Palaces and Game of Thrones – 2 day trips from Cordoba

Happy weekend everyone! I hope you’re all still keeping well in lock down. This week has been a crazy one, and I’m now collapsed on my sofa with mini eggs and a glass wine ready for some more armchair travel. I recently posted about our weekend stay in Cordoba. Whilst in Cordoba, we also went on two day trips, which are well worth it if you have the time. And especially if you love Game of Thrones.

ONE. Madinat Al-Zahra

About 30 minutes outside of Cordoba is Madinat Al-Zahra (it literally translates as ‘the shining city’), and is the ruins of a vast, fortified palace city. It was built by Caliph Abd ar-Rahman III in the 900s. The palace city is considered to be one of the most significant early Islamic sites in the world.

Excavations began in 1911 and only 10% of the site has been excavated. There is a lot more to discover but what has been found is very interesting and is beautifully presented and explained in the attractive, modern on-site museum and in a short film you can watch at the start of the visit. It’s worth seeing the film before visiting the ruins so you know what you are looking at.

Madinat Al-Zahra
Looking out over the city

TWO. Castillo de Almodovar

An hour’s bus trip from Cordoba, is Castillo de Almodovar – once a Roman fort, then a Moorish castle, which was restored in the 20th century and even used for filming in Game of Thrones (cue the ‘do do do doooo’ intro music in your head as you arrive). The castle was used as the location for Highgarden – the Tyrell’s house, and parts of the castle were also used as Casterly Rock.

View from the turrets
More beautiful views

At the top of one of the towers each turret had on it a display case of replicas of famous swords including, to our surprise, the swords of Ivanhoe, Robin Hood, William Wallace and other legendary and historical characters. And of course, Excalibur set in a stone. It’s really fun to explore inside and out, with beautiful views out across the countryside.

The restaurant outside of the castle also serves super tasty burgers -perfect for lunch!

View up to the castle

Thank you for reading, I hope this post has been interesting and helpful whether you’re just looking to arm chair travel, or if you’re planning a trip to southern Spain. Have a great rest of your weekend.

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