The Great Royal Palace


Five minutes from the Mosque-Cathedral of Cordoba, on part of the land that was once the palace of the Umayyad caliphs, is the Alcazar de los Reyes Cristianos. Built between 1328 and 1329 by the Castilian monarch Alfonso XI, it was the residence of Christian monarchs during their stay in the city.
It is divided into two sectors, the palatial area and the gardens. The building consists of two floors: the first was the different rooms and rooms, while the upper part was composed of battlements and towers. Among these rooms is the Mosaics Room, a large room whose walls are decorated with Roman mosaics discovered in the Plaza de la Corredera. Among those mosaics we can find a representation of Medusa, which according to the classic myth, was a woman cursed by Athena for having had a relationship with Poseidon, making him grow snakes on the head instead of hair and the power to turn the mortal into stone I dared to look him in the eye. However, the most spectacular is the one that tells the myth of the Cyclops Polyphemus and the nymph Galatea. Polyphemus wanted to possess the beautiful nymph, but she was in love with a shepherd named Acis. Blind with jealousy, Polyphemus killed the shepherd, and Galatea transformed the blood of her beloved into the famous Sicilian river of the same name. Curiously, this myth was treated in his work by the Cordovan writer Luis de Góngora.
Another of the rooms of the building is the Torre del Homenaje, where it is said that Isabel la Católica met with Christopher Columbus, who was willing to show him an alleged route to India across the Atlantic. Isabel, convinced by the Genoese, agreed to donate her jewels to pay for the boats for the crossing. From it you can see a panoramic view of the Gardens and the Royal Stables.
The so-called Moorish patio, decorated with white marble, is one of the quietest spaces in the complex. It is striking that in one of its porticos we will find a bust dedicated to the Great Captain, a well-known soldier of Cordovan origin, and a plaque that recalls the stay of Guayarmina, the indigenous princess of the Canary Islands, and his friendship with Isabel la Católica. Said plate was made by the sculptor Facundo Fierro. Through this patio you can access the baths of Leonor de Guzmán, named in honor of the beautiful Sevillian lover of Alfonso XI, which gave him eleven illegitimate children, thus generating the First Spanish Civil War after the death of the monarch.
As for the Gardens, the best known stay is the Paseo de los Reyes. It consists of an elongated pool of water, flanked on both sides by cypresses and sculptures of different Castilian monarchs. At the end of this walk, you can see a sculptural set that represents the Catholic Monarchs in front of Christopher Columbus. This walk is one of the places in the gardens where the night show of water and lights is celebrated, becoming one of the most popular of the monument.
A curiosity is that this building was offered by the Catholic Monarchs to the Spanish Inquisition at the time they marched to Granada. Thus, it was the seat of the Holy Office between 1492 and 1812, date in which this institution was abolished with the Constitution of Cádiz. Later it was transformed into military barracks, prison and finally, in 1931, a national monument. It will be in 1994 when the Alcázar Cordobés was named a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
To visit this monument, the schedules are as follows:
Closed Monday
Tuesday / Friday: 8: 30-20: 15
Saturday: 8: 30-16: 30
Sunday and Holidays: 8: 30-14: 30
Remember that with the arrival of the Christmas holidays, the schedule will change depending on the days. The special days will be the following:
24, 25, December 31, January 1 and 7: CLOSED.
5 January: 8: 30-16: 30
6 January: 8: 30-14: 30
The prices vary depending on the clients. The general price is € 4.50, although with the young card a discount of 50% is made.
As for the so-called Magic Nights of the Alcázar, where water and light shows are organized at the fountains, the schedule is from Tuesday to Sunday at 9:00 p.m., although it closes from January 7 to 27. The general price is € 6.50, making the same discounts as normal entry. Do not forget that you must buy the ticket during the day, not at the moment of access.
If you have been wanting to know more curiosities and details of this great monument and Cordovan symbol, do not hesitate to count on us. You can join the Historic Casco Tour (Puerta de Almodóvar at 11am - in Spanish - and at 13:30 - in English) and the Tour Legends of the Jewish Quarter (Puerta de Almodóvar at 17:30). Remember that it is necessary to previously book our free tour, through the web The yellow umbrella boys are waiting for you!
Monuments of Córdoba
Alcázar de los Reyes Cristianos
Alcazar Córdoba entrance

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