Along with the Cathedral of Cordoba, the Alcazar de los Reyes Cristianos (Castle of the Christian Monarchs) is a landmark that will leave the biggest impression when visiting the city.
It wasn’t too high up on my wishlist when visiting Cordoba this summer, but I was very happy I made it there because its most definitely worth a visit, if nothing else, for the breath-taking gardens.
With its interesting history and romantic gardens, Alcazar of Cordoba is one of the most loved tourist hot spots in the city. Counting myself lucky, as I was visiting during the ease of covid restrictions, with less crowds and no waiting times.
Following an early confusion about how to purchase the tickets (scanning a code and filtering the landmark online, with no English language option), I managed to make my way in without much waiting at all (you book a specific time for your visit).
The Alcazar is framed from outside by four towers, a reminder of the military heritage of the building.
The tour takes you through the inner rooms that hug a courtyard in the middle, most of them just passing corridors with a few exceptional rooms that make you stop and read the signs.
The Hall of Mosaics below is one of them, impressive in size and the mosaics displayed on both sides.
After a few meters you reach the Courtyard of the Women, which on first glance reminded me of roman bath ruins.
The name dates back to the era when the Alcazar was used as a prison, and this courtyard has been designated for women prisoners.
The tour continues to a small garden area with pool and an entry way to the gorgeous gardens that lie behind.
Dating back to the 10th century, when you didn’t have an irrigation but used aqueducts, the gardens of 55 thousand square meters is home to an impressive display of botanical beauty along with some beautiful architecture.
Upon entering the garden, you find yourself under the canopy of fruit trees with water trickling in the background and bees buzzing everywhere.
Its like finding a true green oasis in the middle of the summer…
.. the lush greenery will take you towards the tower where you will find two ponds overflowing with fish and happy tourists taking snaps.
Even though the building itself is so old, it feels very much alive thanks to the abundance of greenery everywhere around.
Below is my favourite part – Versailles-like gardens with crystal clear pools, small fountains, perfectly shaped trees and trees everywhere you look.
I would never have thought you would find something like this in Spain!
Our final stop – the water lily lake.
We rushed through the gardens fairly quickly as I was visiting with a restless little one and a thirsty husband in the middle of the day, but if it was up to me, you would find me aimlessly wandering around the gardens for hours.
If you’re visiting Cordoba, don’t miss this place!
The entry fees were really modest (around 5 eur per person), you don’t need to book a guide or follow anyone around. Get there in the morning for the best light and less crowds.
Won’t miss a second chance to see it again!