth there must have been once. Elisabeth can't resist taking seeds, this time from endemic orange trees which she rinses here in the water. But before we are back home they have become moldy...
Elisabeth washing orange seeds Coolness near the fountainWith this hot weather it is a relieve to walk through these gardens with all the waterfalls and ponds. We stay quite a long time. It is convenient that the old town of Cordoba is not very big, so we don't have to cover large distances as we have done in Barcelona.
House entrance, Cordoba Street in CordobaThrough the narrow streets with everywhere houses with courtyards, covered with plants and trees, we walk in the direction of the mosque, La Mezquita. Along the way two gypsies foretell us the future (unasked), but they become very mad at us when we don't want to pay for it. So we don't know if this beautiful future they predict us, will become true...
La Mezquita mosque, Cordoba In the mosque, CordobaA week ago we didn't know we would visit Cordoba and we are not well prepared, but we could have known: christians have tried to turn the mosque into a cathedral. Really too bad.
Now it is called the holy roman church, or the former mosque. This damages the atmosphere of the mosque, but it still is an impressive building and the islamic origin is still very easy to recognize on the inside. Coming from the coolness of the mosque we enter into the heat of the open air. Time to cool off the feet in a fountain. Children are playing in it with their clothes still on, having lots of fun. We would like to the same...
Cooling the feet Time for a drinkWe walk a bit, sit down again at a bar, and walk further. At night we take another walk through the old town with all it's buildings splendidly illuminated. It really looks like a city out of the tales of a 1001 Arabian nights. We are having a great time here!

 


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