The patios of Cordoba are themselves true floral installations. Inherited from the Romans and perfected by the Arabs, the tradition of preserving and delighting in 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 a unique look at this aspect of Spanish heritage.

You can find out more about the patios that will be participating in FLORA 2021 below.

DIPUTACIÓN DE CÓRDOBA

BAROQUE PATIO

The Merced Palace was originally a convent, later became a poorhouse and currently houses the Cordoba Provincial Council. Opposite the Colón gardens this magnificent Baroque building from the late 17th century stands. It is full of exquisite details, but its predominant feature is its main cloister, the Patio Barroco, or Baroque Courtyard, one of the most striking examples of this style in Andalusia.

The Patio Barroco, whose design is attributed to Alonso Gómez de Sandoval, was built in 1752 south of the church, along with the spectacular imperial staircase (from 1760). The paintings that decorate the courtyard are one of its distinguishing features, creating faux reliefs by means of plays of light, shadows and colours, in a wonderful example of trompe l’oeil. The painting here is similar to that of the building’s façade, as this style was popular in Cordoba in the late 17th century and throughout the 18th century.

This is the first time we will see a FLORA installation in this iconic patio of Cordoba.

PLAZA DE COLÓN, 15
CÓRDOBA

FROM 15TH TO 20TH OCTOBER, 2021
11:00 AM TO 20:00 PM

Palacio de Viana

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.

The courtyard in which the floral installation can be seen during the festival will be announced soon.

PLAZA DE DON GOME, 2
CÓRDOBA

FROM 15TH TO 20TH OCTOBER, 2021
11:00 AM TO 20:00 PM

Posada del Potro

CENTRAL PATIO

The Posada del Potro patio will once again be participating in FLORA, following the installations created there in 2017 by Natasha Lisitsa and Daniel Schultz (1st Prize FLORA 2017) and in 2018 by Hideyuki Niwa (2nd Prize FLORA 2018).

The Posada del Potro inn is mentioned in such masterpieces of Spanish literature as Don Quijote (by Miguel de Cervantes, who, it is said, stayed here whenever he came to the city) and La feria de los discretos (or The City of the Discreet, by Pío Baroja), and it is the quintessential vernacular home of the 14th and 15th centuries, which is commonly referred to as a “corral de vecinos”, or humble dwellings grouped around a central courtyard. It was built as an inn, and was used for this purpose until 1972, while currently housing the Fosforito Flamenco Centre.

Quarters such as the stables and rooms are laid out around its central patio. The upper floor features wooden railings, supports and roof overhangs, which were restored in 2005 during the creation of the Flamenco Centre. This patio is one of the iconic images of the city, where Flamenco singing, music and dance performances are often held.

PLAZA DEL POTRO
CÓRDOBA

FROM 15TH TO 20TH OCTOBER, 2021
11:00 AM TO 20:00 PM

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.

PLAZA DE JERÓNIMO PÁEZ, 7
CÓRDOBA

FROM 15TH TO 20TH OCTOBER, 2021
11:00 AM TO 20:00 PM

Mezquita-Catedral

PATIO DE LOS NARANJOS

Thanks to the support of the Cordoba Cathedral Chapter and Universidad Loyola, the Patio de los Naranjos in the Cordoba Mosque-Cathedral, considered by numerous sources to be “the oldest living garden in Europe”, will now be one of the Festival spaces, and one of the biggest new highlights this year. This place which botanists, landscape artists and floral artists from across the globe dream of visiting, where centuries of history reverberate, will become 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.

CALLE CARDENAL HERRERO, 1
CÓRDOBA

FROM 15TH TO 20TH OCTOBER, 2021
11:00 AM TO 20:00 PM

 

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