Si prefieres leer este post en español, sigue este enlace)
|A view of Plaza San Martín, the cathedral and the cabildo in Córdoba. Photo by Roberto Bowyer.|
The kilómetro 0 is the very heart of a city that perfectly combines modernity with history and tradition. While walking around the historic city centre, you will discover - among noisy avenues and crowded pedestrian streets - the founders' chessboard design of perfect squares with the Plaza Mayor (today Plaza San Martín), the cathedral and the Cabildo or City Hall in the middle.
|First city plan of Córdoba as designed by the Spanish founders in 1577.|
Photo credit: Wikipedia
Today's Plaza San Martín (dating from 1577) was first conceived as a dry square where military parades and official ceremonies (religious and secular) were held. Much later, in the XIX century, the landscaping of the plaza took place and in the centre, a statue of General José de San Martín -one of the main figures of the South American independence movement- was erected.
|Another angle of Plaza San Martín.|
|The sculpture of General San Martin was built and donated by sculptors Fontana and Locatti in 1946. The fountain is made of Carrara marble by José Allio.|
|A night view of the Cathedral as seen from the Plaza San Martín.|
A cast iron sculputre of Christ the Redeemer was erected on top of the portico at the beginning of the 20th century.
|A frontal view of the cathedral. Notice the indian angels on the towers by clicking on the photo to enlarge.|
|Sculpture of Christ the Redeemer - Photo by Claudia Gibson.|
The cathedral also has a very vast and rich collection of votive offerings donated by religious parishoners or wealthy citizens along the centuries. These offerings include many gifts of gold and silver, jewels, crowns of pearls and other precious stones to "dress" the image of the Virgin Mary as well as silk and brocade garments.
|The beautiful and lavish interior of the cathedral - Photo by Roberto Bowyer|
|Another angle of the interior of the cathedral - Photo by Gustavo Alterio|
The Cabildo, that is the historical Town Hall, is also located opposite the main square or plaza. Originally, the cabildo was a rather humble construction made of adobe (sand, clay and water) and with a thatched roof, but in 1783 the then governor of Córdoba, the Marquis of Sobremonte, set to finish the job.
The Cabildo's mains features are the archway of fifteen columns and the covered arcade on the second floor along the façade - a combination of colonial and classic architecture.
|The Cabildo in Córdoba, viewed from the Plaza San Martín. Photo by Roberto Bowyer|
|The archway of the Cabildo - Photo by Claudia Gibson|
|Inside the Cabildo - Photo by Gustavo Alterio.|
Inside the building, you can visit the patios, the undergroud cells and a number of rooms that exhibit archeological finds and relics from various historical periods as well as temporal arts exhibitions. You can also visit el Salón Rojo (the Red Room)where the city's mayor receives important visitors or you can attend one of the many concerts that are held in this historic building.
The most outstanding feature in this building is the intricate wrought-iron balcony on the second floor of the chapel. The Centro Obispo Mercadillo behind the oratorio is a modern structure with red brick steps that form a sort of pyramid. In this centre the Town Hall usually organises exhibitions and other cultural activities.
|Oratorio Obispo Mercadillo in Córdoba.|
Thanks to Claudia Gibson, Roberto Bowyer and Gustavo Alterio for letting me share their photos here.