Tag Archives: Spain

Exploring the cultural attractions in Cordoba, Spain

photo by CC user James (Jim) Gordon on Flickr

Heading to Spain this summer, and looking to discover the cultural attractions in Cordoba, Spain? This article will give you a rundown of what to expect from its foremost points of interest. Check’em out below…

1) Mosque of Cordoba

Though it is presently a cathedral operating under the name Our Lady of the Assumption, the Mosque of Cordoba was the former name of this city’s most impressive structure.

After the success of the Reconquista in the 13th century, the structure was converted into a Catholic church, a denomination that it has remained loyal to ever since.

Though the altars and Christian iconography found here is very beautiful in its construction, the bones of this dazzling structure are irrevocably Moorish in their design, as you will note from the columns.

2) Alcazar de los Reyes

Serving as the palace from which the Caliphate of Cordoba ruled until the Spanish led Crusade wrested control from the Moors, Alcazar de los Reyes is a sight of splendor that reveals the breathtaking eye for design that the leaders of this civilization had back in medieval times.

Gardens, courtyards and reflecting pools are all highlights of this amazing structure … the only regret you’ll have is the fact that you can’t somehow make a deal for this choice pad (even if you had the money, the Alcazar de los Reyes is not for sale … sorry).

3) Roman Temple of Cordoba

Before the age of the Moors, the land upon which Cordoba is built was part of the territory of the Romans, widely considered to be one of the greatest empires to ever exist on the face of the Earth.

Discovered in the 1950’s during an expansion of Cordoba’s city hall, the remaining columns that marked where a Roman temple once stood were unearthed.

Dedicated to an Imperial cult, this religious structure was proof that this civilization was a bold one, spreading its influence and traditions far from the heart of its empire.

4) Calahorra Tower

If you have time, be sure to check out the Calahorra Tower before heading off to other parts of Spain. One of the last remaining gates that bound together a city wall that protected the settlement during the Moorish era, it also saw use over the years as a girls school and a prison.

Today, it is a museum which details a time when Cordoba experienced a peace where Muslims, Christians and Jews co-existed alongside in peace in this corner of Spain.

Four attractions in Barcelona for the cultured traveler

photo by CC user Bernard Gagnon on wikimedia commons

Heading to the capital of Catalan and want to make the most of your time as a fan of all things artistic? The following attractions in Barcelona will please the pickiest of all culture hounds, so if you are stumped for place to visit, be sure to take note of our picks below…

1) Park Guell

Start your cultural crawl of Barcelona by wandering through Park Guell, a mix of a former urban housing development and a garden.

With many of the sculptures, structures and floral features coordinated and designed by native son and famed architect Antoni Gaudi, you won’t just be strolling through a sculpture garden – you’ll be doing it amidst a living, 3D masterpiece.

2) Sagrada Familia

There are many landmarks in Barcelona that inspire the muse inside of us, but none do the job quite as well as the Sagrada Familia.

A massive cathedral that is Gaudi’s biggest and most important legacy, it is finally scheduled to be completed in 2026, and while cranes might put some pickier tourists off, most of its haunting beauty can be appreciated by visitors that make the effort to check it out.

The amount of detail in this Catholic basilica is astounding, from stone tortoises at the base of pillars to carved art in each of the facades that depict everything from the birth of Jesus to the path of heaven for believers.

The roof in the nave is particularly mind blowing as well, but the little details in this building will keep architecture enthusiasts like Hustad Companies occupied for hours

3) Palau de la Musica Catalana

While there are grand concert halls that can be found all over Europe, few are as elaborate in their design as the Palau de la Musica Catalana.

Recognized by UNESCO in 1997 for being one of the boldest expressions of the Art Nouveau architectural style that was all the rage at the start of the 20th century, it is home to the finest symphonic and performing arts productions in the region, drawing over 500,000 patrons per year.

4) Museu Picasso

Picasso may have been raised in Malaga on the Costa del Sol, but when he was approached by a friend who intended to open a museum showcasing his paintings, he suggested he found it in Barcelona, where he had many connections.

Since the opening of Museu Picasso in 1963, it has acquired more than 4,000 paintings by one of history’s greatest visual artists, making it the best place to appreciate this cultural giant in the world.

Two of his earliest big hits, The First Communion and Science and Charity can be found here, so be sure to include this place in your itinerary if you want to soak in the works of an artistic genius.

Your Ultimate Guide to Marbella

photo by CC user Tomas Fano on Flickr

Once you see all that Marbella has to offer, you’ll never want to vacation anywhere else in the world. Known as the prime Costa del Sol city, you’ll be overwhelmed by the beauty and splendor of the area. While the sandy beaches are where many of travelers head, we are going to give you a few other ideas of places to explore while in this ancient city through our Guide to Marbella below. Old Town Marbella has a plethora to offer all types of travelers and you should add all these stops to your vacation bucket list.

Explore the Arab Walls

For those who didn’t know, Old Town Marbella is built on the remnants of an ancient Arab city. The walls of Marbella are part of an old fortress and were declared as a cultural asset which means it’s the perfect place to explore if you are a culture or history buff. The old Arab medina which used to sit in this area has been built upon for centuries and is the perfect window into the past. There are some quaint boutiques around this area for shopping fanatics to explore if you want to pick up a few Spanish souvenirs as well.

Walk Around the Plaza of the Oranges

If you are looking for one of the most famous parts of Old Town Marbella, you have to head to this plaza, also known as Plaza de Los Naranjos. The gentle citrus scents which waft through this square will tempt you to come visit while the shade of the orange trees will entice you to stay for a while. As you rest here, take a look around at the intricate architecture which was built back in the times of the Catholic Monarchs.

This plaza is in a central part of Old Town and a good place to start your search for a hotel in Marbella.

Iglesia de la Encarnación

If you are a photographer, you cannot afford to miss this Catholic church which was converted from an older mosque. Also known as the Church of the Incarnation, take special note of the Rococo style carvings which date back to the 1700’s. As you look around, you can really see the time and dedication which was put into the design and creation of this building. If you enjoy tours while traveling, you should consider booking a tour of Marbella which points out this area and many other important attractions within the city.

Santo Cristo de la Vera Cruz Hermitage

With a mouth such as Santo Cristo de la Vera Cruz Hermitage, you have to expect a beautiful church, and you’d be correct. This perfect example of traditional Andalusian building, the church is located on one of the highest points in town which makes it a great place to visit, just for the view. This is the oldest church in the city and many locals make a pilgrimage to the Santo Cristo de la Vera Cruz Hermitage on a frequent basis. Make sure you take your camera to document this beautiful site.