The patios of Cordoba are just by themselves true floral installations. Inherited from the Romans and perfected by the Arabs, the tradition of preserving and delighting in enjoying these courtyards remains intact today, making them one of the hallmarks of this city in Andalusia, along with its world-famous mosque.

FLORA International Flower Festival proposes this unprecedented cultural exchange between the traditional space of the Cordovan patios and the surprising contemporary art form of floral installations: an engaging dialogue between tradition and innovation that takes place in some of the city’s institutional patios.

While the people of Cordoba have tended to their patios with the utmost care over the centuries (an everyday spectacle that reaches its high point in the month of May, to become the main event in the city: the Fiesta de los Patios), some of the best floral artists in the world converged at FLORA to reinterpret these patios through highly diverse perspectives, cultural factors and contexts, affording an unique look at this aspect of Spanish heritage.

You can find out more about the patios that will be participating in FLORA 2022 below.

Diputación de Córdoba

CLOCKYARD

The Merced Palace was originally a convent, later became a poorhouse and currently houses the Cordoba Provincial Council. This magnificent Baroque building stands across from the Jardines de Colon (Columbus Gardens) and features spaces such as the main cloister, one of the highlights of the Andalusian Baroque period, and the Patio del Reloj.

The restoration of the building, done by Rafael de la Hoz, one of the driving forces behind the modernisation of Spanish architecture in the second half of the 20th century, included the design of this unique vertical sundial of Classical Roman inspiration, crowned by the sculpture of the sun created by the recently deceased artist Tomás Egea.

Palacio de Viana

COURTYARD OF COLUMNS

In Cordoba, one of the best ways of displaying grandeur is with a courtyard, and Viana Palace has twelve, plus a garden. There is little more to add, but let us recall that this is a noble residence that belonged to the aristocracy from the 15th to the 19th centuries, until the 3rd marchioness of Viana sold the house to the Provincial Savings Bank of Cordoba in 1980. It currently belongs to the Cajasur Foundation.
Each patio in Viana Palace has its own personality, its perfect time of day, its own way of complementing the architectural beauty of the building. Patio de las Columnas is the newest courtyard space and the best equipped for activities involving the public.

Palacio de Orive

CENTRAL PATIO

Palacio de Orive, also known as Casa de los Villalones, is one of the most beautiful Renaissance buildings of the city, built in 1560 by Hernán Ruiz II. Nowadays, it is mainly used as headquarter of Culture, Historical Heritage and Promotion of Córdoba’s council. This building comprehends two patios, around which are the many rooms of the house. The Patio Central is covered by white walls and a beautiful marble floor. Even though its floral decoration is not excessive, this place is considered as a particular spot where the visitor can find most traditional plants of Córdoba; i.e. geranios, gitanillas and pilastras.

Museo Arqueológico

PATIOS I & II

This palace (currently the Córdoba Archaeological Museum) was built over the ruins of an old Roman theatre, and thus, a part of the theatre stands can be seen in one of the rooms.
The square-shaped footprint of the palace (which dates from the 16th century) is arranged around two patios. The first is rectangular, holds the entry area and features a pool in the centre. It adjoins the second patio by means of an open arcade with round arches, in 16th-century Italian style. The rooms of the original home are arranged around the second patio, with round arches on two floors.
The façade wall of the Renaissance palace – designed by Hernán Ruiz II, builder of the cathedral of Cordoba – was recently restored to its original condition after removing all the elements added over time. The palace’s Renaissance staircase in the second courtyard was also restored in this way.

Mezquita-Catedral

PATIO DE LOS NARANJOS

The Patio de los Naranjos in the Cordoba Mosque-Cathedral, considered by numerous sources to be “the oldest living garden in Europe”, became one of the most iconic spaces of the festival in 2021. This place which botanists, landscape
artists and floral artists from across the globe dream of visiting, where centuries of history reverberate, transforms into a space for contemporary floral creation for a few days.

The history of Patio de los Naranjos is as long and fascinating as that of the Mosque-Cathedral itself. The ancient ablutions courtyard from the Caliphate era gave way to a Christian courtyard: it went from being a space for ritual purification prior to Muslim prayer to acting as a meeting place for Cordoba society, becoming one the crucial backdrops for the development of Catholic ceremony in the Cathedral and witnessing the passing of the most important ceremonies. The orange trees, palm trees and cypresses – dating from the late 16th century, according to most historical sources – currently spread out in rows across the courtyard seem to act like a projection to the exterior of the columns dotting the prayer hall inside.

The Cordoba Mosque-Cathedral has been a National Monument since 1882. It was declared a World Heritage Site by the UNESCO in 1984 and in June 2014 it was raised to the category of Asset of Outstanding Universal Value, acknowledging that the religious use of the temple has ensured the preservation of the monument.

An original idea by Zizai Cultura

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