I drove to Cordoba yesterday afternoon and spent an eventful 24 hours exploring the city. Most of the museums were closed when I arrived so I bought a ticket to an evening Flamenco concert to pass the time. The show was tucked away in a little courtyard and incorporated the full triumvirate of Flamenco style: guitar, song, and dance.
I have heard that Flamenco can be very good or very bad. This was definitely the former. Half the performers on stage had won national awards and they proved it to us over the course of two hours.
In the morning I went directly to La Mezquita – the architectural crown jewel of Cordoba. The building is both a both a Mosque and a Cathedral; it tells the story of duelling Islamic and Christian traditions throughout southern Spain.
In the oldest section of the Mosque, many of the building materials were collected from Roman ruins and re-used. In this respect, the Mesquita feels like an archaeological exhibit of various classical styles.
The Islamic-inspired patterns in the Mezquita and throughout Cordoba are beautiful. Strict geometric designs even appear in the town Synagogue where they form the Jewish Star of David.
Cordoba’s newest buildings have interesting patterns of their own. This image shows the perforated metal skin of a new five star hotel. The circular metal holes vary in diameter across the facade, allowing different amounts of light into each room. The rusty metal has a pretty cool effect. I hear that rust is the next big thing in Modern Architecture.