Cordoba, which is a city located in the southern part of Spain between Seville and Granada, was once the centerpiece of Moorish Spain and considered the "Mecca of the West." Today, it is a beautiful city--the 10th largest in Spain--that still features symbols of its history. The most famous is La Mezquita, the grand mosque of Cordoba, but the city offers other historical and cultural attractions, including traditional flamenco dance shows.
La Mezquita, which dates to 785 and took more than two centuries to complete, was once the highest and most beautiful mosque built by the Moors in Spain. Considered one of the finest examples of Islamic art in the west, the structure has for nine centuries been a Christian cathedral with obvious Moorish lineage.
While La Mezquita is the most famous structure in Cordoba, there are many other reasons to visit the city. These include the Jewish Quarter, which contains one of the last three remaining synagogues in Spain, and Alcazar, the gardens of the Catholic kings, where Columbus sought financing from the royals for his famous journey.
While Seville has more authentic flamenco clubs and shows, Cordoba has several places where tourists can experience the fiery traditional dance. The best known is Tablao Cardenal, which is located beside the tourism center, across the street from La Mezquita.
In Cordoba's historic district, there are some cheap hotels and hostels. Tourism officials say that if visitors book reservations early, they may get a room on Mezquita square with a view of the famous structure.
Cordoba is very, very hot during the summer months, which means streets are often quiet at the peak of the day. Temperatures fall a bit in the evenings and people can be seen dining outside later at night. Winters are moderate in temperature but can be rainy. November through February are the wettest months.