As a result of not doing enough planning before going to Córdoba, at around 5pm we were completely stuck on what to do. We stood outside a very much closed Alcazar (it shuts at 4:30pm on a Saturday, just so you know) on our phones trying to find something cool and impressive to see. My friend, Liva, found a, what one blog referred to it as, #hiddengem of the city under the name Palacio de Viana.
£5 to enter (just the Patios / Courtyards. It’s £8 for the tour of the palace as well as the gardens) and not that far to walk from where we were, we thought it was at least worth a little visit if nothing else. On another search on WordPress the day before we went, I saw that Córdoba is known for its small courtyards filled with beautiful flowers, so I was glad to have visited some. I wasn’t really expecting much at all really but I was more than pleasantly surprised, hence the entire blog post dedicated to it.
Viana is essentially a stately home in the Santa Marina neighbourhood. Home to “the finest collection of Cordoban courtyards”, it is, according to its tourist information, a “historical and multi-sensory tour… through 5 centuries of history”. On paper, it all sounds amazing, which it was. However, what surprised me was how quiet and seemingly unpopular this attraction was. I was going to put it down to the weather and say that people just didn’t want to get wet – but the Mezquita and other sections of the city were rammed full of tourists. We were one of maybe 3 groups walking arounds the grounds of this palace. Definitely a place to go if you want some quiet time away from the floods of tourists!
Comprising of 13 courtyards in total, there is a lot to be explored with each courtyard being completely different in design, content and feel. When you visit, make sure you bring a ‘proper’ camera, my poor phone wasn’t able to capture the beauty of this place (the rain and grey clouds didn’t help either).
At the end of the entire thing is probably the most impressive thing (well, not impressive, just unexpected). Included in the price of the entrance was “Viana Essence”. What is “Viana Essence” you ask? Well, it’s essentially an almost pitch black sensory room. With the only lights being the projectors which project the image of name of different plants which can be found, guests are invited to smell the varying scents of all the different plants. The entire room smelt like a Lush store and was just a really nice way to end the walk around the grounds.
So, if you’re looking for something to do in Córdoba which is a bit more off the beaten track, definitely consider Palacio de Viana.
Read my other blog on Córdoba here!