In Córdoba we had an outstanding tour guide named Maria who was a native of Córdoba. She was so energetic and was really good at not overloading us with superfluous information; sometimes it can get tricky hearing the facts through a thick dialect, but she was incredible.
She told us that Córdoba has a population of about 320,000 people and their main source of income is the production of olive oil. Did you know that Spain produces 40% of the world's olive oil? They call it olive juice there and they export a tanker of olive juice to Italy where the Italians mix in some of their own oil and label it Italian olive oil. The city was established over 2,000 years ago by the Romans, so it is OLD!!!
We saw such a mix of ancient Islamic, Jewish and Catholic civilizations. We visited the Alcazar de los Reyes Cristianos, which is a palace that also served as a jail for a short period, but had beautiful gardens and architecture.
We also saw the Catedral de Córdoba, a Moorish Mezquita (mosque) which dates back from the 8th through the 10th centuries and is the only synagogue in Andalucía to survive the expulsion of the Jews in 1492. It had 19 rows of columns that were mis-matched because they were reused in the Catedral. Also, you will see in our pictures there are tons of arches above the columns all in a red and white striped pattern. There are 56 chapels in this Mosque...because it is both a Mosque and a Cathedral. It was amazing.
-The gardens in the Alcázar are built lower than the pathways so that the fruit and other fragrant trees are right at the level of your nose
-Over 1,000 years ago in Córdoba there were women writing poems and public schools during the "golden age" of Córdoba.