Andalucia History & Culture

Cordoba: An Introduction

Cordoba Roman Bridge The origins of modern day Cordoba can be traced to the 8th Century BC, when the area was first settled by The Tartessians. However, it did not grow to prominence until the Carthaginian's named the town 'Kartuba' in honour of a local commander.

By the time of Julius Caesar, in the 1st century BC, Cordoba had become the capital of Roman Hispania (Spain) and was already one of the most important cities in the region. After a short period under Visigoth rule, Cordoba was captured by a Muslim army in the early 8th century. Over the next 400 years, Cordoba gradually become the largest, wealthiest and most advanced city in the world.

It was during the Muslim period that the Mezquita was built; indeed, Cordoba had over 3000 mosques, palaces and public baths at the height of its power. It was known for its university and libraries, which attracted the greatest mathematicians and physicists of the age...

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Medina Azahara: Cordoba's Historic Jewel

Medina Azahara Medina Azahara is one of the many places of interest that we visit on our Historic Andalucia cycle tour. It may not be as well known as the Alhambra Palace in Granada, but Medina Azahara is a must visit for history lovers.

Situated just a few kilometres from Cordoba, Medina Azahara (meaning beautiful town in Arabic) was built in the 10th century as the capital of Muslim Spain. Find out about what makes the Medina Azahara such a unique site and such a fascinating place to visit, particularly for history lovers.

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Gazpacho Andaluz - The Foods that Define Spain

Gazpacho Andaluz Andalucia is the most visited region in Spain. As well as a fantastic coastline, it contains the historic cities of Seville, Granada and Cordoba. Andalucia is also the home to the highest mountains on the Iberian peninsular, flamenco and tapas. It is, however, a different food that we profile in this article from our Foods that Define Spain series - Gazpacho.

Gazpacho is a quintessentially Andalucian dish, which has now become common throughout Spain (and further afield). Gazpacho is basically a cold tomato soup; however, the quality of the ingredients and the preparation really make the dish stand out.

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Semana Santa in Seville

Semana Santa in Seville Semana Santa (Holy Week) is a big deal throughout Spain. In many English speaking countries, it is an excuse to have a few days off work and eat a bit of chocolate; in Spain, however, it is a week of processions, music and street parties. Although it is celebrated throughout the country, the biggest and most famous is in Seville, the capital of Andalucia.

Hundreds of thousands of tourists visit Seville each year for its Holy Week processions which take place several times each day from Palm Sunday until Easter Sunday. The processions are carried out by various brotherhoods from the city, made up of a few hundred to several thousand 'Nazarenos'. The brotherhoods recreate the events of Holy Week (as suggested by the bible) adding their own interpretation at times, but usually carrying wooden structures to depict their part of the story...

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Five Lesser Known Spanish Towns for History

Historic Towns Spain Spain is one of the most incredible countries to visit for history lovers. There are many cities with a great variety of historical influences; from the Moorish cities of Seville and Granada, to the impressive architecture in Barcelona and Valencia.

However, there also many towns and villages, much less visited than the big cities, that are of real historical interest. Here we look at five our favourites, which offer different aspects of Spanish and European history...

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