Roman bridge of Córdoba, Spain

Roman bridge of Córdoba, Spain

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Roman Walls of Córdoba

The Roman Walls which once surrounded Córdoba, Spain, were built after the Romans captured the city in 206 BC, making it part of the Roman Republic.

Built as fortifications soon after the Romans captured Córdoba, the walls stretched some 2,650 m, completely surrounding the city. They consisted of carefully cut stone with an outer wall of up to 3 m high and a 1.2 m inner wall flanking a gap 6 m wide filled with rubble. There were several semicircular towers along the walls. When the city received the status of Colonia Patricia under Augustus, the southern wall was demolished in order to extend the city limits to the river. Vestiges remain in the Alcázar, near the Roman bridge, and flanking the Avenida de la Ribera. The walls next to Calle San Fernando and Calle Cairuán (restored in the 1950s) also have a base from this period. A section of the Roman wall can be seen from the street next to the Roman temple.

Roman gates included the Porta Principalis Sinistra (later Puerta de Gallegos) on the west side not far from the Roman mausoleum. The arches next to the Puerta de Sevilla to the east are part of a Roman aqueduct.



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Córdoba, conventional Cordova, city, capital of Córdoba provincia (province), in the north-central section of the comunidad autónoma (autonomous community) of Andalusia in southern Spain. It lies at the southern foot of the Morena Mountains and on the right (north) bank of the Guadalquivir River, about 80 miles (130 km) northeast of Sevilla.

Córdoba was probably Carthaginian in origin and was occupied by the Romans in 152 bc . The city flourished under their rule, though 20,000 of its inhabitants were massacred in 45 bc by Julius Caesar for having supported the sons of Pompey. Under Augustus, the city became the capital of the prosperous Roman province of Baetica. It declined under the rule of the Visigoths from the 6th to the early 8th century ad .

In 711 Córdoba was captured and largely destroyed by the Muslims. Its recovery was impeded by tribal rivalries until ʿAbd al-Raḥmān I, a member of the Umayyad family, accepted the leadership of the Spanish Muslims and made Córdoba his capital in 756. ʿAbd al-Raḥmān I founded the Great Mosque of Córdoba, which was enlarged by his successors and completed about 976 by Abū ʿĀmir al-Manṣūr. Though troubled by occasional revolt, Córdoba grew rapidly under Umayyad rule and after ʿAbd al-Raḥmān III proclaimed himself caliph of the West in 929, it became the largest and probably the most cultured city in Europe, with a population of some 100,000 in 1000. Under Umayyad rule, Córdoba was enlarged and filled with palaces and mosques. The city’s woven silks and elaborate brocades, leatherwork, and jewelry were prized throughout Europe and the East, and its copyists rivaled Christian monks in the production of religious works. When the caliphate was dismembered by civil war early in the 11th century, Córdoba became the centre of a contest for power among the petty Muslim kingdoms of Spain. It fell to the Castilian king Ferdinand III in 1236 and became part of Christian Spain.

Córdoba remained a Christian military base in the frontier warfare against the Muslim kingdom of Granada. But the substitution of Spanish for Muslim rule hastened the city’s economic and cultural decline, and the fall of Granada in 1492 left Córdoba a quiet city of churches, monasteries, and aristocratic houses. The exotic poetry of Luis de Góngora y Argote briefly revived Córdoba’s cultural prestige in the 17th century. Besides Góngora, the city is noted as the birthplace of the Roman philosopher Seneca, the poet Lucan, and the medieval philosophers Averroës and Maimonides.

The city was stormed and sacked by the French in 1808 for its part in fomenting the rebellion against Napoleonic French rule. It was one of the first cities occupied by Francoist forces in the Spanish Civil War (1936–39).

Córdoba remains a typically Moorish city with narrow, winding streets, especially in the older quarter of the centre and, farther west, the Judería (Jewish quarter). A Moorish bridge with 16 arches on Roman bases connects Córdoba with its suburbs across the river. The bridge is guarded at its southern end by the Calahorra fortress. West of the bridge, near the river, lies the Alcázar, or palace, which was the residence of the caliphs and is now in ruins. Other important buildings include several old monasteries and churches, the city hall, various schools and colleges, and museums of fine arts and archaeology. Córdoba’s Moorish character and its fine buildings—especially the Great Mosque—have made it a popular tourist attraction.

The city is also noted for its textile manufactures, traditional medieval handicrafts, and its manufacture of gold and silver ornaments and products in copper, bronze, and aluminum. Córdoba’s other significant industries are brewing, distilling, and food processing (especially olives), as well as the manufacture of machinery parts and metalworking. Pop. (2006 est.) 297,506.

This article was most recently revised and updated by Maren Goldberg, Assistant Editor.


The name Córdoba has attracted a number of fanciful explanations. One is that the Carthaginian general Hamilcar Barca named the city Kart-Juba, meaning "the City of Juba," a Numidian commander who had died in a battle nearby. [ citation needed ] Another, suggested in 1799 by José Antonio Conde, is that the name comes from a Phoenician-Punic word qrt ṭwbh meaning 'good town'. After the Roman conquest, the town's name was Latinised as Corduba. [14]

Prehistory, antiquity and Roman foundation of the city Edit

The first traces of human presence in the area are remains of a Neanderthal Man, dating to c. 42,000 to 35,000 BC. [15] Pre-urban settlements around the mouth of the Guadalquivir river are known to have existed from the 8th century BC. The population gradually learned copper and silver metallurgy. [ citation needed ] The first historical mention of a settlement dates to the Carthaginian expansion across the Guadalquivir. [ citation needed ] Córdoba was conquered by the Romans in 206 BC. [ citation needed ]

In 169 Roman consul Marcus Claudius Marcellus, grandson of Marcus Claudius Marcellus, who had governed both Hispania Ulterior and Hispania Citerior, respectively), founded a Latin colony alongside the pre-existing Iberian settlement. [16] The date is contested it could have been founded in 152. Between 143 and 141 BC the town was besieged by Viriatus. A Roman forum is known to have existed in the city in 113 BC. [17] The famous Cordoba Treasure, with mixed local and Roman artistic traditions, was buried in the city at this time it is now in the British Museum. [18]

Corduba became a Roman colonia with the name Colonia Patricia, [19] between 46 and 45 BC. It was sacked by Caesar in 45 because of its fealty to Pompey, and resettled with veteran soldiers by Augustus. It became the capital of Baetica, with a forum and numerous temples, and was the main center of Roman intellectual life in Hispania Ulterior. [20] [16] The Roman philosopher Seneca the Younger, his father, the orator Seneca the Elder, and his nephew, the poet Lucan came from Roman Cordoba. [21]

In the late Roman period, Corduba's bishop Hosius (Ossius) was the dominant figure of the western Church throughout the earlier 4th cent. [16] Later, Corduba occupied an important place in the Provincia Hispaniae of the Byzantine Empire (552–572) and under the Visigoths, who conquered it in the late 6th century. [22] [23]

Umayyad rule Edit

Córdoba was captured and mostly destroyed by the Muslims in 711 or 712. [24] Unlike other Iberian towns, no capitulation was signed and the position was taken by storm. Córdoba was in turn governed by direct Arab rule. The new Umayyad commanders established themselves within the city and in 716 it became a provincial capital, [24] subordinate to the Caliphate of Damascus in Arabic it was known as قرطبة (Qurṭuba).

Different areas were allocated for services in the Saint Vincent Church shared by Christians and Muslims, until construction of the Córdoba Mosque started on the same spot under Abd-ar-Rahman I. Abd al-Rahman allowed the Christians to rebuild their ruined churches and purchased the Christian half of the church of St Vincent. In May 766 Córdoba was chosen as the capital of the independent Umayyad emirate, later caliphate, of al-Andalus. By 800 the megacity of Córdoba supported over 200,000 residents, 0.1 per cent of the global population. During the apogee of the caliphate (1000 AD), Córdoba had a population of about 400,000 inhabitants,. [11] In the 10th and 11th centuries Córdoba was one of the most advanced cities in the world, and a great cultural, political, financial and economic centre. [25] [26] [27] The Great Mosque of Córdoba dates back to this time. After a change of rulers the situation changed quickly. The vizier al-Mansur–the unofficial ruler of al-Andalus from 976 to 1002—burned most of the books on philosophy to please the Moorish clergy most of the others were sold off or perished in the civil strife not long after. [28]

Córdoba had a prosperous economy, with manufactured goods including leather, metal work, glazed tiles and textiles, and agricultural produce including a range of fruits, vegetables, herbs and spices, and materials such as cotton, flax and silk. [28] It was also famous as a centre of learning, home to over 80 libraries and institutions of learning, [25] [29] with knowledge of medicine, mathematics, astronomy, botany far exceeding the rest of Europe at the time. [28]

In 1002 Al-Mansur was returning to Córdoba from an expedition in the area of Rioja when he died. His death was the beginning of the end of Córdoba. Abd al-Malik al-Muzaffar, al-Mansur's older son, succeeded to his father’s authority, but he died in 1008, possibly assassinated. Sanchuelo, Abd al-Malik’s younger brother succeeded him. While Sanchuelo was away fighting Alfonso V of Leon, a revolution made Mohammed II al-Mahdi the Caliph. Sanchuelo sued for pardon but he was killed when he returned to Cardova. The slaves revolted against Mahdi, killed him in 1009, and replaced him with Hisham II in 1010. Hisham II kept a male harem and was forced out of office. In 1012 the Berbers "sacked Cardova." In 1016 the slaves captured Cardova and searched for Hisham II, but he had escaped to Asia. This event was followed by a fight for power until Hisham III, the last of the Umayyads, was routed from Córdoba in 1031. [30]

High Middle Ages Edit

As the caliphate collapsed, so did Córdoba's economic and political hegemony and it subsequently became part of the Taifa of Córdoba. [31]

In 1070, forces from the Taifa of Seville (ruled by Al-Mu'tamid) entered Córdoba to help in the defence of the city, that had been besieged by Al-Mamun, ruler of Toledo, yet they took control and expelled the last ruler of the taifa of Córdoba, Abd-Al Malik, forcing him to exile. [32] Al-Mamun did not cease in his efforts to take the city, and making use of a Sevillian renegade who murdered the Abbadid governor, he triumphantly entered the city on 15 February 1075, only to die there barely five months later, apparently poisoned. [33] Córdoba was seized by force in March 1091 by the Almoravids. [34]

Sworn enemies of the almohads, Ibn Mardanīš (the "Wolf King") and his stepfather Ibrahim Ibn Hamusk allied with Alfonso VIII of Castile and laid siege on Córdoba by 1158–1160, ravaging the surroundings but failing to take the place. [35]

Almohad caliph Abdallah al-Adil reshuffled governor Al-Bayyasi [es] (brother of Zayd Abu Zayd, governor of Valencia) from Seville to Córdoba in 1224, only to see the latter became independent from Caliphal rule. [36] [37] Al-Bayyasi asked Ferdinand III of Castile for help and Córdoba revolted against him. [38] Years later, in 1229, the city submitted to the authority of Ibn Hud, [39] disavowing him in 1233, joining instead the territories under Muhammad Ibn al-Aḥmar, [40] ruler of Arjona and soon-to-be emir of Granada.

Late Middle Ages Edit

Ferdinand III of Castile entered the city on 29 June 1236, following a siege of several months. According to Arab sources, Córdoba fell on 23 Shawwal 633 (that is, on 30 June 1236, a day later than Christian tradition). [41] The conquest was followed by the return to Santiago de Compostela of the church bells that had been looted by Almanzor and moved to Córdoba by Christian war prisoners in the late 10th century. [42] Ferdinand III granted the city a fuero in 1241 [43] it was based on the Liber Iudiciorum and in the customs of Toledo, yet formulated in an original way. [44] The city was divided into 14 colaciones, and numerous new church buildings were added. The centre of the mosque was converted into a large Catholic cathedral.

Modern history Edit

Panoramics of Córdoba as drawn by Anton van den Wyngaerde in 1567

In the context of the Early Modern Period, the city experienced a golden age between 1530 and 1580, profiting from an economic activity based on the trade of agricultural products and the preparation of clothes originally from Los Pedroches, peaking at a population of about 50,000 by 1571. [45] A period of stagnation and ensuing decline followed. [45]

It was reduced to 20,000 inhabitants in the 18th century. [ citation needed ] The population and economy started to increase again only in the early 20th century.

The second half of the 19th century saw the arrival of railway transport via the opening of the Seville–Córdoba line on 2 June 1859. [46] Córdoba became connected by railway to Jerez and Cádiz in 1861 and, in 1866, following the link with Manzanares, with Madrid. [47] The city was also eventually connected to Málaga and Belmez. [48]

On 18 July 1936, the military governor of the province, Col.Ciriaco Cascajo [es] , launched the Nationalist coup in the city, bombing the civil government and arresting the civil governor, Rodríguez de León [49] these actions ignited the Spanish Civil War. Following the orders of the putschist General Queipo de Llano, he declared a state of war. The putschists were met by the resistance of the political and social representatives who had gathered in the civil government headquarters, [50] and remained there until the Nationalist rifle fire and the presence of artillery broke their morale. When its defenders began fleeing the building, Rodríguez de León finally decided to surrender and was arrested. [51] In the following weeks, Queipo de Llano and Major Bruno Ibañez carried out a bloody repression in which 2,000 persons were executed. [52] [53] [54] The ensuing Francoist repression in wartime and in the immediate post-war period (1936–1951) is estimated to have led to around 9,579 killings in the province. [55]

Córdoba was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site on 17 December 1984, but the city has a number of modern areas, including the district of Zoco and the area surrounding the railway station.

The regional government (the Junta de Andalucía) has for some time [ when? ] been studying the creation of a Córdoba Metropolitan Area that would comprise, in addition to the capital itself, the towns of Villafranca de Córdoba, Obejo, La Carlota, Villaharta, Villaviciosa, Almodóvar del Río and Guadalcázar. The combined population of such an area would be around 351,000. The Plano de Córdoba was also known for its books and how they created it.

Location Edit

Córdoba is located in the south of the Iberian Peninsula, in the depression formed by the Guadalquivir river, that cuts across the city in a east-north east to west-south west direction. The wider municipality extends across an area of 1,254.25 km 2 , [56] making it the largest municipality in Andalusia and the fourth largest in Spain. [57]

The city of Córdoba lies in the middle course of the river. Three major landscape units in the municipality include the Sierra (as in the southern reaches of Sierra Morena), the Valley proper and the Campiña. [58]

The differences in elevation in the Valley are very small, ranging from 100 and 170 metres above sea level, [58] with the city proper located at an average altitude of roughly 125 metres above sea level. [59] The landscape of the valley is further subdivided in the piedmont connecting with the Sierra, the fluvial terraces and the most immediate vicinity of the river course. [58]

The Miocene Campiña, located in the southern bank of the Guadalquivir, features a hilly landscape gently increasing in height up to about 200 m. [59] In the Sierra, to the north of the city, the altitude increases relatively abruptly up to 500 meters. [59] Both the Sierra and the Campiña display viewpoints over the valley. [58]

Climate Edit

Córdoba has a hot Mediterranean climate (Köppen climate classification Csa). [60] It has the highest summer average daily temperatures in Europe (with highs averaging 36.9 °C (98 °F) in July) and days with temperatures over 40 °C (104 °F) are common in the summer months. August's 24-hour average of 28.0 °C (82 °F) is also one of the highest in Europe, despite relatively cool nightly temperatures.

Winters are mild, yet cooler than other low lying cities in southern Spain due to its interior location, wedged between the Sierra Morena and the Penibaetic System. Precipitation is concentrated in the coldest months this is due to the Atlantic coastal influence. Precipitation is generated by storms from the west that occur most frequently from December to February. This Atlantic characteristic then gives way to a hot summer with significant drought more typical of Mediterranean climates. Annual rain surpasses 600 mm (24 in), although it is recognized to vary from year to year.

The registered maximum temperature at the Córdoba Airport, located at 6 kilometres (4 miles) from the city, was 46.9 °C (116.4 °F) on 13 July 2017. The lowest registered temperature was −8.2 °C (17.2 °F), on 28 January 2005. [61]

Climate data for Córdoba (1981-2010), extremes (1949-present)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 22.9
Mean maximum °C (°F) 18.8
Average high °C (°F) 14.9
Daily mean °C (°F) 9.3
Average low °C (°F) 3.6
Mean minimum °C (°F) −2.0
Record low °C (°F) −8.2
Average precipitation mm (inches) 66
Average precipitation days (≥ 1 mm) 7 6 5 7 5 1 0 1 3 7 6 8 57
Average relative humidity (%) 76 71 64 60 55 48 41 43 52 66 73 79 60
Mean monthly sunshine hours 174 186 218 235 289 323 363 336 248 205 180 148 2,905
Source: Agencia Estatal de Meteorología [61]

Córdoba has the second largest Old town in Europe, the largest urban area in the world declared World Heritage by UNESCO.

Roman Edit

The Roman Bridge, over the Guadalquivir River, links the area of Campo de la Verdad with Barrio de la Catedral. It was the only bridge of the city for twenty centuries, until the construction of the San Rafael Bridge in the mid-20th century. Built in the early 1st century BC, during the period of Roman rule in Córdoba, probably replacing a more primitive wooden one, it has a length of about 250 m and has 16 arches.

Other Roman remains include the Roman Temple, the Theatre, Mausoleum, the Colonial Forum, the Forum Adiectum, an amphitheater and the remains of the Palace of Emperor Maximian in the archaeological site of Cercadilla.

Islamic Edit

Great Mosque of Córdoba Edit

From 784- 786 AD, Abd al-Rahman I built the Mezquita, or Great Mosque, of Córdoba, in the Umayyad style of architecture with variations inspired by indigenous Roman and Christian Visigothic structures. Later caliphs extended the mosque with more domed bays, arches, intricate mosaics and a minaret, making it one of the four wonders of the medieval Islamic world. After the Christian reconquest of Andalucía, a cathedral was built in the heart of the mosque, however much of the original structure remains. It can be found in the Historic Centre of Córdoba, a recognized World Heritage Site. [62] [63] [64] [65]

Minaret of San Juan Edit

Built in 930 AD, the mosque that this minaret adorned has been replaced by a church and the minaret re-purposed as a tower. Even so, it retains the characteristics of Islamic architecture in the region, including two ornamental arches. [64] [66]

Mills of the Guadalquivir Edit

Along the banks of the Guadalquivir are the Mills of the Guadalquivir, Moorish-era buildings that used the water flow to grind flour. They include the Albolafia, Alegría, Carbonell, Casillas, Enmedio, Lope García, Martos, Pápalo, San Antonio, San Lorenzo and San Rafael mills. [67]

Medina Azahara Edit

On the outskirts of the city lies the archaeological site of the city of Medina Azahara, which, together with the Alhambra in Granada, is one of the main examples of Spanish-Muslim architecture in Spain.

Caliphal Baths Edit

Near the stables are located, along the walls, the medieval Baths of the Umayyad Caliphs.

Jewish Quarter Edit

Near the cathedral is the old Jewish quarter, which consists of many irregular streets, such as Calleja de las Flores and Calleja del Pañuelo, and which is home to the Synagogue and the Sephardic House.

Christian Edit

Surrounding the large Old town are the Roman walls: gates include the Puerta de Almodóvar, the Puerta de Sevilla and Puerta del Puente, which are the only three gates remaining from the original thirteen. Towers and fortresses include the Malmuerta Tower, Torre de Belén and the Puerta del Rincón's Tower.

In the south of the Old town and east of the great cathedral, in the Plaza del Potro, is the Posada del Potro, a row of inns mentioned in literary works including Don Quixote and La Feria de los Discretos, and which remained active until 1972. Both the plaza and the inn get their name from the fountain in the centre of the plaza, which represents a foal (potro). Not far from this plaza is the Arco del Portillo (a 14th-century arch). In the extreme southwest of the Old Town is the Alcázar de los Reyes Cristianos, a former royal property and the seat of the Inquisition adjacent to it are the Royal Stables, where Andalusian horses are bred. Palace buildings in the Old Town include the Palacio de Viana (14th century) and the Palacio de la Merced among others. Other sights include the Cuesta del Bailío (a staircase connecting the upper and lower part of the city).

Fernandine churches Edit

The city is home to 12 Christian churches that were built (many as transformations of mosques) by Ferdinand III of Castile after the reconquest of the city in the 13th century. They were to act both as churches and as the administrative centres in the neighborhoods into which the city was divided in medieval times. Some of those that remain are:

    . . (also known as Iglesia de la Trinidad). .
  • San Agustín. Begun in 1328, it has now an 18th-century appearance. The façade bell tower, with four bells, dates to the 16th century.
  • San Andrés, largely renovated in the 14th and 15th centuries. It has a Renaissance portal (1489) and a bell tower from the same period, while the high altar is a Baroque work by Pedro Duque Cornejo. .
  • Church of Santiago. . . Like the others, it combines Romanesque, Mudéjar and Gothic elements. . In the church's garden in the 1990s the ruins of an ancient Roman circus were discovered. [68]

Other religious structures Edit

  • Iglesia de San Hipólito. It houses the tombs of Ferdinand IV and Alfonso XI of Castile, kings of Castile and León.
  • Iglesia de San Francisco
  • Iglesia de San Salvador y Santo Domingo de Silos
  • Santuario de Nuestra Señora de Linares
  • Torre de Santo Domingo de Silos
  • Santuario de Nuestra Señora de la Fuensanta
  • Chapel of San Bartolomé

Sculptures and memorials Edit

Scattered throughout the city are ten statues of the Archangel Raphael, protector and custodian of the city. These are called the Triumphs of Saint Raphael, and are located in landmarks such as the Roman Bridge, the Puerta del Puente and the Plaza del Potro.

In the western part of the Historic Centre are the statue of Seneca (near the Puerta de Almodóvar, a gate from the time of Islamic rule, (the Statue of Averroes (next to the Puerta de la Luna), and Maimonides (in the plaza de Tiberiades). Further south, near the Puerta de Sevilla, are the sculpture to the poet Ibn Zaydún and the sculpture of the writer and poet Ibn Hazm and, inside the Alcázar de los Reyes Cristianos, the monument to the Catholic Monarchs and Christopher Columbus.

There are also several sculptures in plazas of the Old Town. In the central Plaza de las Tendillas is the equestrian statue of Gonzalo Fernández de Córdoba, in the Plaza de Capuchinos is the Cristo de los Faroles, in Plaza de la Trinidad is the statue of Luis de Góngora, in the Plaza del Cardenal Salazar is the bust of Ahmad ibn Muhammad abu Yafar al-Gafiqi, in the Plaza de Capuchinas is the statue to the bishop Osio, in Plaza del Conde de Priego is the monument to Manolete and the Campo Santo de los Mártires is a statue to Al-Hakam II and the monument to the lovers.

In the Jardines de la Agricultura is the monument to the painter Julio Romero de Torres, a bust by sculptor Mateo Inurria, a bust of the poet Julio Aumente and the sculpture dedicated to the gardener Aniceto García Roldán, who was killed in the park. Further south, in the Gardens of the Duke of Rivas, is a statue of writer and poet Ángel de Saavedra, 3rd Duke of Rivas by sculptor Mariano Benlliure.

In the Guadalquivir river, near the San Rafael Bridge is the Island of the sculptures, an artificial island with a dozen stone sculptures executed during the International Sculpture Symposium. Up the river, near the Miraflores bridge, is the "Hombre Río", a sculpture of a swimmer looking to the sky and whose orientation varies depending on the current.

Bridges Edit

  • San Rafael Bridge, consisting of eight arches of 25 m span and a length of 217 m. The width is between parapets, divided into 12 m of cobblestone for four circulations and two tiled concrete sidewalks. It was inaugurated on 29 April 1953 joining the Avenue Corregidor with Plaza de Andalucía. In January 2004 the plaques reading "His Excellency the Head of State and Generalissimo of all the Armies, Francisco Franco Bahamonde, opened this bridge of the Guadalquivir on 29 April 1953", which were on both sides of each of the entrances of the bridge, were removed.
  • Andalusia Bridge, a suspension bridge.
  • Puente de Miraflores, known as "the rusty bridge". This bridge links the Street San Fernando and Ronda de Isasa with the Miraflores peninsula. It was designed by Herrero, Suárez and Casado and inaugurated on 2 May 2003. At first, in 1989, a proposal by architect-engineer Santiago Calatrava was considered [69] that would look like the Lusitania Bridge of Mérida, but this was eventually discarded because its height would obscure the view of the Great Mosque.
  • Autovía del Sur Bridge.
  • Abbas Ibn Firnas Bridge, Inaugurated in January 2011 It is part of the variant west of Córdoba.
  • Puente del Arenal, connecting Avenue Campo de la Verdad with the Recinto Ferial (fairground) of Cordoba.
  • Jardines de la Victoria. Within the gardens there are two newly renovated facilities, the old Caseta del Círculo de la Amistad, today Caseta Victoria, and the Kiosko de la música, as well as a small Modernist fountain from the early 20th century. The northern section, called Jardines of Duque de Rivas, features a pergola of neoclassical style, designed by the architect Carlos Sáenz de Santamaría it is used as an exhibition hall and a café bar.
  • Jardines de la Agricultura, located between the Jardines de la Victoria and the Paseo de Córdoba: it includes numerous trails that radially converge to a round square which has a fountain or pond. This is known as the duck pond, and, in the centre, has an island with a small building in which these animals live. Scattered throughout the garden are numerous sculptures such as the sculpture in memory of Julio Romero de Torres, the sculpture to the composer Julio Aumente and the bust of Mateo Inurria. In the north is a rose garden in form of a labyrinth.
  • Parque de Miraflores, located on the south bank of the river Guadalquivir. It was designed by the architect Juan Cuenca Montilla as a series of terraces. Among other points of interest as the Salam and Miraflores Bridge and a sculpture by Agustín Ibarrola.
  • Parque Cruz Conde, located southwest of the city, is an open park and barrier-free park in English gardens style. [70]
  • Paseo de Cordoba. Located on the underground train tracks, it is a long tour of several km in length with more than 434,000 m². The tour has numerous fountains, including six formed by a portico of falling water which form a waterfall to a pond with four levels. Integrated into the tour is a pond of water from the Roman era, and the building of the old train station of RENFE, now converted into offices of Canal Sur.
  • Jardines Juan Carlos I, in the Ciudad Jardín neighborhood. It is a fortress which occupies an area of about 12,500 square metres.
  • Jardines del Conde de Vallellano, located on both sides of the avenue of the same name. It includes a large L-shaped pond with a capacity of 3,000 m 3 (105,944.00 cu ft) and archaeological remains embedded in the gardens, among which is a Roman cistern from the second half of the 1st century BC.
  • Parque de la Asomadilla, with a surface of 27 hectares, is the second largest park in Andalusia. [71] The park recreates a Mediterranean forest vegetation, such as hawthorn, pomegranate, hackberry, oak, olive, tamarisk, cypress, elms, pines, oaks and carob trees among others.
  • Balcón del Guadalquivir.
  • Jardines de Colón.
  • Sotos de la Albolafia. Declared Natural monument by the Andalusian Autonomous Government, it is located in a stretch of the Guadalquivir river from the Roman Bridge and the San Rafael Bridge, with an area of 21.36 hectares. [72] Host a large variety of birds and is an important point of migration for many birds.
  • Parque periurbano Los Villares.

The Archaeological and Ethnological Museum of Córdoba is a provincial museum located near the Guadalquivir River. [73] The museum was officially opened in 1867 and shared space with the Museum of Fine Arts until 1920. In 1960, the museum was relocated to the Renaissance Palace of Páez de Castillo where it remains to present day. The Archaeological and Ethnological Museum has eight halls which contain pieces from the middle to late bronze age, to Roman culture, Visigothic art, and Islamic culture. [74]

The Julio Romero de Torres Museum is located next to the Guadalquivir river and was opened in November 1931. [75] The home of Julio Romero de Torres, has undergone many renovations and been turned into a museum and it has also been home to several other historical institutions such as the Archaeological Museum (1868-1917) and the Museum of Fine Arts. Many of the works include paintings and motifs done by Julio Romero de Torres himself. [76]

The Museum of Fine Arts is located next to the Julio Romero de Torres Museum which it shares a courtyard with. [77] The building originally was for the old Hospital for Charity but after that the building went under many renovations and renewals to become the renaissance style building it is today. [78] [79] The Museum of Fine Arts contains many works from the baroque period, medieval renaissance art, work from the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries, drawings, mannerist art and other unique works. [80]

The Diocesan Museum is located in the Episcopal Palace, Cordoba which was built upon a formerly Arabic castle. The collection within houses many paintings, sculptures and furniture. [81]

Other notable museums within Córdoba:

  • The Arab Baths of the Fortress Califal
  • Botanical Museum of Cordova
  • Three Cultures Museum
  • Bullfighting Museum
  • Molino de Martos Hydraulic Museum
  • Museo Palacio de Viana

Tourism is especially intense in Córdoba during May as this month hosts three of the most important annual festivals in the city: [82]

  • Las Cruces de Mayo (The May Crosses of Córdoba). [83] This festival takes place at the beginning of the month. During three or four days, crosses of around 3m height are placed in many squares and streets and decorated with flowers and a contest is held to choose the most beautiful one. Usually there is regional food and music near the crosses.
  • Los Patios de Córdoba (The Courtyards Festival of Córdoba - World Heritage). [84] This festival is celebrated during the second and third week of the month. Many houses of the historic center open their private patios to the public and compete in a contest. Both the architectonic value and the floral decorations are taken into consideration to choose the winners. It is usually very difficult and expensive to find accommodation in the city during the festival.
  • La Feria de Córdoba (The Fair of Córdoba). [85] This festival takes place at the end of the month and is similar to the better known Seville Fair with some differences, mainly that the Sevilla Fair has majority private casetas (tents run by local businesses), while the Córdoba Fair has majority public ones.

As of 2019 [update] José María Bellido Roche (PP) is the mayor of Córdoba.

The City Council of Córdoba is divided into different areas: the Presidency Human Resources, Management, Tax and Public Administration City Planning, Infraestructure, and Environment Social and Development. [86] The Council holds regular plenary sessions once a month, but can hold extraordinary plenary session to discuss issues and problems affecting the city. [87]

The Governing Board, chaired by the mayor, consists of four IU councillors, three of PSOE, and three non-elected members. [88] [89] The municipal council consists of 29 members: 11 of PP, 7 of PSOE, 4 of IU, 4 of Ganemos Córdoba, 2 of Ciudadanos and 1 of Unión Cordobesa.

List of mayors since the democratic elections of 1979
Legislature Name Party
1979–1983 Julio Anguita PCE
1983–1987 Julio Anguita (until 1 February 1986) PCE
Herminio Trigo IU
1987–1991 Herminio Trigo IU
1991–1995 Herminio Trigo IU
Manuel Pérez Pérez IU
1995–1999 Rafael Merino PP
1999–2003 Rosa Aguilar IU
2003–2007 Rosa Aguilar IU
2007–2011 Rosa Aguilar (until 23 April 2009) IU
Andrés Ocaña IU
2011–2015 José Antonio Nieto Ballesteros PP
2015−2019 Isabel Ambrosio Palos PSOE
2019− José María Bellido Roche PP
Administrative divisions

As of July 2008, the city is divided into 10 administrative districts, coordinated by the Municipal district boards, which in turn are subdivided into neighbourhoods:

District District Location
Centro Poniente-Sur
Levante Sur
Noroeste Sureste
Norte-Sierra Periurbano Este-Campiña
Poniente-Norte Periurbano Oeste-Sierra

    - Islamic jurist - Flamenco artist - Islamic philosopher - Flamenco artist - musician - Flamenco artist - Renaissance-era poet - Islamic theologian and jurist - Islamic linguist - Roman poet - Jewish philosopher and rabbi - matador - Medieval poet - Islamic jurist - Flamenco artist - jurist of the Malikischool - painter , Stoic philosopher - Flamenco artist - actor - artist [90]

Córdoba's main sports team is its association football team, Córdoba CF, which plays in the Spanish Segunda División B following a brief one-season tenure in La Liga during the 2014-15 season. Home matches are played at the Estadio Nuevo Arcángel, which has 20,989 seats.

Córdoba also has a professional futsal team, Córdoba Patrimonio de la Humanidad, which plays in the Primera División de Futsal. [91] The local youth basketball club, CD Cordobasket, had a professional team which played in the Liga EBA for three seasons before going on hiatus in August 2019. [92] The futsal team plays the majority of its home games at the 3,500 seat Palacio Municipal de Deportes Vista Alegre.

Rail Edit

Córdoba railway station is connected by high speed trains to the following Spanish cities: Madrid, Barcelona, Seville, Málaga and Zaragoza. More than 20 trains per day connect the downtown area, in 54 minutes, with Málaga María Zambrano station, which provides interchange capability to destinations along the Costa del Sol, including Málaga Airport.

Airports Edit

Córdoba has an airport, although there are no airlines operating commercial flights on it. The closest airports to the city are Seville Airport (110 km as the crow flies), Granada Airport (118 km) and Málaga Airport (136 km). [93] [94]

Road Edit

The city is also well connected by highways with the rest of the country and Portugal.

Intercity buses Edit

The main bus station is located next to the train station. Several bus companies operate intercity bus services to and from Cordoba. [93]

Roman Bridge of Cordoba

We say so-called Roman Bridge because, as Miguel Ángel Ortí Belmonte tells, only the design and the foundations are preserved from Roman times.

Aulo Hircio, Captain and historian of Caesar’s war against Pompey’s sons, where our city supported the side of the latter, told the episode of the moment when Caesar entered the city: “Having arrived Caesar… he ordered to put great baskets full of stones in it, over which a bridge was erected… and the troops crossed it up to three times”. From the idea that Caesar had to build a provisional bridge to cross the river and thus enter the city, we can think that there was not any bridge whatsoever, and most probably, the one we are talking about was built years later, in times of Emperor Augustus, when our city was granted the rank of Colonia Patricia.

The Romans were, as in many other kinds of buildings, experts in erecting bridges over rivers. The first step was to choose its correct location, and, as in other examples preserved in our country, they chose the lowest part of the meander, next to Martos Water mill, looking for the deepest riverbed. The result was a bridge made in limestone (which, by the way, could be easily eroded) from the mountains, consisting of sixteen round arches supported by strong pillars with circular and angled cutwaters.

There is documental evidence of the bridge in times of Arab occupation. A text by Ajbar Madmua is particularly interesting, where he tells about the rainy night when the troops from the north of Africa crossed the bridge to enter the city. During that period, the bridge experienced numerous reparations, some due to the continuous rises of the river, others due to the natural fragility of the material used. We even know that it was impossible to cross it for some years, up to the point of carrying the dead in boats to the Arab cemetery of the suburb, located on the other bank of the river.

In medieval Christian times, as Beatriz Sánchez tells, the bridge was seen as an essential location therefore they tried to preserve it to a great extent.

In the middle of the 17th century, a plague epidemics broke out in the city, causing a great impact on the population. When it subsided, an image of Archangel San Rafael was located in the bridge, made by sculptor Bernabé del Río, with the iniciative of Father Juan Bautista Caballero. Under it, a white marble plaque reads: “To the great glory of God and cult of our Saint Guardian, the guild of tanners and glove makers renewed this holy image… 10th September 1789”. It is the archangel which is closest to the people, and for this reason it is surrounded by a thick cloud of red candles, all of them consumed, which is a clear reflection of the affection and the deepest devotion the people of Córdoba feel for him.

For many years, our city was in debt with the Roman Bridge. Together with the terrible “restorations” carried out at the beginning of the 20th century, we must add the bad conservation state, both materials as visual or even acoustic, I would say… Besides, not long ago all kinds of vehicles crossed it, even heavy “urban buses”.

On 9th January 2008 the bridge was opened again after a long restoration period, not free of controversy, partly reasonable, which aimed at giving it back its original appearance. We should mention that the wayside cross dedicated to San Acisclo and Santa Victoria, patron saints of the city, has been recovered, which had been located for many years opposite the mentioned image of Archangel San Rafael.

If you wish to know the Roman Bridge of Córdoba do not hesitate to hire one of our guided tours. We are experts in the interpretation of the historical heritage from Córdoba. If you have chosen to do sightseeing in Córdoba, choose a high quality option, choose ArtenCórdoba.

The Roman bridge of Córdoba, Spain, built in the 1st century BC and still in use today. The achievements of the Romans are mindblowing.

My hotel was literally next to the old Roman city walls. as in the back entrance to the hotel was through a glass door installed in a little archway in the Roman walls. There was a statue of Seneca about 30 metres down the road.

Had modern gourmet tapas in a restaurant called 'garum' which is in the ground floor of a modern building where one wall is surviving roman brickwork.

Cordoba museum of archaeology is superb. It is built literally on top of an old Roman theatre that they discovered after already deciding where to site the museum building. The basement level is this cavernous space filled with gantries that let you walk around the theatre remains.

Cordoba is very proud of it's Roman past I would say (although I seem to recall that they were a rebellious bunch at the time).

You really gonna drop this bomb ass comment and not include the name of the hotel for someone who might pass through Cordoba in the future?

Seriously though, that sounds awesome, can I get a name for that hotel?

I thought it was Charles Bridge in Prague for a second. Wonderful, historical craftsmanship.

Yeah, architectural methods haven't changed (or were rediscovered) until the Renaissance. There are a few late-medieval or Renaissance bridges in Paris which are also very similar in style.

I wonder how many people walked across that bridge during its existence

Shame in this day and age with such tech advancements nothing even as half as beautiful could be made. goes to show what humans have lost through out the ages.

Agreed. It's a question of unwilling, not unable.

In art, there's the idea of innovation since the late medieval period. And I totally understand it. If you wrote poems in the style of Victor Hugo or Edgar Allen Poe, you wouldn't get published today even if your poems were masterpieces, even if they would have been considered great a hundred years ago. And it's understandable, because youɽ be imitating a style from a century or two ago. Youɽ be a historical reenactor, not a new artist. In architecture it's the same. The problem with some modern art or architecture, is that they don't always seek aesthetic beauty or durability. That's why modern art doesn't get much respect, and understandably so. But there are some examples of beautiful modern art and architecture. The Golden Gate Bridge is quite nice, or the Millau viaduct.

I do prefer ancient architecture myself, but despite loving this subreddit, I don't expect everything to be constructed in the style of 2000 years ago. It would only demonstrate that we're a stagnant culture. No, let's preserve what we still can from that period, but also find our own aesthetic.

Cordoba History Facts and Timeline

Cordoba is a city that is architecturally fascinating and rich in history. In parts, it is distinctly cosmopolitan, with as much hustle and bustle as Madrid. It is also one of Spain's cultural capitals. Indeed, the city was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1984.

Above all, though, Cordoba is a shining example of an Andalucian city. You only have to stroll the tapas bars of an evening, witness a flamenco performance or admire the whitewashed houses and cobbled streets to realise that you are at the heart of what is a typically southern Spanish province.

History shows how Cordoba started off as a bustling Roman metropolis. Founded in 152 BC, it was named as the capital of Hispania Baetica. Today, there are reminders of the elegance of the Roman era. One of the most prominent is the Roman bridge that crosses the River Guadalquivir.

Abandoned by the Romans

In the 5th century, however, Cordoba was abandoned by its Roman rulers. Their civilisation quickly faded, once elegant buildings crumbled and what was left of the city fell to the advancing hordes of Vandals and Visigoths.

In 756 AD, the city came under the control of Abd ar-Rahman I of Damascus. Under his rule, Cordoba came to play a critical role in the newly dominated Moorish Spain. Abd ar-Rahman went on to build the Mezquita. Under his successors, the city's mosque became ever more elaborate, as did the city itself.

A City of Wealth and Opulence

By the time al-Hakam II came to the throne in the 10th century, Cordoba had become one of the largest and wealthiest of European cities. Indeed, it is said to have outshone Byzantium and Baghdad. It even had streets that were paved, and boasted luxurious villas and public baths. Cordoba also became a centre of learning. The library of al-Hakam II is thought to have amounted to 400,000 books.

Unfortunately, Cordoba's power did not last for much longer and the city disintegrated during the 11th century as the result of internal friction. It remained a Moorish city until the arrival of Ferdinand, King of Castile and León in 1236. From that day on, the city became a Christian centre. From the 13th century, convents, monasteries and churches were built here in an attempt to remove all Moorish influences in the city. This included the building of a Christian cathedral in the centre of the city's Grand Mosque.

A Time of Decay

One of the most notable figures in Cordoba history is Christopher Columbus, who in 1486, came here to ask for royal permission to lead an expedition to the Indies. His plea was successful, although the project did not get off the ground until May 1492.

After the Middle Ages, Cordoba became something of a backwater. Its buildings were allowed to decay and there was little industry in the city. It was only properly rediscovered in the 19th century, when European travellers came here in search of history and architectural gems.

Modern-Day History

Today, this is a bustling city of some 350,000 people. It is the capital of the province of Cordoba, and is situated at the heart of Spain's Andalucia region. Whilst tourism has played a huge role in the city since the 1960s, it has also become a centre for olive groves and vineyards.

Most tourists tend not to venture far from the Old City district, an area that surrounds the Mezquita. Characterised by its maze of narrow alleys and streets, it is bordered to the south by the River Guadalquivir. North-west of the Mezquita is the Jewish Quarter. Its streets and buildings have a distinctly Moorish influence. North of the Old City is Cordoba's modern district, which is centred around the Avenida del America and the Plaza de las Tendillas.

Cordoba Landmarks and Monuments

Cordoba's long and rich history as a Roman, Muslim and Christian urban centre have left tourists with plenty to see and do in the way of ancient sites and old landmarks.

Most remnants of Roman civilization in the city are found in its museums. However, there are a few surviving remnants of monuments in situ that have their origins in this early period of history, including both the Roman Bridge and the Roman Temple. Surviving Muslim monuments include the Almodovar Gate.

There are also plenty of examples of Cordoban architecture that date from the 15th century onwards, such as the Triumph of Saint Raphael and the more recent Monument to Manolete.

Roman Bridge (Puente Romano)

Address: Cordoba, Spain
Known in Spanish as the Puente Romano, this bridge is a striking landmark on the Guadalquivir River. It was built in the early part of the 1st century BC and today, is open to both pedestrians and cars. In fact, it is worth taking a stroll over the bridge to get a view of the river from the south bank. Little remains of the bridge's original structure, because of frequent reconstruction over the centuries. What is on view today is thought to mostly date back to medieval times, although the cobbled paving is 19th century in origin.
Open: daily
Admission: free

Almodovar Gate (Puerta de Almodóvar)

Address: Calle Cairuan / Calle Fernandez Ruano, Cordoba, Spain
The Puerta de Almodóvar stands at the entrance to the Judéria district of Cordoba. It was built in the Moorish style of architecture during the 14th century. Originally known as the Bad al-Yawz, it is the only gate to survive from the reign of Abd al-Rahman I. Despite the passing of so many centuries, the gate remains remarkably well preserved. This may well be down to the fact that restoration work began as early as the early 19th century.
Open: daily
Admission: free

Triumph of Saint Raphael (Trinfo de San Rafael)

Address: Plaza del Triunfo, Cordoba, Spain
Situated to the south of the Bishop's Palace, the Triunfo or Triumph is a distinctive column that dominates the cityscape. It was built in the 18th century when the people of Cordoba were particularly devoted to Saint Raphael. The monument features a statue of the Archangel Raphael, as well as sculptures of Saint Victory and Saint Barbara.
Open: daily
Admission: free

Roman Temple

Address: Calle Capitulares, Cordoba, Spain
Situated next to the City Hall or Ayuntamiento building is Cordoba's only surviving Roman temple. Its Corinthian columns are all that remain of this 1st century AD structure. Nonetheless, the temple is an impressive monument to Roman civilization in the area. Mainly constructed from marble, the temple was once elaborately decorated. The architect Felix Hernandez carried out reconstruction work on the temple. Some of the original stonework can be seen in Cordoba's Archaeological Museum.
Open: daily

Alcazar of Cordoba

Address: Campo Santo de Los Mártires, Cordoba, Spain
Also known as the Alcazar de los Reyes Cristianos, this fortress used to be the residence of King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella. It was also notoriously the home of the Spanish Inquisition, although little evidence remains of this darker period of the castle's history. As a tourist attraction, the castle is often eclipsed by the nearby Mezquita and by other Andalucian castles. That said, it is certainly worth a visit, particularly for its beautiful gardens. There are also two towers that can be climbed, offering good views over the whole castle site.

The castle's foundations were laid out as far back as Roman times. However, it was the Moors who developed the castle into the landmark that we can see today. Expansion work began in the 12th century, when Caliph baths were added, along with many new rooms.
Open: November to April, Monday - 08:30 to 21:00, Tuesday to Friday - 08:30 to 20:45, Saturday - 08:30 to 16:30, Sunday - 08:30 to 14:30 May to October, daily - 09:30 to 13:30 and 17:00 to 20:00
Admission: charge (except for morning services)

Monument to Manolete

Address: Plaza Conde de Priego 1, Cordoba, Spain
Manolete was a legendary bullfighter - indeed, he is still regarded as Spain's finest. He grew up in the district of Santa Marina, although sadly his life came to an untimely end in 1947, when he was killed by a bull, aged just 30 years old. As well as this statue, which stands in the Plaza Conde de Priego, there is also a bust which immortalizes this legendary bullfighter, in the Plaza de la Lagunilla.
Open: daily
Admission: free

Roman bridge of Córdoba

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The Roman bridge of Córdoba is a bridge in Córdoba, Andalusia, southern Spain, built in the early 1st century BC across the Guadalquivir river. It is included in the small preserved area known as Sotos de la Albolafia. The bridge was built by the Romans in the early 1st century BC, perhaps replacing a previous one in wood. It currently has 16 arcades, one less than original ones, and a total length of 331 meters. The width is around 9 meters.

The Via Augusta, which connected Rome to Cádiz, most likely passed through it. During the Islamic domination, in the Middle Ages, the Calahorra Tower and the Puerta del Puente were built at the bridge's southern and northern ends, respectively (the latter is now a 16th century reconstruction). In the 17th century, a sculpture depicting St. Raphael was put in the mid of the bridge, executed by Bernabé Gómez del Río. During its history, the bridge was restored and renovated several times (in particular in the 10th century), and now only the 14th and 15th arches (counting from the Puerta del Puente) are original. It was extensively restored in 2006.

View of the Roman bridge and gate © Consorcio de Turismo de Córdoba



  1. Dorrance

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  2. Manolito

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  3. Jinny

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  4. Zura

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