Guadalquivir River

The Guadalquivir runs through the province of Cordoba from east to west and divides it clearly into two parts, the Sierra Morena mountain range to the north and the flat "campiña" countryside to the south. The river winds through delightful villages, frequently passing from mountainous areas to "campiña". Montoro is a good example. The river there, which is crossed by a Renaissance bridge, gently meanders through and is overshadowed by the tower of San Bartolome which in turn overlooks the Square of Spain in the heart of the town with its impressive buildings, including the present town-hall.

The river defines the territory and on both sides there are many villages - Villa del Rio, Almodovar del Rio, Palma del Rio and so on -; and surprises, such as the modern mosque in Pedro Abad where, of course, there is also no lack of interesting churches like the Asuncion. Very close by we find El Carpio which has a solid tower overlooking the compact gathering of white houses. Having passed through Córdoba, the river runs close to the most important Arabic ruins in Andalusia, those of the Medina Azhara Palace. At some six kilometres from the capital, there are remains of what was once a lavish palace built by Abderraman III. There are also delightful views of Cordoba city and the river valley which can be seen from the hermitages on the lower foothills of the immediate mountain range.

Almodovar del Rio, near the capital and Breña reservoir, conserves an impressive castle of Gothic-Mudejar desgin and Arabic origin which is in very good condition. In Posadas we can admire the parish church of Nuestra Señora de las Flores and to conclude, bordering the province of Seville, Palma del Rio which boasts three kilometres of well-conserved old city walls and slender towered churches, such as that of the Asuncion. From Palma del Rio, we can see the convent of San Francisco which is today not only a church but also a guest-house and restaurant. Among orange groves, next to Palma, the river Guadalquivir and Genil unite. The Genil is the other large river of Andalusia which passes through localities in Cordoba such as Puente Genil, a lively well-looked after town which has lovely parish churches such as that of Jesus Nazareno. This is the home of quince jelly and is also famous for its unusual Semana Santa and its own permanent museum.

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