Castle of the Christian Monarchs in Cordoba (Spain)

by | Nov 20, 2019 | Andalucia, Blog, Cordoba, Spain

The Alcazar of Cordoba (Andalusia, Spain) with its thick defensive walls, served both as a fortress and a palace and is a perfect illustration of the development of Cordoban architecture through the ages.
Roman and Visigoth ruins lie side by side with Arabic remain in this magnificent building, which was once the favorite residence of the different rulers of the city.
However, when Cordoba was taken by Fernando III «the Saint» in 1236, the former Caliphal Palace was in a pitiful, ruinous state. Alfonso X «the Wise» began the restoration work, which was finished off during the reign of Alfonso XI.
It has fulfilled many different functions over the years, such as Headquarters of the Inquisition, or a prison (first half of the 20th century).At first sight, one of the most surprising features of the fortress is its almost rectangular shape with its long walls made of solid blocks of stone (ashlars) and four corner towers (the tower of the Lions, the main keep, the tower of the Inquisition and the tower of the Doves).
Inside, the different halls are distributed around courtyards with an exotic array of flowers, aromatic herbs and mature trees. Both rooms and corridors are covered by stone cupolas in the Gothic style.In one of the galleries leading to the halls, there is a Roman sarcophagus on display, a pagan work dating from the early 3rd Century, on the front of which there is a sculpture in relief depicting the journey of the dead to the underworld through a half-opened door.
The most interesting hall is the small Baroque chapel, the Hall of the Mosaics, where a series of Roman mosaics, discovered underneath the Corredera, are displayed around the walls. Below this hill are the baths, built-in Arabic style, which are divided into three rooms with vaulted ceilings containing the familiar star-shaped openings.

The boiler which provided water for the baths was situated below the Main Keep.There are two courtyards, but the one in Mudejar style is by far the most attractive. The cool marble floors and the murmur of water, running down the channels and into the ponds, refresh the hot summer air and soothes the weary visitor’s spirits. The spacious gardens, stretching out to the west, give this Alcazar, or castle, an air of monumental grandeur.

 

The Alcázar of the Christian Monarchs is one of the most important and representative monuments in Córdoba, although almost every culture living in the city has intervened and lived there, since the Romans to our date. Hence, we have decided to dedicate a special section to its history, distinguishing each of the stages the building has been through.

The analysis of the Alcázar of the Christian Monarchs has been organized as a tour, as it is currently shown to the visitor. We will start talking about the walls, while we enter the Main Gate, a great quality image, as it is dominated by a sculpture of King Alfonso X the Wise. After it, a small access takes us to the Main Gallery connecting to the Northern wall and, therefore, to the Tribute Tower and the Tower of the Lions, as well as the Hall of the Mosaics and the Hall of the Ocean. We go down to the ground floor to appreciate the singularity of the Royal Baths, as well as the Moorish Courtyard, which ultimately leads us to the Gardens.

Main door of the Christian Monarchs AlcazarThe collection of mosaics of the Alcázar of the Christian Monarchs is of great quality. All of them were taken from the Corredera Square, which was at the time the entrance to the Roman circus in our city, one of the biggest and most important in the peninsula, and to which we will dedicate a section on the website.

The Alcazar of the Christian Monarchs is one of the most important monument of Córdoba
Another topic we have paid special attention to is the treatment of the gardens, which already showed its greatest splendor in caliphal times, supplied by water from the river and the mountain. The Gardens of the Alcázar of the Christian Monarchs are a symbol of the history of our city, a source of inspiration for our men of letters and a place which was very close to the daily lives of the people of Córdoba.

 

 

 

 

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