Monday, April 21, 2014


Blue skies out our window this morning!

After a very good nights' sleep on our wonderfully soft bed we took our time waking up, drank a few cups of coffee and did some research on what we wanted to see today.About 9 am we ventured out to find breakfast, which has been a bit of a challenge for us.  We decided to just go for the traditional Spanish "desayuno" (breakfast), so we found a small cafe a few blocks from our hotel and ordered toast with tomato puree and thin sliced ham.  It comes with extra virgin olive oil to drizzle on the toast, then we topped it with the tomato puree and thin sliced Iberico ham.  It was very good!  I told David we could make the tomato puree with our home grown tomatoes and it would be even better--I see a new summer breakfast coming up!

Our traditional Spanish breakfast:

After our delicious breakfast we walked over to La Mezquita--which translates to "The Mosque" in Spanish.

La Mezquita is  the main sight in Cordoba and has a fascinating history spanning many centuries.  The Mosque was built in the 8th century on the site of a Roman temple, which had itself been converted to a church by the Visigoths in about 572 A.D.   La Mezquita was converted to a Catholic Cathedral in about 1240 after the city was conquered by Ferdinand III. Whew--got all that?

The Mosque is so huge I couldn't get far enough away to get a picture of the whole building--the surrounding streets are too narrow! Here are a few pictures of the outside--some of the original Mosque entrances, which are beautifully decorated. There are several of these entrances on two opposite sides of the buildings.

 This is a ritual washing station,  a remnant of La Mezquita's days as an active Mosque.  It is traditional in the Muslim faith to do a ritual cleansing prior to entering a Mosque.  This one is located on one side of the Mezquita, and is still flowing with water.

A side entrance, I would guess an addition after conversion to a Cathedral, judging by the design:

The entrance courtyard of La Mezquita, complete with pools and fountains:

The bell tower.  I wonder if it was originally a minaret?

The interior of the mosque has 856 columns of marble, granite onyx and jasper.  These columns were made from remains of the original Roman temple and other Roman buildings destroyed by the Moors.

The arches and columns seem to go on forever……..

View through a Gothic archway--a later addition:

 David, admiring the view:

 There are elements of both Gothic and Moorish architecture--oddly beautiful together:

 Gothic vault, Moorish arches and a Christian altar, all in one:

Amazingly, when the Christians remodeled the Mosque they left the Mihrab intact.  A Mihrab is a Muslim prayer niche, always facing Mecca.  This one is beautifully decorated with small pieces of gilded glass:

There are two columns that have some remaining Islamic text:

The Chapel and Altar of the Holy Sacrament:

Beautiful ceiling detail:

 The main altar, placed in the very center of the Mosque/Cathedral:

 Stained glass windows above the main altar:

The choir, in front of the main altar:

 After over 2 hours in La Mezquita, we were definitely on sensory overload again!  One last look at those beautiful arches and columns:

We were ready for a sit down to rest our feet, and we thought a little snack was in order so we walked a short block to a small cafe/bar.  It was a busy place with nowhere to sit except the bar.

Here we are, a couple of bar flies! (NOT)

I ordered a Coke Light, and David tried a new beer--in honor of the beautiful Mezquita:

We shared an order of grilled squid--delicious!

Our plan for the rest of the day was to explore the old town area, and there were a few churches we wanted to see also.

The streets of the old town section are lovely--many pretty courtyards to peek into, and the spring flowers are blooming.

Around the streets of Cordoba:

We wandered for several blocks, and noticed an interesting statue in front of a church.  As it turned out, it was now a school for girls.  While I was peeking in the entrance, I heard two sweet voices saying (in Spanish)"That's our school".  It was these two cute girls, and we had a lovely conversation with them--they wanted to practice their English, which was most excellent.  They were delightful, and were happy to have their picture taken.

Here they are in front of their school:

We continued on our way, just wandering the pretty streets.  We found a grocery store, so we popped in for a few supplies, including some sausage, cheese and a baguette for our dinner tonight.

A few blocks later we came upon this wondrous site--the remains of a 1st century Roman Temple.  There are 9 Corinthian columns with elaborate capitols.  They have been placed on new bases, and erected right where they were excavated:

Soon we came to a new area, with upscale shops and some lovely newer buildings:

We came to a very busy main road with a a large park along the opposite side.  We saw this building, and we didn't know what it was--but is was a Mercado, so we knew we had to check it out:

It was a food court--no mall, just a food court.  There were many small cafes, all serving different types of food.  We quickly decided we needed a rest and a snack, and after looking at all the offerings, finally deciding on a couple of small tapas to share.

Chorizo on toast, topped with a fried quail egg. The chorizo was the best we've ever tasted--it had a delicious smoky flavor:

A vegetable terrine--really yummy:

We spotted this display of olive tapas, and couldn't resist buying an assortment for our dinner:

After our nice break and snack, we realized we weren't too far from our hotel--we'd walked in a big (VERY big!) circle.  We made our way back "home" to drop off our groceries, and then headed right back out to do a little souvenir shopping/strolling.

This one is for our wonderful neighbors, The Ficks:
Look--even in Cordoba! And no, I didn't get it for you, Brenda!  It just doesn't quite seem like your style with the fringe…...

We strolled around for an hour or so, and then decided we'd best be getting back to our hotel; the skies were getting darker, and soon we heard thunder.  We walked into our hotel just in time--by the time we got up to our room it was pouring!

We're "in" for the night;  relaxing, looking at our pictures from today and blogging.

We had a very late dinner/snack of a little sausage, cheese and some of those delicious olive tapas we picked up earlier--they were delicious!

It was a great day in Cordoba!

Tomorrow in Cordoba: Maybe a street market and a visit to a palace and gardens.


  1. I can see why you are enjoying Cordoba- very charming gardens, streets in Old a Town and cute schoolgirls all add to the great experience of delish foods and all those olives!!!! Glad you were walking in circles!

  2. The mustache absolutely makes me smile! So much fun to share in your adventures!

  3. Beautiful pictures and so many glorious patterns. I feel like I am there. And....... those olives. I can stand it! It's pure torture. Enjoy, enjoy!

  4. How lovely cordoba is. Chorizo was chad's favorite meat in Spain. Always love the pics of you and David. Mosque was beautiful. The breakfast looked delicious.