When we moved to Andalusia, we had quite some things on our To Do List and I am not only referring to develop El Guarda, but as well having the opportunity to see the important and beautiful things the region has to offer. However the longer we live here, the longer the list becomes as we hear and see about things that we never knew about and we would love to have a closer look at. What to do if you run a small scale Guesthouse and hear fantastic stories from your guests, but haven’t really time to go and see?
So yet another one major cultural event comes up: the Cordoba Patios Festival, which takes place on 8-19 May. This is one of the region’s most charming festivals, where flowers take centre stage. Music and dance, usually the protagonists of any Andalucian celebration, are featured, but the patios are all about appreciating nature at its most colourful – bright pink, red, yellow and blue flowers in pots, especially geraniums, arranged across in perfect patterns across dazzling white walls, plants winding around staircases and trailing down from wooden balconies, creating little oases of green inside the city. The patios belong to Cordoban residents, who open them up to the public for this festival. The Fiesta de Patios de Cordoba was inscribed on the list of UNESCO Intangible Heritage of Humanity in December 2012, joining other recent Spanish additions such as theFlamenco and the Mediterranean Diet.
The festival experiences its peak times at weekends, when people arrive from all over Spain to enjoy the beautiful courtyards. For this reason, this year a new ticketing system has been introduced for Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays (10-12 May and 17-19 May) – on each of these days, you will need a ticket to get into the patios.
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.
So let’s hope that some of our guests will go there this year, so that we can enjoy their stories and photographs and for us it will have to get to our still growing Bucket List.