One of the prettiest areas in Cordoba in Spain is the San Basilio district. The San Basilio quarter is included in the historic centre of Cordoba and forms part of the UNESCO world heritage site. It is easy to see why this area has been internationally recognised given its picturesque patio courtyards, impressive Alcazar de los Reyes Cristianos and handsome streets. During your trip to Cordoba in Spain, make sure you make time to visit the wonderful San Basilio district.
- Where is the San Basilio district?
- How do I get to the San Basilio district?
- What is there to see in the San Basilio district?
- The Alcazar de los Reyes Cristianos
- San Basilio Church
- The Patios of San Basilio
- The patio monument in San Basilio
- Belen Tower in San Basilio
- Pretty doors of San Basilio
- When is the best time to visit the San Basilio district?
Where is Cordoba’s San Basilio district?
The San Basilio district is located to the South West of the historic centre of Cordoba. The River Guadalquivir forms its southerly boundary.
How do I get to the San Basilio district?
If you are travelling to Cordoba from Malaga or Seville by train, you will arrive in the north of the city centre. From the train station it is a 2km walk down to the San Basilio district. The walk is also very picturesque as you can wonder through the Jardines de la Victoria (Victoria Gardens) and admire the many orange trees.
If you are already in the city centre and would like to visit the San Basilio district after a trip to the Mezquita of Cordoba, it is about a 10-minute walk from the centre of the city.
What is there to see in the San Basilio district?
There are many fantastic things to see in the San Basilio district of Cordoba. The San Basilio district boasts pretty streets, quaint churches, an epic fortress with beautiful gardens and is home to some of Cordoba’s most famous patios.
The Alcazar de los Reyes Cristianos
You must visit the Alcazar del los Reyes Cristianos whilst you are in the San Basillio district of Cordoba. Most visitors to Cordoba miss this UNESCO world heritage site in favour of the more famous Cordoba Mesquita. However, you must add a visit to the Alcazar of Cordoba during your trip to Cordoba.
The castle of the Christian kings contains spectacular gardens with lavish water features and colourful tropical plants. Feel like a royal as you leisurely wonder around the gardens of the Alcazar of Cordoba.
After you have explored the gardens of the Alcazar of Cordoba head towards the fortress via the Moorish Courtyard. The Moorish Courtyard offers visitors a glimpse of what life would have been like. From the courtyard you can enter the Moorish baths. There is a darker history looming in these rooms however as they were used for a time as torture chambers by the Spanish Inquisition.
Head inside the fortress and go upwards for a fantastic view of the city of Cordoba. The battlements of the Alcazar offer panoramic views of the nearby Roman bridge, the grand Mezquita and the beautiful gardens below.
No trip to the San Basilio district in Cordoba is complete without a visit to the Castle of the Christian Kings. Make sure you check the opening times in summer as the castle of the Christian kings closes early in the summer months. To find out about the opening times, ticket prices and more about visiting click here for the ultimate guide to visiting the Alcazar de los Reyes Cristianos.
San Basilio Church
The San Basilio Church in Cordoba was built on the former site of the convent of the monks of San Basilio Magno (St Basil the Great). This means a religious building has been on this site since 1590. The convent was dissolved in the 19th century and the parish church you see today was created.
The San Basilio church bell and tower in the San Basilio district are particularly photogenic in the early evening as the golden rays of the sun illuminate this part of Cordoba.
The patios of San Basilio
The word ‘patio’ in Andalucía is synonymous with the city of Cordoba. Patios are the emblem of the city of Cordoba and the San Basilio district is one of the best places in Cordoba to see them. In fact, some refer to San Basilio as the patio quarter or the patio district of Cordoba.
Patios are cool spaces filled with pretty potted plants and water features. The patios of Cordoba have been protected as World Heritage sites since 2012 yet their origins date back to the Roman era. Romans and Muslims in Andalucia created central patios due to the hot dry climate. They filled their San Basilio patios with water features and plants in order to keep their homes cool during the hot summer months. This tradition of creating beautiful cool spaces in the courtyard of homes in San Basilio continues till today. There are over 50 patios dotted around the city of Cordoba. If you visit Cordoba during the Patio festival, you can visit these patios for free as locals compete for the best patio. 9 of Cordoba’s patios can be found in San Basilio.
If your visit to Cordoba falls outside of the month of May, you can still visit the patios as part of a guided tour. Head to Calle San Basilio, 14. to visit the main tourist office of the patios.
The main patios you can see in San Basilio are:
- San Basilio 14
- Martin De Roa 7
- Duarts 2
- La Berrera 1
- Postrera 28
TIP: If you are visiting the San Basilio district on a Sunday, the patios all close at 14:00!
There are many patios across the city of Cordoba, not just in the San Basilio district. You can check out this handy interactive map which shows of all the patios in the city of Cordoba.
Also, if it has passed 2pm on a Sunday and you have missed the chance to go on a tour but you would like to see the iconic blue pots on the whitewashed walls you should check out the flower street, Calleja de las Flores. The Street or Alley of Flowers is Cordoba’s most photographed street. Calleja de las Flores is not far from the San Basilio district and is open throughout the day giving visitors a glimpse of patio life without going inside one.
The Patio Monument in San Basilio
To celebrate the patios and the festival of patios there is a monument dedicated to the patios in the San Basilio district. The Patio Monument is called Estatua Dedicada a los Patios in Spanish. You can find the monument on a street called Martín de Roa (see the map at the top of the post for its location).
The monument depicts a boy on a ladder (casual child labour) being handed a plant to add to the lovely display on the wall. The image reflects the generational love and how proud each family is of their patio.
Of course, you may wish to lend a helping hand to the small child.
Belen Tower in San Basilio
Close to the Patio monument in San Basilio is the grand Torre de Belen. The Bethlehem tower was one of the city gates and formed part of the old city wall.
This round tower has been used for different purposes throughout the centuries. One of its two floors was used as a chapel at one point. There are no records which prove how old the tower is, yet most claim the Belen Tower is of 12th century origin.
The Torre de Belen forms part of Cordoba’s UNESCO world heritage site and is one of San Basilio’s main sites.
Pretty streets in San Basilio
The streets of San Basilio are wonderful to explore. Unlike the winding streets elsewhere in the city of Cordoba, this quarter has 3 main streets which run parallel to each other. They are perfectly straight.
The houses in San Basilio were also designed to be two-storey white-washed houses arranged around a central courtyard. This design is what has given the San Basilio district the neighbourhood name of Los Patios Cordobeses.
The doors are colourful. Some are yellow, others are turquoise and a few were painted dark blue.
San Basillio’s streets are lined with ceramic plant pots. Windows are covered in beautiful flowers. Colour and flowers are seemingly everywhere in the San Basilio district.
There are also wonderfully colourful doors. San Basilio is a district full of photo opportunities.
You may also spot some local wildlife, or they may spot you first!
When is the best time to visit the San Basilio district?
May is the best time of year to visit the San Basilio district in Cordoba due to the patio festival. The summer months in Cordoba can be very hot meaning that May and October are the most comfortable months to visit.
If your visit to Cordoba is during the summer months, head to the Alcazar in the morning then return to the pretty streets of San Basilio later in the day. Whilst the area around the Mezquita can seem constantly crowded if you head to the San Basilio district in the late afternoon, you will probably have whole streets to yourself. The golden rays of the late afternoon soon make this a perfect time for taking photos of the beautiful patio quarter.
Would you like to visit the San Basilio district in Cordoba?
Have these photos inspired you to visit the San Basilio district in Cordoba? Would like to wonder its pretty streets? Let us know in the comments below!