Wednesday, June 13, 2018

MENU's Iberian Exploit 10. Córdoba

The next city on this adventure was Córdoba and our apartment was unusual but lovely. The streets in this old area of Córdoba are narrow, cobbled and ancient. They have very confusing one way systems which are almost impenetrable to those who are not familiar with the area but using our phone we managed to find the place, guided by the voice of our landlady, Arantxa
Calle Moriscos, Córdoba on a rainy evening. Our address for two comfortable & hospitable nights. Thank you Arantxa and Berni
They took us up to our room in the sky and settled us in
It was a small bachelor apartment on the roof of their house, next to the ancient church, Real Iglesia de Santa Marina de Aguas Santas and with lovely city views. Small but, as estate agents say, perfectly appointed with a bathroom and minimal kitchen; it was warm and comfortable
The church bells were only rung during the day and didn't start too early either 
A view over the rooftops from our terrace where we could sit and enjoy our breakfast, 
weather permitting
and a sundowner in the evening
The house frontage, on the right. There is no parking allowed in this area 
but they had an underground garage just around the corner,
where we left our car for the entire time we were in Córdoba
The next day dawned fine and sunny and we went exploring. They had the festival of dressing the crosses that weekend, so the city was full of flowers. This is the entrance to the Palacio de Viana, a Renaissance building. It was formerly known as the Palace of the Bars of Don Gome, in reference to one of its first owners and is an example of ancestral homes of the Cordovan nobility. Although there is documentary evidence of the existence of buildings in the fourteenth century, the history of the palace begins with Gómez Suárez de Figueroa, Lord of Fuencubierta, Mayor of Antequera in the 15th Century
The first courtyard of the palace
Such enviable window boxes, they seem to be such good growers of Geraniums and pelargoniums, 
and, on the way, we caught this glimpse of a skilled guitar maker in his workshop
We were heading for this food market to which we had been directed by our landlords
As usual, a wonderful selection of fresh food to buy. The fish aisle in the market 

with wonderfully fresh fish
Sardines, anchovies and is that fierce looking fish pike or snoek?
Monkfish and sole
Clams, prawns, squid and cuttlefish
Buy your lunch or supper ingredients in the market and the lady at this stall will cook them for you for a small fee, which we did
Superb pork products from Moisés Martín ...
... who have two successful shops. What wouldn't we give to have access to those Iberian hams. €40 - 50 for a whole ham
Oh those vegetables!
As the sign on the left says, buy your fish or meat and they will cook it for you
Their Specials board. We thought that the Botellín with a beer was an incredibly good offer
Well, the beer was not bad, if a bit small. But that roll with a slice of shoe leather was indescribable. You do get what you pay for. The fan in the background was a necessary purchase that day as, for a change, it was really hot
Our lunchtime seat in the square
School kids having a lesson on the street - not sure what the subject was. 
This was near the Alcazar palace
A collection of some interesting periods of architecture
Not many queues at the Alcazar Palace; it was midday, when most people would be eating a late lunch. In Spain, they seem to start at about 2 and finish at 4. This building was the royal residence of the Christian monarchs King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella for 8 years. He issued the Edict of Expulsion of the Jews, also called the Alhambra Decree and he was the main architect of the Spanish Inquisition. He and Isabella sponsored the first voyage of Christopher Columbus (1451-1506), in 1492. That year was also the year of the final victory in the war with Granada which defeated the last Muslim state in Iberia. Subsequently, it was the site of the Courts of the Holy Offices, a civil prison, and finally a military prison. It is set among magnificent gardens, including the garden known as the Avenue of the Monarchs which features statues of all the monarchs who had connections with the palace-fortress. So this is a very historic place
One of the central courtyards filled with fragrant orange trees in blossom
An archer's window
A view of the city and the Roman bridge over the river
A view from the battlements of the gardens in the Alcazar, with cooling pools
This one was filled with huge carp
The Roman bridge and the view across the river
The narrow spiral staircase in the 13th century Tower of the Lions which is the entry to the battlements in the Alcazar. Must have been a challenge if one wore a suit of armour
On top of the Torre de los Leones (Tower of the Lions). Weathered, but still robust after 800 years
Tropical palms
The architecture of different religions, Christian and Muslim and some foreign influences,
Roman, North African, Byzantine, even Crusader
From the Romans, wonderful mosaic pavements that have been preserved in the museum
This is a pattern you see repeated in many places, in pavements and in tiles
Third Century, AD 
Many of the Moorish influences in the Córdoba Alcazar have been replaced by later Christian
or even older Roman 
How is your Spanish? The mosaics above are 2nd Century Roman AD
Antique furniture in a court room
and a carved Roman Sarcophagus
People resting from the heat in the cool shade of the orange and lemon trees
An archers' tower
Reflecting pools in the Courtyard of the Moriscos, while people explore the battlements above
Arches and doorways. It was lovely and cool inside the buildings
Echoing arches over an old Roman wall, where the Caliphs used to walk
at the edge of the Courtyard of the Moriscos. Purity of design
A rather graphic monument to two queens. Beatriz de Bobadilla y Ulloa, nicknamed the Huntress, (Medina del Campo, 1462 - November 1504) was a Castilian lady, mistress of the Canary Islands of La Gomera and El Hierro. She was the daughter of Juan de Bobadilla, alderman of Medina del Campo, corregidor of Madrid and alcaide of his alcazars, and Leonor Álvarez de Vadillo, lady in waiting to Queen Leonor de Aragón. She was the granddaughter of Cristóbal de Bobadilla and Juana de Ulloa, and the second niece of Beatriz de Bobadilla, Marquise de Moya, supporter and friend of Isabel I of Castile
A cell in the dungeon
Cool, if rather green, pools filled with carp
The Avenue of the Monarchs which features statues of all the monarchs who had connections with the palace-fortress, between the cypress columns
A street in Córdoba, near the Spanish Riding School. In these old cities, the streets were built hundreds of years before the invention of the motor car when human feet and horses 
were the prime movers. They give priority to pedestrians; most are one way. 
You sometimes drive 2 Km to move the car 500 metres

The entrance to the Andalusian Riding School

Inside the Royal Stables of the Andalusian Riding School, adjacent to the Alcazar; Caballerizas Reales de Córdoba. It was founded by King Philip II in 1567, predating the Spanish Riding School in Vienna. The Andalusian horses are the ancestors of the Lippizaners in Vienna
A derelict mill on the bank of the Guadalquivir
The Roman Bridge of Córdoba was originally built by the Romans 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. 
Still carrying traffic after 1300 years
Built to last, a robust construction

The Arco del Triunfo at the The Puerta del Puente (Spanish: "Gate of the Bridge"). Construction started in 1572, but it appears that the money ran out and it was not finished until the early 20th Century.  In 1912, under the reign of Alfonso XIII, the area in which the Puerta del Puente is located was stripped of its walls and it was rebuilt in 1928 as a memorial gate, so it's actually not as old as it looks
A rather lopsided arched gateway
After a long, hot day of walking in Córdoba, this was the perfect refreshment. Actually we were gasping.
A quiet square near our lodging
The front of the Real Iglesia de Santa Marina de Aguas Santas
and its interior
An evening walk in old Córdoba to
La Taberna la Sacristia
The menu
 A salad with Morcilla Frita or fried black pudding. Morcilla - black pudding - is the first sausage made from the blood of the freshly killed pig. It is very popular throughout Spain
Iberian ham and quail salad. Local food, well-prepared
Our bill

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