Top Historic Sights in Córdoba, Spain

Explore the historic highlights of Córdoba

Mosque–Cathedral of Córdoba

The Mosque–Cathedral of Córdoba, also known as the Great Mosque of Córdoba and the Mezquita is regarded as one of the most accomplished monuments of Moorish architecture. According to a traditional account, a small Visigoth church, the Catholic Basilica of Saint Vincent of Lérins, originally stood on the site. In 784 Abd al-Rahman I ordered construction of the Great Mosque, which was considerably expanded by later ...
Founded: 784 AD | Location: Córdoba, Spain

Puerta del Puente

In the 16th century, the authorities of Córdoba decided to improve the condition of the entrance to the city due to the deteriorated state of the existing gate. With this goal in mind, on February 18, 1572, mayor Alonso Gonzalez de Arteaga issued the order to build the Bridge Gate. Reasons given focused on the fact that it was one of the city"s main gates, handling a high volume of movement in terms of both people ...
Founded: 1572 | Location: Córdoba, Spain

Royal Stables of Córdoba

Royal Stables (Caballerizas Reales) are a set of stables in Córdoba. The building is situated in the historic centre and borders the Guadalquivir. The stables housed the best stallions and mares of the royal stud breed Andalusian horse. By royal decree of Felipe II on November 28, 1567, the Spanish Horse breed with formalized standards was created, and a royal stable was established in Córdoba. The king commissioned Di ...
Founded: 1567 | Location: Córdoba, Spain

Alcázar de los Reyes Cristianos

The Alcázar de los Reyes Cristianos ('Castle of the Christian Monarchs') served as one of the primary residences of Isabella I of Castile and Ferdinand II of Aragon. It forms part of the Historic Center of Córdoba that was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1994. In early medieval times, the site was occupied by a Visigoth fortress. When the Visigoths fell to the Umayyad conquest of Hispania, the ...
Founded: 8th century AD | Location: Córdoba, Spain

Caliphal Baths

The Caliphal Baths are Arab baths in Córdoba. They are situated in the historic centre which was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1994. The hammam ('baths) are contiguous to the Alcázar andalusí; ablutions and bodily cleanliness were an essential part of a Muslim's life, mandatory before prayer, besides being a social ritual. The baths were constructed in the 10th century, under the Caliphate of Al-Hakam II ...
Founded: 10th century AD | Location: Córdoba, Spain

Roman bridge of Córdoba

The Roman bridge of Córdoba was originally built in the early 1st century BC across the Guadalquivir river, though it has been reconstructed at various times since. Most of the present structure dates from the Moorish reconstruction in the 8th century. Currently, after the Islamic reconstruction, has 16 arcades, one fewer than originally, and a total length of 247 meters. The width is around 9 meters. The Via Augusta, ...
Founded: 1st century BCE | Location: Córdoba, Spain

San Bartolomé Chapel

The Chapel of San Bartolomé is a funerary chapel in the historic centre of Córdoba. It is dated between 1390 and 1410. Richly decorated, it is one of the city"s finest examples of Mudéjar art. Located on the Calle Averroes in today"s Faculty of Arts building, the relatively unknown chapel is one of the city"s most notable monuments. With the development of the Alcázar Viejo district in 1391 and the lat ...
Founded: 1390-1410 | Location: Córdoba, Spain

Córdoba Synagogue

Córdoba Synagogue is a historic edifice in the Jewish Quarter of Córdoba, built in 1315. The synagogue"s small size points to it having possibly been the private synagogue of a wealthy man. It was decorated according to the best Mudejar tradition. After the expulsion of the Jews in 1492, the synagogue was seized by the authorities and converted into a hospital for people suffering from rabies (hydrophobia), the Ho ...
Founded: 1315 | Location: Córdoba, Spain

Calahorra Tower

The Calahorra tower (Torre de la Calahorra) is a fortified gate in the historic centre of Córdoba. The edifice is of Islamic origin. It was first erected by the Almohad Caliphate to protect the nearby Roman Bridge on the Guadalquivir. The tower, standing on the left bank of the river, originally consisted of an arched gate between two. A third tower was added to the existing ones, in the shape of two cylinder connec ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Córdoba, Spain

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. ...
Founded: 206 BCE | Location: Córdoba, Spain

Roman Temple of Córdoba

The construction of Roman temple in Córdoba began during the reign of Emperor Claudius (41-54 AD) and ended some forty years later, during the reign of Emperor Domitian (81-96 CE). Presumably it was dedicated to the imperial cult. The temple underwent some changes in the 2nd century, reforms that coincide with the relocation of the colonial forum. In the area had already been found architectural elements, such as drums ...
Founded: c. 50 AD | Location: Córdoba, Spain

Plaza de la Corredera

Plaza de la Corredera is the result of the works carried out between 1683 and 1687 by Chief Magistrate Francisco Ronquillo Briceño. These were motivated by the almost collapse of one of the wooden stalls that were back then installed for the bullfightings held in the square which made the audience panic. This grand 17th-century square has an elaborate history as a site of public spectacles, including bullfights and Inqu ...
Founded: 1683-1687 | Location: Córdoba, Spain

Julio Romero de Torres Museum

The Julio Romero de Torres Museum is notable for containing the largest collection of the famous Cordoban painter Julio Romero de Torres. It is located in the building of the old Hospital of la Caridad, which also houses the Museum of Fine Arts of Córdoba. After the death of Julio Romero de Torres on May 10, 1930, Francisca Pellicer, widow of the painter, and their children, Rafael, Amalia and María, decided to create ...
Founded: 1931 | Location: Córdoba, Spain

San Pablo Church

San Pablo is a church and former convent in Córdoba. The present church and defunct convent were built on a space that always harbored large buildings for its location at the door of the city along one of the main access roads. A Roman Circus predated a Muslim palace before Almohad Christians built a Dominican convent. The church has Baroque features made in marble dating to 1708. The main facade features the Mannerist ...
Founded: 16th century | Location: Córdoba, Spain

Palacio de Viana

Palacio de Viana was established as the family estate in 1492 by Gómez Suárez de Figuroea. He died childless and was succeeded by his nephew. The original house has experienced numerous alterations up to our days, of which we can highlight the extension in the 17th century, which gave it its current appearance to a great extent. The palace covers a surface of more than 6,500 square metres, of which almost 4,000 of them ...
Founded: 1492 | Location: Córdoba, Spain

San Miguel Church

San Miguel is a Roman Catholic church in Córdoba, Andalusia, southern Spain. It is one of the twelve churches built by order of King Ferdinand III of Castile in the city after its conquest in the early 13th century. It was declared a monument of national interest in 1931. It is an example of transition from the Romanesque to Gothic architecture, although the interior was largely renewed in 1749. It has a nearly ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Córdoba, Spain

Medina Azahara

Medina Azahara ("the shining city") is the ruins of a vast, fortified Andalus palace-city built by Abd-ar-Rahman III (912–961), the first Umayyad Caliph of Córdoba. Located on the western outskirts of Córdoba, it was the de facto capital of al-Andalus as the heart of the administration and government was within its walls. In 2018, the site was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site. Built beginning in 936- ...
Founded: 936 AD | Location: Córdoba, Spain

Archaeological Museum of Córdoba

The Archaeological museum of Córdoba represents the most complete collection of historic Spanish artifacts in the world, with a staggering 33,500 items in total. Exhibits include prehistoric artifacts, ancient Iberian items including sculptures and reliefs, Moorish art, Roman antiquities, and archaeological finds from Medina Azahara. Located at the Palacio de los Páez de Castillejo, the museum grounds are also home to a ...
Founded: 1868 | Location: Córdoba, Spain

Santa Marina Church

Santa Marina is one of the so-called 'Fernandinean Churches', edificated in the city after Ferdinand III of Castile conquered it from the Moors in the 13th century. The structure combines proto-Gothic, Mudéjar and, to a lesser degree, late-Romanesque elements. The church, one of the oldest of the Fernandinean group, was built in the second half of the 13th century where previously a Moorish mosque and before t ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Córdoba, Spain

San Nicolás de la Villa Church

San Nicolás de la Villa is one of the twelve Fernandine churches built in the city after its conquest by King Ferdinand III of Castile (1236), in Gothic-Mudéjar style, although it was completed only in the following centuries, with much renovation added in the meantime. The main portal, in Renaissance style, was added by Hernán Ruiz the Younger in the 16th century. The octagonal tower, with a defensive appearanc ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Córdoba, Spain

Palacio de la Merced

The Palacio de la Merced is a historical building in Córdoba. Once home to the convent of La Merced Calzada, it is now home to the Provincial Government of Córdoba, a sovra-municipal services institution of the province of Córdoba. Excavations in the site have revealed the presence of ancient Roman ashlars. Later findings include medieval remains of a baptistery and of a crypt, identified with the Palaeo-Christia ...
Founded: 18th century | Location: Córdoba, Spain

San Juan y Todos los Santos Church

San Juan y Todos los Santos (St John and All Saints) stands on the site of the former Convento de la Trinidad established shortly after Fernando III conquered the city in 1236. Built in the Baroque style, it forms part of the Historic centre of Córdoba. It is believed the original church and convent were built on the site of a mosque although nothing remains of it. Nor are there any remains of the Church of San Juan de ...
Founded: 1705 | Location: Córdoba, Spain

Roman mausoleum of Córdoba

The Roman mausoleum of Córdoba is an ancient structure in the Jardines de la Victoria, Córdoba. It is a funerary monument of cylinder-shaped that corresponded to a group of funerary monuments of the Republican era, built in the 1st century AD. It was discovered in 1993 during archaeological excavations. It includes the chamber tomb that housed the Urn, as well as remains of the basement, cornices, and crenellated pa ...
Founded: 0-100 AD | Location: Córdoba, Spain

San Pedro Church

San Pedro church is believed to be located over a previous edifice housing the remains of the Córdoban martyrs Januarius, Martial and Faustus, dating to the 4th century AD. After the conquest of the city by king Ferdinand III of Castile (1236), a church dedicated to St. Paul was built here in his program of construction to give a Christian appeal to the previously Muslim city. Construction began in the late 13th cen ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Córdoba, Spain

San Lorenzo Church

San Lorenzo was one of the twelve religious buildings commissioned by king Ferdinand III of Castile in the city after its conquest in the early 13th century. The church occupies the site of a pre-existing Islamic mosque, which in turn had been built above a Visigothic church. It was built between around 1244 and 1300, in a transitional style between Romanesque and Gothic architecture. It has the typical structure of ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Córdoba, Spain

Torre de la Malmuerta

The Torre de la Malmuerta is a gate tower in Córdoba. It was built in 1406–1408, by order of King Henry III of Castile, over a pre-existing Almohad structure, to defend the gates of Rincón and Colodro. Later it was also used as a prison for nobles. Having an octagonal plan, the tower has an annexed arch. The names, meaning 'Tower of the Wrongly Dead Woman', refers to a woman who, according to a legend, wa ...
Founded: 1406-1408 | Location: Córdoba, Spain

Santa María Magdalena Church

The church of Santa Mariá Magdalena was one of the first of 12 churches Fernando III built after conquering Córdoba in 1236. Located in the prosperous neighbourhood of La Magdelena east of the city centre, it served as a model for later churches. It combines the Romanesque, Gothic and Mudejar styles of architecture. The main entrance is at the west end of the church below a rose window. The side door on the south side, ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Córdoba, Spain

Cercadilla

The archaeological site of Cercadilla includes a complete chronological sequence from the 3rd to 12th centuries. The most relevant monument is a Roman palace dated between the end of the 3rd century and the beginning of the 4th century AD. It is believed that it was the headquarters of the Emperor Maximiano Herculeo. A bathtub with mural paintings has been found in the thermal zone of the palace. Regarding the occupation ...
Founded: 3rd century AD | Location: Córdoba, Spain

San Jerónimo de Valparaíso Monastery

On the hills above the amazing Medina Azahara, nestling in the mountains of Córdoba and surrounded by native Mediterranean vegetation, stands this impressive 15th century monastery. It was originally Gothic in style, although different reforms in Renaissance and Baroque style have added a wealth of interesting details to the building. The owners, the Marquises of El Mérito, have done a great job over several generation ...
Founded: 15th century | Location: Córdoba, Spain

Ategua

Ategua is an Ibero-Roman fortified settlement with substantial archaeological remains stretching into the Middle Ages. Ategua was a great city that already existed from the third millennium BCE on, its wall was erected over a plateau that allowed it to control the whole horizon. The oldest documented archaeological finds at Ategua date from the Late Bronze Age, after which archaeologists have recorded a more or less unbr ...
Founded: 3000-2000 BCE | Location: Córdoba, Spain

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Pembroke Castle

Pembroke Castle is a Norman castle, founded in 1093. It survived many changes of ownership and is now the largest privately owned castle in Wales. It was the birthplace of Henry Tudor (later Henry VII of England) in 1457.

Pembroke Castle stands on a site that has been occupied at least since the Roman period. Roger de Montgomerie, 1st Earl of Shrewsbury founded the first castle here in the 11th century. Although only made from earth and wood, Pembroke Castle resisted several Welsh attacks and sieges over the next 30 years. The castle was established at the heart of the Norman-controlled lands of southwest Wales.

When William Rufus died, Arnulf de Montgomery joined his elder brother, Robert of Bellême, in rebellion against Henry I, William's brother and successor as king; when the rebellion failed, he was forced to forfeit all his British lands and titles. Henry appointed his castellan, but when the chosen ally turned out to be incompetent, the King reappointed Gerald in 1102. By 1138 King Stephen had given Pembroke Castle to Gilbert de Clare who used it as an important base in the Norman invasion of Ireland.

In August 1189 Richard I arranged the marriage of Isabel, de Clare's granddaughter, to William Marshal who received both the castle and the title, Earl of Pembroke. He had the castle rebuilt in stone and established the great keep at the same time. Marshal was succeeded in turn by each of his five sons. His third son, Gilbert Marshal, was responsible for enlarging and further strengthening the castle between 1234 and 1241.

Later de Valence family held Pembroke for 70 years. During this time, the town was fortified with defensive walls, three main gates and a postern. Pembroke Castle became de Valence's military base for fighting the Welsh princes during the conquest of North Wales by Edward I between 1277 and 1295.

Pembroke Castle then reverted to the crown. In the 15th and 16th centuries, the castle was a place of peace until the outbreak of the English Civil War. Although most of South Wales sided with the King, Pembroke declared for Parliament. It was besieged by Royalist troops but was saved after Parliamentary reinforcements arrived by sea from nearby Milford Haven. Parliamentary forces then went on to capture the Royalist castles of Tenby, Haverfordwest and Carew.

In 1648, at the beginning of the Second Civil War, Pembroke's commander Colonel John Poyer led a Royalist uprising. Oliver Cromwell came to Pembroke on 24 May 1648 and took the castle after a seven-week siege. Its three leaders were found guilty of treason and Cromwell ordered the castle to be destroyed. Townspeople were even encouraged to disassemble the fortress and re-use its stone for their purposes.

The castle was then abandoned and allowed to decay. It remained in ruins until 1880, when a three-year restoration project was undertaken. Nothing further was done until 1928, when Major-General Sir Ivor Philipps acquired the castle and began an extensive restoration of the castle's walls, gatehouses, and towers. After his death, a trust was set up for the castle, jointly managed by the Philipps family and Pembroke town council.

Architecture

The castle is sited on a strategic rocky promontory by the Milford Haven Waterway. The first fortification on the site was a Norman motte-and-bailey. It had earthen ramparts and a timber palisade.

In 1189, Pembroke Castle was acquired by William Marshal. He soon became Lord Marshal of England, and set about turning the earth and wood fort into an impressive Norman stone castle. The inner ward, which was constructed first, contains the huge round keep with its domed roof. Its original first-floor entrance was through an external stairwell. Inside, a spiral staircase connected its four stories. The keep's domed roof also has several putlog holes that supported a wooden fighting-platform. If the castle was attacked, the hoarding allowed defenders to go out beyond the keep's massive walls above the heads of the attackers.

The inner ward's curtain wall had a large horseshoe-shaped gateway. But only a thin wall was required along the promontory. This section of the wall has a small observation turret and a square stone platform. Domestic buildings including William Marshal's Great Hall and private apartments were within the inner ward. The 13th century keep is 23 metres tall with walls up to 6 metres thick at its base.

In the late 13th century, additional buildings were added to the inner ward, including a new Great Hall. A 55-step spiral staircase was also created that led down to a large limestone cave, known as Wogan Cavern, beneath the castle. The cave, which was created by natural water erosion, was fortified with a wall, a barred gateway and arrowslits. It may have served as a boathouse or a sallyport to the river where cargo or people could have been transferred.

The outer ward was defended by a large twin-towered gatehouse, a barbican and several round towers. The outer wall is 5 metres thick in places and constructed from Siltstone ashlar.

Although Pembroke Castle is a Norman-style enclosure castle with great keep, it can be more accurately described as a linear fortification because, like the later 13th-century castles at Caernarfon and Conwy, it was built on a rocky promontory surrounded by water. This meant that attacking forces could only assault on a narrow front. Architecturally, Pembroke's thickest walls and towers are all concentrated on its landward side facing the town, with Pembroke River providing a natural defense around the rest of its perimeter.