Cordoba – Argentina
Cordoba - Argentina

Cordoba – Argentina

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Cordoba de la Nueva Andalucia

Re-entering Argentina to continue the tour in Argentina after a couple of days visiting Montevideo, the capital city of Uruguay, it is now time for one of the most visited places in the country, the beautiful Cordoba. Argentina’s second largest city, named after Cordoba in Spain was founded in 1573 by Conquistador Jerónimo Luis de Cabrera, who claimed most of the northwest of current Argentina. Soon after, the original urban plan for the city was created: the traditional colonial orthogonal grid of streets, 70 blocks in total in a 10 by 7 with an epicentral square, the heart of the religion and politics where the City Hall and Cathedral were built.

It was not much later, in 1616 when the Jesuit Block started to take shape in its construction, becoming the first university in Argentina, and the 4th oldest in South America. Several other complexes ere built by the Jesuits in the province, receiving the name of Estancia Jesuistica, each had its own church and buildings around which, a town grew. Nowadays, these are one of the major tourist draws, and preserved for posterity by their inclusion in the UNESCO’s list as World Heritage Site.

Churches, basilicas, monasteries and palaces for wealthy merchants soon filled all available plots, rivalling in greatness with Buenos Aires to the point of been considered as the capital of the country before any other city. Its population kept growing, expanding beyond its original limits to create new districts around the old town; tending of new avenues and streets, infrastructure and another great boost to its economy after the arrival of thousands of immigrants from Italy and Spain at the end of the 19th century. The taste for the architecture change for a French, Italianate and Spanish colonial, same as it happened in Buenos Aires at the turn of the 20th century, and although beautiful, it meant the destruction of most of the original colonial fabric to make way for the bigger and greater.

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Cordoba – Spain
Cordoba - Spain

Cordoba – Spain

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Carthaginian Kartuba, Roman Corduba, Islamic Qurṭubah

Time to return to Andalusia, and in this occasion just after a month that we went on visiting the cities of Tarifa, Cadiz and Jerez. As for this trip, it was well overdue to come and visit one of the most spectacular and historical cities in Spain, world renown for its architecture. But before continuing and in order to understand why such importance, let me tell you some of the facts that will clear your view in this subject.

It was the capital of Hispania Ulterior Baetica in Roman times, then the Capital of the Islamic Emirate and then Caliphate of Cordoba. By the 10th century it was the most populated city in the world, and currently holds the title as being the largest urban area in the world declared by the UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. As you can imagine with that large amount of monuments and sites you will need to calculate well your time to fully enjoy the city. A weekend is, in fact, quite short and rushy as I can tell you from experience, but as a first glimpse that’s totally worth it.

After larger Seville and Granada, expect to see in Cordoba a mix of both. Elegance and history where Roman remains blend with the former mosques and glorious palaces from the Islamic era; baroque, neo-classical and traditional regionalist Andalusian architecture with the typical white houses with iron balconies, patios fully covered with beautiful hand painted tiles in the walls, and orange trees and flowers in almost any street. (more…)

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