We took a train from Seville to Cordoba to visit the Candy Cane double arches of Mesquita – also called the Grand Mosque or Cathedral of Cordoba. Can you see Cordoba in a day? Absolutely! Here is a look at our one day in Cordoba, a quick and easy day trip from Seville.
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One day in Cordoba, a Day Trip from Seville
The Mesquita takes your breath away upon entry. It makes you feel as though you are in a hall of mirrors. Although originally built as a Mosque, the center of this magnificent building was converted to a Cathedral after the Christians conquered Spain, the important parts of what was a Mosque are still intact like the open courtyard once used for ablution rituals and the Kibla wall facing Mecca, there is a forest of pillars made from different colored granite, marble and alabaster supporting dozens of horseshoe arches, that looks like candy canes – then right in the center is the spectacular altar, choir stalls and pipe organ which would grace any Christian place of worship. Traditionally, the mihrab of a mosque faces in the direction of Mecca; by facing the mihrab, worshipers pray towards Mecca. Mecca is east-southeast of the mosque, but the mihrab of this mosque unusually points south.
When it was lunchtime we walked around the tiny streets around the Mesquita till we found a menu we liked. Lunch at the Las Piconeras was one of the best we had in Andalucía – we had the best Paella, fried eggplant with honey, olives and salmorejo – which is like gazpacho but richer and smoother. Even though it was hot we loved just walking around and enjoying the ambiance of Cordoba. We went to the Flower street, walked around the small alleyways and did some souvenir shopping.
The history buff in our family aka Miss Teen wanted to go see the Alcázar de los Reyes Cristianos (Spanish for “Alcázar of the Christian Monarchs”). She educated us that – Isabella and her husband Ferdinand used the Alcázar for one of the first permanent tribunals of the Spanish Inquisition and as a headquarters for their campaign against the Nasrid dynasty in Granada which was the last of the Moorish kingdom in the Iberian Peninsula. The monarchs are said to have met Christopher Columbus in the Alcázar as he prepared to take his first voyage to the Americas. The Alcázar also later served as a garrison for Napoleon Bonaparte’s troops in 1800.
We then walked on the Roman bridge built over the Guadalquivir river, this river runs through the entire length of Spain. There are plenty of other things to do in Cordoba. While we explored on our own you can also book tours for just Cordoba or from Seville or Madrid.
It took just 45 minutes to get from Seville to Cordoba on the high-speed AVE train line. We learned quite a bit about the history of Cordoba on our little trip there! So on your trip to Spain, plan a day trip from Seville to Cordoba to visit the Candy Cane double arches of Mesquita and more.
The Mesquita – Grand Mosque & Cathedral of Cordoba
Souvenir shopping in Cordoba
Lunch in Cordoba
Our lunch at Las Piconeras was one of the best we had in Andalucía – we had the best Paella, fried eggplant, olives and salmorejo.
The Alcázar of the Christian Monarchs, Cordoba
I hope this post inspires you to visit Cordoba, even if you have only a day when you are in Southern Spain!
You might also like – Things to do in Venice with kids, Top things to do in Barcelona with kids, Southern Spain Itinerary, Alcazar of Seville, road trip through the white villages of Andalucia and other posts from Spain.
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