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The Courtyard Festival of Cordoba - Post lockdown
15 September 2020 @ 11:46

The Courtyards festival of Cordoba is normally held every year from 1st to 13th May. But given the current pandemic, it was postponed.  This year it will now be held from the 8th to the 18th  October so you still have time to enjoy this wonderful festival.

The "Festival de Patios" has been included in the list of intangible Heritage of Humanity of Unesco since 2012 and is really worth a visit so make sure you note it down in your diary. So, what does this festival entail?

Due to the hot, dry Cordoban climate, the city's inhabitants, first the Romans and later the Muslims, adapted the typical design of the popular house to their needs, making the home centre around an inner courtyard or patio, normally with a fountain in the middle and often a well to collect rainwater. The Muslims made further adjustments, giving the house an entrance from the street which passed through a porch, and filling the courtyard with plants to give the sensation of freshness.

There are clearly two types of courtyards. The first type is in a one-family home in which the rooms are arranged around the courtyard - it usually has arches and either a clay tiled or decorative pebbled floor. The second type is called a neighbours house (casa de vecinos). Here the individual homes look out onto the courtyard - however, these are much less common nowadays. It usually has two floors and the courtyard is made all the more attractive by the long balconies, staircases and baked clay roof tiles. The floors usually have decorative pebbles and there is often a well instead of a fountain, as well as a communal washing room.



The most characteristic district is the Alcázar Viejo district, between the Alcázar and the parish of San Basilio, although there are also many in the districts of Santa Marina, around the church of San Lorenzo and near la Magdalena. Just around the Mosque-Cathedral, there are also very beautiful old examples of courtyards in the old Jewish quarter. The most beautiful courtyards of all are to be found in the Palacio de Viana, with twelve different courtyards.



Since 1921, the Town Hall has organised a competition of Courtyards and Crosses in the first week of May - this year exceptionally in October, and the owners decorate their houses with great care to try and win the prestigious award offered by the authorities. A festival runs in parallel with a number of performances by the best singers and dancers on the scene, while the local fino wine flows freely and delicious tapas are served. Naturally this year, it will be conditioned by the coronavirus health restrictions.



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Goldilocks said:
19 September 2020 @ 17:53

Wonderful photos! Thank you for this article. We remember it well and hope to go again (one day!).

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