Unesco World Heritage - Cordoba Patios Festival

UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITES IN ANDALUCIA

patios festival cordoba

Categories: Social spaces promoting human contact and cultural exchange; promoting cultural diversity (added to list in: 2012)

White houses are transformed by the brightly coloured flowers. © Michelle Chaplow .
White houses are transformed by the brightly coloured flowers.

As well as the historic centre of Cordoba, including the Mezquita, UNESCO has recognised one of the city’s best-loved annual events: the Patios Festival, which takes place every year during 12 days in early May. The actual dates can be checked on our main Cordoba Patios festival page.

 

 

 

The festival consists of around 50 flower-filled patios and terraces, from small private houses to grand mansions and religious institutions, which open up to visitors as part of a competition. The white walls have countless pots arranged across them, creating a dazzling tapestry of brightly-coloured blooms. You have to admire the energy and ingenuity it must take just to water all those vertically positioned plants. Many patios also feature climbing and hanging plants, often with fragrant blossoms, creating a feast for the senses.

In addition to the floral attractions, flamenco concerts take place at night both inside the patios and outside in plazas around the city. Entry to this colourful, romantic and typically Andalucian festival, is free.

 

Cordoba Patio Festival takes place in early May. © Michelle Chaplow
Cordoba Patio Festival takes place in early May.

What UNESCO says:

"For twelve days at the beginning of May, the city of Cordova celebrates the Fiesta of the Patios. The patio houses are communal, family or multi-family dwellings or sets of individual houses with a shared patio, located in the city’s historical quarter. This characteristic cultural space boasts an abundant array of plants, and during the fiesta inhabitants freely welcome all visitors to admire their beauty and the skill involved in their creation. The patios also host traditional singing, flamenco guitar playing and dancing. Ancestral practices of sustainable communal coexistence are shared with people who visit through expressions of affection and shared food and drink. The fiesta is perceived as an integral part of this city’s cultural heritage, imbuing it with a strong sense of identity and continuity. It requires the selfless cooperation of many people from all age groups, social strata and backgrounds, promoting and encouraging teamwork and contributing to local harmony and conviviality. It is guided by secular traditions, knowledge and skills, which take form in the luxuriant, floral, chromatic, acoustic, aromatic and compositional creativity of each patio – an expression of the symbolism and traditions of Cordovan community, and especially the residents who dwell in these patio houses."

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