The City of Cordoba has received a lot of names in the past, such as “Pearl of the Moorish Spain” or “Constantinople of the Occident”, names that are very much deserved, as perhaps this city is one of the most beautiful cities in the world. In 1984 The Mosque-Cathedral of Cordoba was declared a World Heritage Site by the UNESCO, which in 1994 recognized the universal significance of Cordoba’s historic heritage by extending the World Heritage title to the whole area of the city that surrounds it – the Old Quarter, which is the largest of its kind in Europe. Cordoba owes much of its beauty and charm to its Moorish past, when it once reigned as the center of art, culture, medicine and science. It once stood as the capital of Al-Andalus, Moorish Spain at its glorious height. Cordoba’s period of greatest glory began in the 8th century after the Moorish conquest, when some 300 mosques and innumerable palaces and public buildings were built to rival the splendours of Constantinople, Damascus and Baghdad. In the 13th century, under Ferdinand III, the Saint, Cordoba’s Great Mosque was turned into a cathedral and new defensive structures, particularly the Alcázar de los Reyes Cristianos and the Torre Fortaleza de la Calahorra, were erected. The Historic Centre of Cordoba now comprises the streets surrounding the monument and all the parcels of land opening on to these, together with all the blocks of houses around the mosque-cathedral.
The most important building and symbol of the city, the Great Mosque of Córdoba and current cathedral, alongside the Roman bridge, are the best known facet of the city. Other Roman remains include the Roman Temple, the Theatre, Mausoleum, the Colonial Forum, the Forum Adiectum, an amphitheater and the remains of the Palace of the Emperor Maximian in the Archaeological site of Cercadilla, among others. Near the mosque-cathedral is the old Jewish quarter, which is home to the Synagogue and the Sephardic House. In the extreme southwest of the Old Town is the Alcázar de los Reyes Cristianos; adjacent to it are the Royal Stables, a breeding place of the Andalusian horse. Near the stables are located, along the walls, the medieval Baths of the Caliphate. Surrounding the large Old town are the Roman walls: gates include the Puerta de Almodóvar, the Puerta de Sevilla and Puerta del Puente, which are the only three gates remaining from the original thirteen. Towers and fortresses include the Malmuerta Tower, the Belén Tower and the Puerta del Rincón’s Tower, and the fortress of the Calahorra Tower and of the Donceles Tower. Palace buildings in the Old Town include the Palacio de Viana (14th century) and the Palacio de la Merced among others.
Cordoba food is as diverse as its history – the influences of the many civilizations and cultures that once held their sway in Cordoba can be seen in its cuisine.
Cordoba food is full of color and richness in taste. Cordovan chefs may include shiny red peppers, bright orange pumpkin and purple grapes in their recipes, with saffron, cumin and other exotic spices adding the flavor. In addition, although Cordoba is a not a coastal city, fish still gets star billing. The Cordovans adjust easily and make do with what is available in the market. There are many dishes and drinks in Cordoba that prove to be strong temptations to the palate. Cordovan food is typically Mediterranean and tasty. Here are some of the specialties the visitor can taste in the city: Gazpacho (an Andalusian staple, a cold soup made of tomatoes, vinegar and garlic); Salmorejo (a thicker version of the gazpacho); Salchichon de Pozo Blanco (sausage); Morcilla (blood sausage); Rabo de Toro (oxtail stew).; Calamares fritos (fried squid, breaded and deep fried into crispy perfection) Another must-try is the tapas, which are savory tidbits, small portions of the above dishes and other kinds of food (cheese, ham, seafood). They are best consumed while standing at a bar with a drink. Tapas, since they are small servings, are a highly economical way to taste the dishes Cordoba has to offer.
The extraordinary and beautiful city of Cordoba and the villages Puente Genil, Cabra and Dos Torres, has many venues full of history and legend where both attendees and guests will enjoy the several activities offered by the Festival. Here, you will find a brief description of some of the venues in which the Festival’s events will take place.