Capital of the Caliphate PHOTOS

Welcome to Cordoba, Spain

Come to Cordoba to see the Mosque (Mezquita). It alone, makes this destination worth a visit. With its mesmerizing forest of ancient Roman columns supporting its iconic red and white brick arches, it’s no wonder why this is one of the world’s most impressive mosques. It’s not just beautiful but also massive, covering a footprint roughly the size of 4 football fields.

Arches inside the Great Mosque of Cordoba, Spain
Patio at Palacio Viana, Cordoba - Spain
Mudejar Chapel of San Bartolome, Cordoba – Spain
Medieval Jewish Quarter in Cordoba, Spain

The mosque tells the history of Andalusia and the Iberian Peninsula, starting with the Romans who founded the city as the capital of Hispania Ulterior. Later, when the Muslims arrived from Africa in 785, they repurposed several architectural features from the Romans, including the many columns used to support the mosque, of which there are over 856.

Eventually, the conquering Christians arrived in Cordoba in 1236. They were so impressed with the mosque’s beauty, that instead of destroying it, simply added to the existing structure and finally built the wall-less baroque cathedral that rises up from the mosque’s center.

The mosque is why you should come to Cordoba, but there’s more that will make you want to stay. Get lost in the narrow, winding streets of the old Jewish quarter where you can peek into perfectly manicured patios. If you want to see an entire collection of palatial patios, then a visit to Viana Palace is a must. The Alcazar de Cordoba along with the Roman Bridge and the Calahorra Tower are a few other sites that are definitely worth checking out. All in all, Cordoba offers laid-back Andalusian charm with a glimpse into its sophisticated past.

If you are short on time and want to see Cordoba's main highlights, we recommend this skip-the-line tour.

Patricia Palacios, co-founder of España Guide
España Guide Co-Founder
Patricia is an engineer turned content creator who for over a decade has been helping travelers navigate her native Spain. In addition to her own website, her tips and recommendations have been featured on BBC Travel, CNN, El País & Lonely Planet, just to name a few.

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1/13  Arches in the Great Mosque of Cordoba
Impressive arches in the interior of the Mosque of Cordoba, Spain
2/13  Mihrab in the Mezquita de Cordoba
Impressive Mihrab inside of Córdoba's Mezquita (Mosque)', Spain
3/13  Courtyard of the Mezquita (Mosque)
Patio de los Naranjos (Mosque's courtyard) seen from the top of the bell tower – Córdoba, Spain
4/13  Gardens of the Alcazar de Cordoba
Colorful gardens and fountain at the Alcazar in Córdoba, Spain
5/13  Alcázar de los Reyes Cristianos – View from Tower
View of Cordoba's Alcazar from the top of its tower – Spain
6/13  Alcázar's Fortified Wall
Fortified wall of the alcázar in Cordoba, Spain
7/13  Colorful street in the Jewish Quarter
Narrow colorful street in Cordoba's Jewish Quarter - Spain
8/13  San Bartolome Mudejar Chapel – Jewish Quarter
San Bartolome Mudejar Chapel in Cordoba's Jewish Quarter - Spain
9/13  Synagogue – Jewish Quarter
Synagogue in Cordoba's Jewish Quarter - Spain
10/13  Patio at Viana Palace
Lush patio in the Viana Palace in Cordoba, Spain
11/13  Monstera Deliciosas at Viana Palace
Green plants in a corner of the Viana Palace in Cordoba, Spain
12/13  Colorful Patio at Viana Palace
Colorful flowers and fountain in the Viana Palace in Cordoba, Spain
13/13  Roman Bridge & Mosque/Cathedral
Roman Bridge and Mosque at sunset in Cordoba, Spain
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