May is the best month to visit Cordoba, with its riot of colourful and fragrant celebrations. The floral excitements kick off with the Battle of the Flowers parade, followed by the Cruces de Mayo – a competition of flower-decorated crosses, between city neighbourhoods, then the Patios Festival – traditional Andalusian houses whose interior courtyards are festooned with potted flowers and plants, bursting with blooms. Finally, there’s the Feria de Córdoba, with horses, sherry and dancing.
The Mezquita (Mosque) dates back to the 10th century when Córdoba reached its zenith under a new emir, Abd ar-Rahman 111 who was one of the great rulers of Islamic history. At this time Córdoba was the largest, most prosperous cities of Europe, outshining Byzantium and Baghdad in science, culture and the arts. The development of the Great Mosque paralleled these new heights of splendour.
Despite originating from the Christian era, these gardens are typically Moorish in design with ponds, fountains and aromatic plants. Adjacent to the gardens are the Royal Stables which extend to encompass the Gardens of the Campo Santo de los Márties.
But apart from visiting the Muslim architecture landmarks in Cordoba. May is the month in which flowers acquire a leading role in this Andalusian city. They are the key decorative element in the “patios contest”, a competition in which this traditional part of the house is decorated.
A vast range of patios await your viewing in Córdoba every year, with not only private, single-family homes opening their doors to show you the lovely courtyards around which their old-style homes centre. There are also larger, low-built, apartment-style buildings that have amazing courtyards where often many gardeners will work together all year to cultivate the special gems that are their shared meeting areas.
However, the patio displays go even beyond the wide array offered by the private sector to include numerous “monument” patios. For example, the Viana Palace, a 14th century edifice, is actually known as the Patio Museum and offers around 12 different patios to its visitors. It has also been classified as an official “Historic Garden” and is high on the list of recommendations for those wishing to see the best of Córdoba, in the best possible way, in one of the comfortable and luxurious vehicles of tourtravelandmore.com and guided by one of our specialised professionals who will offer you the opportunity of knowing each and every corner of this beautiful city.