Sunday, March 10, 2019

Home from Córdoba

Here's a bit of a recap of our visit to Córdoba this weekend. Córdoba at about 350K people is about half the size of Sevilla and about 90 miles northeast of here. Generally speaking, I'd say it was a bit cleaner and a bit greener than Sevilla. Lots of lovely old streets and plazas. It's main claim to fame is the Mezquita-Catedral de Córdoba. This structure follows the typical trajectory of religious structures in Spain over the last 2000 years. It started out as a Christian church, was converted to a Muslim mosque in 784, then converted back to a Christian church in 1236. It's a mixture of Christian and moorish architecture. Visiting this structure was our main purpose for visiting.

We took the train up to Córdoba on Saturday. There's a really cool scale model of Sevilla in the train station now. We looked at it for a while before getting on the train:

There's a lot of lovely greenspace in Córdoba:

We visited the Mosque-Cathedral on a bright sunny day. Inside was kind of dark, but this only served to highlight the shafts of colored light coming in through the stained-glass windows:

There were a lots of Renaissance paintings in the church. You tend to see lots of different styles and skill levels. I love how "buff" the baby Jesus looks in this particular rendering:

The choir chairs were made of ridiculously intricately carved hardwoods:

Surrounding the Christian chapel were the Moorish pillars and arches of the old mosque:

The main altar in the church was quite ornate:

Like the cathedral in Sevilla, this cathedral has a bell tower which offers the highest view of Córdoba:

Naturally, we had to go up and have a look. Here's the garden:

The Cathedral rises up out of the old Mosque:

The city of Córdoba sprawls away:

Proof that we actually climbed the tower stairs instead of paying someone to go up there and snap a few photos for us:

Of course, before the Christians and the Muslims there were the Romans. This old Roman bridge is restored and now acts as a pedestrian bridge:

It's beautifully lit at night too:

Today we went to the botanical garden in Córdoba. It was a well laid out and informative showcase of the plants and trees of this part of the world, Spain, northern Africa and even the Americas (the latter because many of these plants were brought back from the Americas during Spain's era of trade with the Americas):

The botanical garden clearly has an educational outreach program too. This botany bus must go out to local schools and events. I love the plants growing on the roof of this functioning bus:

I love old abandoned buildings, even in the US. I'm always curious about their stories. Why are they empty? What happened to their owners? What were they used for? In the US, especially in the West, those stories are usually at most 200 years old. Here in Spain, those stories can be 2000 years old:

On the way to the train station to go back to Sevilla, we had pizza for lunch at La fabbriča • pizzería. Really good, would definitely recommend:

We made it back to Sevilla pretty easily. Overall, a nice visit.