The beautiful Andalusian city of Cordoba is home to some fascinating museums, taking an in-depth look at everything from bullfighting to the glory of 10th century Andalusia, and from flamenco to flowers. Here are some of our favorites.
Palacio de Viana
The key attraction of Cordoba’s Feria de los Patios is the Palacio de Viana, a 15th-century palace that has been owned by a succession of counts, dukes and marquesses over the centuries. It was put up for sale by the last owners in the early 1980s, but influential Cordobans protested and the building was acquired by the Provincial Bank of Cordoba. The carefully maintained patios are populated with colourful plants, flowers and trees, and the palace still has the feel of a stately private residence. Admission to the palace and all 13 of Viana’s lovely patios and gardens is €8 ($9), or you can visit the grounds for €5 ($5.80).Read more about the Palacio de los Marqueses de Viana
Cordoba’s rather plain 1960s bullring lacks the historical distinction of those in other major Andalusian destinations, but the city’s Museo Taurino, or bullfighting museum, is one of the best in the province. Over several well-organised rooms, it offers a fascinating insight into the history of this controversial spectacle and its greatest practitioners, including the Cordoba-born Manolete, considered to be one of the greatest matadors of all time. A visit here is time well spent for anyone curious about this little-understood tradition, which is still an important part of Andalusian culture.Read more about the Museo Taurino de Córdoba
Museo de Bellas Artes
Cordoba’s Museum of Fine Arts is situated on one of the Old Town’s prettiest squares, in a former hospital. Over two floors it displays a permanent collection of paintings, prints and drawings by artists from the middle ages to the present day, as well as a program of temporary exhibitions. It is particularly strong on art produced by Cordoban artists from the 15th to 21st centuries, the baroque period and the 19th century.
Admission is free and the cool rooms also provide respite from the punishing heat of Cordoba in spring or summer.Read more about the Museo de Bellas Artes de Córdoba
Living Museum of al-Andalus
The Torre de la Calahorra houses the Living Museum of al-Andalus which a small but engaging museum looks at the cultural history of southern Spain and Cordoba between the 9th and 12th centuries. The museum collects, preserves, and shows artifacts and documents of the rich Cordoban history which is characterized by the peaceful coexistence of Jews, Muslims, and Christians over centuries.Read more about the Torre de la Calahorra
Centro Flamenco ‘Fosforito’
The Centro Flamenco ‘Fosforito’ museum is spread over a series of rooms surrounding the Plaza del Potro. This is a fascinating museum which looks at the history of the art flamenco. The museum tells its story with interactive panels and exhibits, in English and Spanish. The visitor is taken on a journey through the evolution of flamenco and its various different styles and rhythmic forms.
It focuses on the life and work of the popular Cordoban flamenco singer Antonio Fernandez Diaz, also known as Fosforito, after whom the museum is named.Read more about the Centro Flamenco Fosforito
The Archaeological Museum of Córdoba is one of the most complete archaeological museums in Spain with an inventory of around 35,000 items. The museum is harbored by the former Palace of the Páez de Castillejo. This Renaissance building, along with with the collections it houses, was declared as a Historic Artistic Monument in 1962. The Museum, spread over eight exhibition rooms traces, Córdoba’s many changes in size, appearance and lifestyle from pre-Roman to early Reconquista times, with some fine sculpture, an impressive coin collection, and interesting exhibits on domestic life and religion. During renovation of the building the remains of the city’s Roman theatre were found and are now on display.
The museum has explanations in English and Spanish.
Museo Julio Romero de Torres
The Museum of Julio Romero de Torres is located in the same building as the fine arts museum, it is where he once lived and now houses this famous contemporary Cordoba painters’ works. Museum The Julio Romero de Torres Museum houses the largest collection of works by this important Spanish painter and, without a doubt, the best known in this city.
In six rooms of an old church, along with many of his works, you can see some of the artist’s belongings such as furniture, manuscripts, his brushes or his guitar. There are also different works here that, due to his death in 1930, he could not finish. A year later, his heirs inaugurated the museum, giving his visitor the opportunity to get to know the environment of that time and see how the painter lived and worked.
It also has works of other famous baroque, renaissance and contemporary painters; Zurbarán, Alejo Fernandez, Antonio del Castillo and Valdés Leal.Read more about the Museo Julio Romero de Torres
The Casa Andalusí is a restored 12th-century house located in the heart of the Jewish Quarter. This house-museum attempts to recreate an ambience of caliphal times. It has a tinkling fountain in the patio and a variety of exhibits, mainly relating to Córdoba’s medieval Muslim culture, as well as a Roman mosaic in the cellar. It is also home to the Museo del Papel (Paper Museum), an interesting journey through the manufacturing process of this material in the Cordoba Caliphate.Read more about the Casa Andalusí