|The historic quarter of Córdoba is a beautiful network of small streets, alleys, squares and whitewashed courtyards arranged around La Mezquita, the third biggest mosque in the world, and with a cathedral built inside.
When the Moors conquered Córdoba in 716, they found a Visigoth cathedral, which they pulled down and built a mosque complex in its place, La Mezquita or the Great Mosque, the walls of which enclosed about four acres. Over the centuries the Moors roofed-over and developed more and more within this complex. La Mezquita contains over 500 marble, granite and alabaster columns. Mixed into the califal styles, one can see the Byzantine and oriental influences, as well as Hispano-romanic and Visigoth elements throughout the mosque. When the Christians reconquered Córdoba in 1236 they let La Mezquita stand, and later built a cathedral in the midst of its rows of arches and columns.
Córdoba is a very lively town as well, in the best Andalusian tradition, a town of flamenco and bullfighting, and certainly one of the most attractive destinations in southern Spain.
There are many other things to see in Córdoba, including the Alcazar, or fortress, built by the Christians in 1328; the Calahorra Fort, originally built by the Arabs, which guards Puente Romano (the Roman Bridge), on the far side of the river from the Mezquita, and the ancient Jewish Synagogue, now a museum. Córdoba's medieval quarter, once the home of the Jewish community is called La Juderia, a labyrinth of winding, narrow streets, shady flower-filled courtyards and picturesque squares such as La Plaza del Potro.