Courtyards and Córdoba go together like a cold glass of gazpacho and a sizzling Spanish day. And few places will give you a better look at these famous southern patios than Cordoba's Viana Palace.
Often known as the Museum of Patios, the Renaissance palace is famously home to 12 different courtyards, but also centuries of history, as it was originally built in the 14th century, and lived in, enlarged, and modified until the 1900s. As such, it provides a unique look at an evolution of architectural influence, décor, and aristocratic life.
Of course, the courtyards are what give Viana Palace its fame and make it especially representative of its home city. These patios, especially common in Córdoba, are influenced by Roman and Arabic tradition, and defined by their central location within the interior of homes and buildings. Over the centuries they have served as the heart of family and social life, and provided a cool respite from the often-suffocating summer heat thanks to their shade and abundance of plants and fountains.
At the Viana Palace, expect to find some of Córdoba's most luxurious patios, filled with gardens, bubbling fountains, and pebbly mosaic-filled flooring. Beyond marveling at its famous courtyards, a visit to the palace also allows visitors to peruse its interior, which includes salons filled with frescoes, a library of 7,000 books, and Flemish tapestries, among many other treasures.