Cordoba courtyards

By | Category: Travel destinations

Every year in May, the city of Cordoba in Andalusia celebrates its famous Courtyards Festival, a tradition in which many of the courtyards or “patios” in the historic quarter are open to visitors for a few days. The festival takes the form of a competition to discover the most beautiful of the city’s popular courtyards, and fills the streets with colour, the scent of jasmine and orange blossom and the strains of flamenco. In 2013, it is set to take place between 8 and 19 May.
For the visitor, Cordoba also celebrates various other events in May. Before the courtyards competition, visitors can enjoy the Crosses of May – Cruces de Mayo – during which the streets are decorated with crosses made from flowers. This is followed by the Balconies and Grilles Competition when the city is garlanded with floral decorations and then the month ends with the celebration of the Cordoba Fair. The fairground area and its surroundings throng with horse-drawn carriages, typical flamenco costumes and people enjoy the sound of the dances known as “sevillanas”, and sherry.

balcony decoration

But the courtyards of Cordoba are the main attraction. Dating back to Roman times the traditional houses in the city are noted for their courtyards surrounded by whitewashed walls adorned with hanging flowerpots filled with geraniums, jasmine, carnations and orange blossom. Throughout the days of the Festival, most of the courtyards in the old part of town are open to the public, and often feature flamenco shows and the chance to sample tapas and a glass of sherry. The festival awards prizes for the most attractive courtyards, but outside the event, these can be visited every weekend between the months of April and June.

You’ll find these traditional courtyards in places like the Alcázar Viejo, between the Alcázar and the parish church of San Basilio, the neighbourhoods of Santa Marina and La Magdalena, the area around San Lorenzo and don’t miss the historic courtyards in the old Jewish quarter in the area of the great Mosque and Cathedral.

Although there is an airport in Cordoba there are no commercial fights from it. The nearest points for British and Irish visitors would be Seville and Malaga Airports from where you can hire cares for the 100 plus mile journey.

For more information on Cordoba, click here.

Images © Cordoba Local Tourist Board

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