Rarely so much history has been written in one place, as in the Alcázar de los Reyes Cristianos, the Royal Palace of Cordoba.
Already the Romans had built a fortification here. Later the Visigoths built a fortress at this point. In Moorish times the fortress was converted into a palace for the caliphs. With the Christian conquest this was largely destroyed.
Alfonso XI built the palace for the Spanish kings in its present form.
Up to the conquest of the last Moorish bastion in Spain, Granada, the kings ruled in this palace. The almost square shape of the building is flanked by one tower each in the corners, one of which was destroyed.
Nevertheless by its massive walls, the complex appears to be very much isolated from the outside.
Inside, one has taken much from the Moorish style, so that the entire palace with its spacious gardens appears very open.
Water basins and plants that spread a cool and friendly atmosphere, can be found everywhere.
Excavations are carried out in a courtyard. The very precious Roman reliefs that have been found, are exhibited in a large hall.
In the basement are the former bathrooms. A tradition, which is also inherited from the Moors.
But not only kings lived and ruled here. The Spanish inquisition also had its seat here more than 3 centuries. Prisoners were accommodated in little underground cells.
After the reconquest of Granada, the building served as a prison and and later as a fortification. Napoleon’s troops were quartered here, in 1810. Since the 20th century, the building is open to tourism.
In the gardens there are a number of pools and countless plants. Even herons seem to like the environment. The gardens were irrigated by means of gigantic wooden water wheels, that pumped up the water from the Guadalquivir.
An impressive monument shows Isabella of Castile and Ferdinand of Aragon receiving Christopher Columbus, who tried to make the sea route to India palatable to them.
Since 1994, the Alcázar de los Reyes Cristianos, as part of the historic city of Cordoba, is in the list of the UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Please read on > La Fiesta de los Patios de Cordoba
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