While I stayed at the NH hotel Guadalquivir in Córdoba, I did get a room facing the courtyard, again. But it was easy to upgrade for 12€/day to a room on the third floor (#310) with view towards the Guadalquivir river, the town and the Mezquita-Catedral De Córdoba. Although this is a 4* hotel, the rooms are tiny and the air-conditioning wasn’t working. The receptionist told me that this is because of the time of the year: Spring – only the heating was in function. Therefore I had to open the window to get some cool and fresh air. The view from room #310 was spectacular and I did use the daylight to shoot some pictures of the cathedral and the bridge. When I got back from dinner at the
The visit of the cathedral starts in the former Caliphate courtyard of ablutions, the Patio de los Naranjos which was later the Christian courtyard. Here is the bell tower located which was formerly the minaret. The ablution is a ritual purification prior to a Muslim prayer that included the washing of themselves.
From the courtyard you enter the original mosque of Abd al-Rahman III and the Expansion area of Al-Hakam II both from the 10th century. It was very impressive to see the results of conversion from a mosque to a catholic church. Because of the demographic development and the rise of residents the expansion resulted in the growing of the prayer hall by eight new naves to the south.
Unfortunately I couldn’t use lighting or the camera flashlight to brighten up the different areas of the church and neither I was allowed to use my tripod. To take perfect pictures has therefore been almost impossible. But when you do follow the links provided above, you will get some astonishing images of the cathedral.
A lot of historical information was provided by the tour-guide who explained all clerical and political changes to the church and led us through all sections of the whole area. The next stop on our tour was at the Mihrab which is a focal point for the contribution made by Al-Hakam II to the Aljama. We finished our tour by visiting the main chapel of the catholic cathedral. The complexity of this monumental space provides a beautiful dialogue between Gothic, Renaissance and Mannerism art and creates a perfect combination with the Caliphate legacy.
We continued our tour by walking through the old Jewish quarter of Córdoba while experiencing heavy rain. We had dinner at the Casa Palacio Bandolero, a restaurant that offered delicious Spanish dishes and local red/white wines as well as Alhambra beer on draft.
After dinner the rain was so heavy that I decided to return to my hotel that was located across the river Guadalquivir. Quite exhausted I laid down on my bed and felt asleep immediately.