Andalucía / Córdoba / Where in Spain Wednesday

WISW – Córdoba’s Roman Temple

One of the first big surprises I got when I initially came to Spain to study abroad was in Córdoba. We were walking around, having a tour of the pretty little city, when bam! This appeared around the corner: 


It’s the ruins of a Roman temple.

I guess I shouldn’t have been too shocked; after all, Spain and Italy are so close to each other, so it makes sense that the Romans left their mark all over southern Spain. But what was really odd was the guide’s attitude. “Oh yeah, those are just some old ruins from the Romans they found on accident in the ’50s,” he explained nonchalantly. “They found more when they built the town hall, so they left part of the Roman wall in the ayuntamiento building.”

It was so weird to me that something as exciting as Roman ruins were just shrugged off. The oldest buildings in my city in California probably only go back a little over a hundred years. In the unlikely event that something dating back to 1st or 2nd century is dug up in my hometown, I’m pretty sure there won’t be much unimpressed shrugging going on!

And to finish, something I haven’t done in a while:

Currently reading: I’m a Stranger Here Myself by Bill Bryson

Currently listening to: “Right Action” by Franz Ferdinand.




12 thoughts on “WISW – Córdoba’s Roman Temple

  1. Jessica, I’m back in the States after my six week travels through Spain while staying with the Spanish family whose son we hosted in America a few years ago. We spent a day in Cordoba, mostly near the Mezquita. While driving through town we passed by these ruins. Like you, I was surprised by it. Unfortunately we didn’t stop for photos or anything. My hosts were sort of like your tour guide too. Fortunately, we toured Segovia on another trip so I got to see Roman ruins up close and personal then. I loved Spain and have many stories and adventures to write about on my blog,

  2. hola Yessica,

    the Roman Empire ruled over the Iberian peninsula for a long time, so there are lots of remains across Spain, it is weird that someone gets surprised.

    • I think you misunderstood my main point. While I was surprised to see Roman ruins at first, the main source of surprise was the attitude my local tour guide had to them. They were treated as something everyday and normal.

      For a Spanish person, that might be the case. But where I grew up, the oldest remaining architectural elements are only about 150 years old, so it was mind-blowing to me that they were treated as something ordinary. That’s what really surprised me (obviously, I understood why they were there).

      • i know what you mean 😉

        well it depends on the person, your local guide may see those Roman ruins as something normal and ordinary because he sees it daily, and even he may be tired of it….just like i am tired of beaches because i live in a coastal town.

        anyway Spain is full of Roman and Goth ruins, along with Moorish and medieval Castles and fortresses so it might be that we are used to it.

        it wouldn’t be a surprise to see a Spaniard more excited while entering a Wendy’s or Walmart than seeing a Roman ruin 😉

  3. It kinda reminds me of my first time in Europe, when I was taking pictures of EVERYTHING and seeing a statue and thinking “what’s that” and people saying “it’s just some statue” when obviously there’s something there.

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