CORDOBA - NEIGHBORHOODS
Historic Center (Catedral, San Basilio)
The historic center of Cordoba is spread out across roughly 0.6 square miles, making it one of the largest historic town centers of its type on the European continent. The entire historic center, which consists of the Catedral and San Basilio neighborhoods, was deemed a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1994. The Catedral neighborhood includes not just the Mezquita, but also La Juderia, the Jewish Quarter, and the Caliphal Baths.
During the reign of the Roman emperor Augustus, these neighborhoods flourished for the very first time. By the time of the Muslim Caliphate, these two neighborhoods were recognized as being the busiest in town, boasting residences and shops. The streets in the historic center are maze-like, a testament to the city`s early growth at a haphazard pace. Long known as an area of prosperity, as the epicenter of trade in Cordoba and home to all of the city`s business guilds, it is still that way today: these neighborhoods are among the richest (per capita) in the city.
Huerta del Rey-Vallellano
The name of this neighborhood comes from an orchard that was once owned by a past king, as well as from the nearby road Avenida del Conde de Vallellano. Originally the neighborhood was named `Fonsario de los Judios`, because a Jewish cemetery was located in the area.
Beginning in the 1960s, city officials developed the areas around Avenida del Conde de Vallellano and Avenida Doctor Fleming. This development scheme gentrified the neighborhood, which had by then earned a reputation as Cordoba`s red light district. This neighborhood is very safe and middle-class today.
Where the historic center trails off, the Centro Comercial neighborhood begins, spread out to the Ronda de los Tejares, where the northern defensive walls of Medieval Cordoba were erected. This neighborhood is one of the largest residential neighborhoods of Cordoba, and all the trappings of middle to upper-middle-class life can be found here, such as shopping malls, smaller mom-and-pop storefronts, banks, restaurants, bars, taverns and hotels. For as much as the Mezquita buzzes with tourists, the Centro Comercial neighborhood buzzes with locals.
North-Central Cordoba (El Salvador y la Compania, San Miguel-Capuchinos)
Due to its proximity to Centro Comercial, both of these neighborhoods are heavily commercial and there are lots of banks, shops, department stores and restaurants. Some of the best restaurants in the city are located in the area around Plaza de la Corredera. On the eastern side of Calle San Fernando, near the intersection with Calle Rodriguez Marin, there are lots of entertainment options, such as `tabernas` (taverns). These tabernas are not just great places for cold beers and other drinks, they are usually places where tapas can be ordered as well.
East-Central Cordoba (Santa Marina, San Andres-San Pablo, San Pedro, San Francisco-Ribera)
The writer and playwright Teodomiro Ramirez de Arellano, who lived in Cordoba in the 19th century, described this area of town thusly: `...There are all classes of society...a neighborhood that has aristocrats, middle class and the proletariat, many farmers and not a bit of industry.` This area is still a melting pot today; it is one of the larger portions of Cordoba by population, and apartment blocks can be seen just down the street from mini-palaces. The Roman temple, the Palacio de Viana, the Museum of Fine Arts and the Julio Romero de Torres Museum are all located in this part of Cordoba.
South of City Center (Parque Cruz Conde, Campo de la Verdad-Miraflores)
South of the historic center, the neighborhoods of Parque Cruz Conde and Campo de la Verdad-Miraflores are separated by the Guadalquivir River, which runs through the city. The Roman Bridge crosses the Guadalquivir to Campo de la Verdad-Miraflores, where the Calahorra Tower stands guard over the neighborhood, the bridge and the river.
Outside the city walls, these neighborhoods are laid out in more of a grid than areas adjacent like the historic center. The grid layout of the streets in Campo de la Verdad-Miraflores, for example, took inspiration from the street layouts of Manhattan. The Loyola University - Andalusia Cordoba campus is located in Parque Cruz Conde, and started offering classes in the autumn of 2013. South of the Royal Botanic Garden, many of the businesses cater to students, teachers and university employees.
Medina Azahara area (El Higueron, Trassierra)
Five miles west of the city center, you will find the rural villages of El Higueron and Trassierra. Almost all of the houses here are single-family homes. Many of these dwellings are newly-built luxury homes, featuring spacious floor plans and all the latest amenities. Other offerings consist of European-style `semi-detached` houses, geared toward middle-class families with children. Only a few hundred people live out this way, and there are few commercial centers. The Medina Azahara is located approximately three miles by car from the main street in Trassierra.