Medina Azahara lies a bit outside of Córdoba, it is free to visit for European citizens but for a €2,10 fee for the obligatory shuttle bus. The complex consists of ruins of the old capital of al-Andalus (Muslim Spain) from the 10th century. Unfortunately, a lot of buildings are pretty much entirely destroyed, but the scale of the complex – which unearthes only 10% of the entire city – shows the grandeur of this royal city.
The one structure in Córdoba to see is the Mezquita Mosque-Cathedral. It is the epitome of Islamic-Christian architecture. A small Christian temple stood in the place where the Great Mosque was built in the 8th century. Five centuries later, the Reconquista let it fall back into Christian hands. But not only the change of religion led to changes of the building, each ruler added towers, altered rooms or expanded the courtyard. The hall of the Mezquita shows a lot of white and red brick arches surrounding the somewhat out of place Renaissance cathedral nave in the center of the hall.
The Roman bridge provides a good view of the Mezquita Cathedral and was apparently used for the Game of Thrones shot of the Long bridge of Volantis. As the whole city is a Unesco World Heritage site, it is worthwhile to get lost into the small alleyways and hidden churches in the city.
December 27th 2017