Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Virtual Tour of Spain: Day Five: Cordoba (May 12, 2020)

Welcome to our "Virtual Tour of Spain" May 8 to 22, 2020!
Day Five: Tuesday, May 12, 2020
Day Exploring Cordoba
Mezquita, Hamam, Arab, Jewish, Catholic History
Cordoba Mezquita Photo By Ajay Suresh from New York, NY, USA - Cordoba-32, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=79565051

Good evening everyone!  On our fifth day of our Virtual Tour of Spain, we've had a bit of rain this morning in Cordoba but our temperatures today and tomorrow are pleasant -- 68 is the high and 51 is the low. We are staying at the Lofts Trigo 13, cute loft apartments about half a mile east of the Mezquita-Catedral.  For a splurge, we highly recommend Las Casa de la Juderia, with its haunting sense of the Jewish heritage of Cordoba.

Cordoba's history blends three distinct influences: the Arab/Muslim culture of Islam (756AD to 1236AD), Jewish Sephardic tradition, and Christian. 

Wikipedia provides a rich history of Cordoba.  Here's a bit of background from  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Juder%C3%ADa_de_C%C3%B3rdoba

"Córdoba went through a period when three peoples (Christian, Jewish and Muslim) and their respective religions lived together, albeit, the non-Muslim population living subjugated under Islamic Law with Jews having their own court system. Walking through the Jewish Quarter, along the Calle de los Judíos (Jewish Street), visitors can now find a magnificent bronze statue dedicated to Maimónides, the great Jewish philosopher and doctor from Córdoba.

"During this period, the majority of the Jewish people lived under the rule of Islam. During the four years of Umayyad hegemony, cultural, artistic and commercial Muslim activities turned Al-Ándalus (Muslim Spain) into the most cultured country in Europe. Historians talk of Córdoba with admiration, the capital of the Umayyad Caliphate, which turned into a magnificent cultural centre with its lakes and parks, amazing palaces and mosques. The court attracted and exercised its patronage over poets and philosophers, men of literature and science.

"During the 10th century, Córdoba was the largest economic and cultural centre of the Western world.

"In 756 AD, the Umayyad Abd-al-Rahman I, turned Córdoba into the capital of Muslim Spain and during the following 250 years it turned into one of the largest commercial and intellectual centres in the world. In 929 AD, Abd-al-Rahman III, proclaimed the caliphate and the city reached its highest splendour, rivalling Damascus and Baghdad, centres of great economic and intellectual prosperity. From the 11th century, due to the disintegration of Muslim power in Spain, part of the cultural success of Córdoba was lost, although it remained a centre for people of literature and scholars. In the 12th century, the actions of philosophers Averroes and Maimónides stand out. In 1236, Fernando III el Santo (The Saint) took the city and integrated it into the Kingdom of Castile."

Today is a walking day through the streets and history of Cordoba.  We're off very early to the Mezquita in time for its 8:30am to 9:30am "admission-free" hour ... most special because its the best time to feel like you are not crowded in your visit.  For our virtual tour, we have three YouTube videos to enjoy. The first is an excellent walk-through the Mezquita and the most interesting parts of Cordoba.  To me the most important value of this first YouTube video is the rich visual view of the town:

Up next, a very different viewpoint from the perspective of an Islamic pilgrim to Muslim Cordoba,  Samran Ghazi:

Finally, a review of the spirit of Al-Andalus:

Orientation Map
Now, we are ready for our walking tour of Cordoba.  To set the stage, here is the Google Maps view of the town, in our starting view our map is centered on the Mezquita. Use fingers or mouse to navigate. Like we have presented over the past several days, you can navigate by zooming in with the + control on lower right, and then use two fingers to swipe left or right, or up or down to navigate position:

Several treats in store for today.  We set an appointment for the Hammam al Andalus Cordoba (located at Calle Corregidor Luis de la Cerda, 51, just three minutes walk from the Mezquita), for hot and cold baths and a rubdown on a stone slab.  Just the thing to get you into the spirit of Al-Andalus times.

Up next, we go back in time through a PBS YouTube video looking at the Jewish heritage of Cordoba:

And finally, a video without narrative, a walk through the Juderia ... the Jewish quarter of Cordoba:

Tech notes about navigating in Google Street Views: When viewing the "Virtual Tour of Spain" daily entries on a phone, you may find that you can get "stuck" within a Google Street View while you are swiping up or down on the page. That's because the Google Street View image is live and responds to your finger swiping. Just swipe up or down on the LEFT or RIGHT MARGINS (outside of the Street View image), and your navigation up or down the page continues normally.

Virtual Walk Through Cordoba
We'll conclude our day in Cordoba with YOUR OWN walks through the town, beginning in the Jewish quarter, at Las Casas de la Juderia.  Navigate virtually through the town as we have over the past four days: tap or click in the center of the Google Street View Map, below, to move ahead, and use your finger (or mouse) to drag left or right or up or down to navigate through the Street View. To navigate up or down this page without moving the Google Street View, use your finger navigate along the left and right edges of the Street View image (in the left or right margin), avoiding the Street View image itself:

We'll leave you with the Google Street View from yesterday's arrival in Cordoba ... very close to the Mezquita.

That's our DAY FIVE!  Enjoy your evening! Tomorrow we'll take an early train from Cordoba to Sevilla where we'll spend a good deal of time in the old quarter and enjoying the flamenco heritage of Spain! Ole!


UP NEXT TOMORROW:  Exploring Sevilla

Links to prior days of our Virtual Tour of Spain:

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