Cordoba is a mid-sized city of 350,000 people. Very few places in the world can boast of having been the capital of a Roman province (Hispania Ulterior), the capital of an Arab State (Al-Andalus) and a Caliphate. This ancient city was the political and intellectual capital of the Caliphate of Cordoba since the advent of Islamic rule from the 8th century. Nestled in a valley along the Guadalquivir river backed by the Sierra Morena mountains in the noth, it provided strategic defence position enjoying the auspicious energy of the mountain and river. Under the rule of the Caliph Abderraman the III, it became the centre of education and learning. Under his rule, hundreds of mosques and splendid palaces were builtd, and an irrigation system for agriculture and infrastructure was developed. Cordoba was at the zenith of its importance in that era, but id did not survive the march of time. It soon declined in importance but its legacy lives on, and today, UNESCO lists its historic centre as a World Heritage Site. One of the most magnificent legacies of Moorish architecture is the Mosque-Cathedral of Córdoba. The Mosque went through four stages of transformation by various Islamic rulers. It became the centre of not only religious but also cultural, social and political activities. When King Ferdinand III reconquered Cordoba in 1236, it was consecrated as a Catholic Cathedral. Walking through the Cathedral it is like walking through a timeline of Moorish rule and Christian reconquest. It is a breathtaking piece of architectural wonder created by skilled Byzantine artisans and architects.
EASTER in Southern Spain is a unique experience that you will not be able to do anywhere else. Full of ritual and pageantry, incense and solemnity, this evocative celebration last for the entire Holy Week. This traditional event dates back to the 1500s. Ornate statues and sculptures depicting the Passion of Christ are carried on processions throughout narrow streets full of crowds and expectation. Watching these proccessions might be quite controversial because it has nothing to do with spirituality. It's about tradition, culture and a very dramatic sensation that will make you feel the real essence of this region.
MONTILLA is the center of this Denomination of Origin wine zone. The winemaking history of this area dates back to the Romans and the Moors and it's quite possibly the oldest in Andalucia. The landscape here is dry and the soil is a blinding white Albariza (white marl composed of clay, calcium and marine fossils). Its excellent moisture retention is very significant as this area is hotter than almost anywhere else in Spain. The main white grape variety of this area is the worldwide known Pedro Ximenez. With a delicate skin and high sugar content, the wines that are made from it, reach up to 14 and 16% alcohol. They are matured using the solera system and classified into the following styles: Joven (young and fruity), Fino (dry and nutty), Amontillado (gradually oxidated), Oloroso (richer and heavier) and Pedro Ximénez (sweet and thick, honoring the actual grape name.
If you penetrate beyond its port and seafront, Malaga city can pleasantly surprise you.
The archaeological remains and monuments from the Phoenician, Roman, Arabic and Christian eras make the historic centre of the city an open museum, displaying its rich history of more than 3.000 years.
Overlooking the town and port, the wonderfully preserved fourteenth century citadels of the Alcazaba and Gibralfaro bear remarkable witness to the city's Moorish past, while a Roman theatre below predates them by over a millennium. The city also has a trio of outstanding art galleries, including the spectacular Museo Picasso, housing a major collection of work by this artist who was born in Malaga.
The city government has done an impressive job over the last decade in tidying up the monumental zone and the old quarter making it a wonderful place to wander through streets and squares filled with animated bars and cafés as well as craft and fashion shops.