Palacio de Orive

Palace in Córdoba

Palacio De Orive,Cordoba
CC BY-SA 2.0 / Luis Rogelio HM

Palacio de Orive or Palace of Orive is a Renaissance palace once owned by the Villalones family, located in Cordoba in Spain. The building was built by Hernán Ruiz II in 1560 and is an attractive example of Cordoban civil architecture of the Renaissance period.  It was built on the site of an old house belonging to the Hoces family, destroyed by Pedro I el Cruel for the support they gave to his brother Enrique II de Trastámara.

On the façade it is striking because it has decorated arches and the bust of a woman with open arms holding a ribbon with the Latin inscription: “loyalty is an important virtue”. The woman is supposedly Blanca de Córdoba.

Inside, a succession of stately staircases, narrow galleries and bright patios that will transport us to other times. Its vast gardens stand out, which once belonged to the orchards of the San Pablo convent. This Palace has two courtyards, around which the rooms are distributed.

The first patio that can be found is that of carriages. This cordovan patio is small in size, it has a brick gallery or arcades on two of its sides and it communicates with the central patio through a loggia and with the upper floor by means of stairs.

The central patio is square with one of its sides consisting of three semicircular arches on the ground floor and balconies on the upper floor. The other three sides of the courtyard have semicircular arches on reused Arab and Roman columns on the ground floor and carpal arches on the second, all of them framed by pillars. This patio has white walls and beautiful marbled flooring with a central circular fountain. There are the typical Cordoba plants such as geraniums, gypsies and pilasters here.

The interior orchard, together with part of the old orchard of the Convent of San Pablo, was opened to the public, configuring the current Orive Gardens .

Nowadays, the building houses the Town Hall’s Department of Culture.

Legend of Blanca de Córdoba

Blanca de Córdoba, was the daughter of Don Carlos, the Corregidor of the White Coat, who had been cursed by a gypsy. Years later, some Jews came to the house to complain to the corregidor that could not find an inn at that time of night. Don Carlos allowed them to stay at the front door of his house. Blanca and her maid to spied on them, observing that they had sat in a circle, passed the beads of a large rosary and read a book under the light of a yellow candle. At that moment the earth opened at their feet and a ladder appeared through which she saw a dashing young man with a chest full of jewels. After talking to the man they extinguished the candle to close it the hole.

With the guests gone, the curious women came up with the idea that, by gathering the drops of yellow wax fallen from the candle, they could reopen the entrance to the hallway. Blanca did this and the hole opened and Blanca descending the staircase in search of the young man and his riches. The candle went out, the hole closed, and Blanca stayed inside, hearing her wails from the bottom of the earth. Her father dug for many years until his death, but Blanca did not return although, at night, her shadows are seen and her laments are heard, and sometimes, the sarcastic laugh of the cursing gypsy.

The Palacio de Orive appears in our Complete Guide to Visiting Córdoba!

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Visiting Palacio de Orive


From Monday to Saturday: 10:00 to 14:00 and from 17:00 to 21:00

Sundays: 10:00 to 14:00



Address: Palacio de Orive Plaza de Orive, 2 14002 Córdoba Spain
Telephone: +34 957 485 001
Duration: 20 minutes

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