Cordoba’s Festival de los Patios has recently been inscribed on the UNESCO List of “Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, joining Flamenco and the Mediterranean Diet, which were added to the same list in 2010.
As well as buildings and natural features, UNESCO’s list of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity encompasses cultural traditions, practices and crafts which are defined as being traditional, contemporary and living; inclusive; representative; and community-based. It specifically covers “oral traditions, performing arts, social practices, rituals, festive events, knowledge and practices concerning nature and the universe or the knowledge and skills to produce traditional crafts.”
This year’s Patios Festival in Córdoba runs from 8-19 May. If you don’t manage to make the festival, then the best place to see an example of the city’s stunning patios is the Museo Palacio de Viana (website in Spanish only). The festivals of Cruces de Mayo (1-5 May) in Córdoba and Corpus Christi (30 May) in Granada and Priego de Cordoba are also good times to see the patios and narrow streets of Andalucia at their best.
Our nearest town, Priego de Córdoba, has its own traditional version when the white-washed, cobbled streets of the Barrio La Villa historic centre are ablaze with colourful geraniums covering the walls and striking alfombras (carpets) lining the streets for the religious processions of Domingos de Mayo (Sundays in May).
Andalucia’s UNESCO highlights
In addition to the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity list, Andalucia boasts a total of six World Heritage Sites - five cultural and one natural:
- Alhambra, Generalife and Albayzín in Granada
- Cathedral, Alcázar and Archivo de Indias in Seville
- Historic City Centre of Cordoba (including the Mezquita)
- Renaissance Monumental Ensembles of Úbeda and Baeza
- 68 items of cave rock art in Almeria, Granada and Jaen provinces
- The natural World Heritage Site is Doñana National Park in Huelva.
Use Casa Olea as your base in the heart of Andalucia for exploring many of these UNESCO highlights. See our 10 Days Out page for ideas of what you can do from here.