This year’s Córdoba patio festival starts today and runs until the 19th of May. During the festival home owners in the city allow visitors in to see their internal patios, decorated with flowers, climbing plants and water features, picturesque oases normally kept hidden behind heavy wooden doors.

The Córdoba Patio Festival began in 1918 and is now a big tourist draw to the World Heritage city, with its unique Mosque-Cathedral and moorish architecture. The design of the houses in Cordoba date back to Roman times and was continued by the later Moorish invaders, who built homes with a central patio filled with plants and water features to help keep the house cool, even in the height of the summer months.

The Patio contest itself is sponsored by the local council, with prizes for the best examples and the residents compete to win this prestigious award. Alongside the patio festival there are performances from the best singers and dancers, while the local fino wine from Montilla-Moriles flows freely and delicious tapas are served.

Which Areas To Visit

The most famous district to visit for the Patio Festival is the Alcázar Viejo district, between the Alcázar and the parish of San Basilio. There are also many patios to visit in the Santa Marina district and around the church of San Lorenzo and near la Magdalena. The Mosque-Cathedral area also has many fine courtyards in the old Jewish quarter, but the best of all the patios are in the Palacio de Viana, with its 12 different courtyards.

Booking

Due to the popularity of the event, there is an online booking system available this year and it is advised that you use it if you are visiting at the weekends (Friday to Sunday). No reservation is needed on the other days.

To book fill in the form online (link below to Spanish website) indicating which courtyards you wish to visit and when. There are three sessions per day – 11am to 2pm, 6p-9pm and 9pm-midnight – check the website for full details.

For each session, you choose one of six areas: Regina-Magdalena, Santa Marina-San Andres, San Lorenzo-San Agustin, San Pedro-Santiago, Juderia and Alcazar Viejo, each of which has around ten patios to visit.

Cordobo Patios Booking Website

You can also download a map and event programme for the festival here: Cordoba Patio Festival Programme

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