ITINERARY 1: Almodóvar del Río - Córdoba - Espiel - Bélmez - Belalcázar.
Cordova ha smany castles: owing to the antiquity of many of its villages; or to its situation on the border during the conquest from the Moorish; or to the vigour of its nobles or because a considerable part of its strongholds is still in the hands of the nobility. As an example, there is the castle of Almodóvar, standing on a steep slope over the Guadalquivir with its eight impossing towers on foundations that go back very far, with Moorish features, rebuilt by the Christians and restored in this century. Before, reaching Cordova, we come to the 15th c. monastery of San Jerónimo, with a Gothic courtyard.
In Cordova we may take a look at the remains og the 14th c. Alcázar of the Christian Kings that for centuries was the headquarters of the Inquisition, and the 14th c. mudéjar Tower of La Calahorra.
From this capital of the caliphate, we take the road upwards towards Los Pedroches, of old the pass to the palteau, and before Espiel we come upon the ruins of the castle of El Vacar built during the caliphate; then we go on towards the castle of Bélmez, important during the War of Independence and in the confrontation between the liberal Riego and the Roaylists, next we come to the magnificent 15th c. fortresses, Belalcázar - with an imposing keep, and Madroñiz.