In my courtyard
May is a particularly festive month in Cordova. The locals wisely know how to combine their jobs and celebrations.
Form the First of may, when the “Cruces” festival takes place, to the last weekend when Fair of May ends, the city flourishes and its streets and squares are equally crowded with merriment, locals and visitors.
Today we shall start with a nod to the "Patios", recognised as Intangible Cultural Heritage by UNESCO in 2012. Thousand of visitors from all over the world come to admire its beauty during two weeks of competition. As a symbol, we made a collection of the most relevant “patios” that you can enjoy here.
We are not going to go in detail into the tradition of opening the courtyards to the public, that begun around 1918, nor about the first award in 1921. We won’t explain more than necessary that the courtyard has been a vital element since ancient Roman times, when they were places in the community for neighbourly relations. Our “patios”, during the Islamic splendour period, were transformed into small and intimate paradises with aromatic plants, flowers and water. They were hidden behind high empty walls from indiscreet eyes, but they were also a welcoming places for those invited to come in.
Today, we’re going to tell about the history itself of Meryan… rooted, like the flowers, in a patio and its house of neighbours…
On any given day of 1958, Ángel López-Obrero, soul of Meryan, roamed the arrow streets of Cordova for pleasure and aimlessly, having no other objective than submerge himself of its very essence…
One given year of the 50s, when the “Calleja de las Flores” neither had its arches nor nearly its name. But there, in the middle of the street, behind a crumbling wooden gate, Ángel discovered a small backyard. What have must been a garden area, looked then a place full of weeds and rubble, abandoned and forgotten…
Ángel, who until then had his workshop in the Craft Souk of Cordova, beheld with the eyes of an artist and looked beyond the decadence. He decided to rent that courtyard in ruins to Francisco Castillo, the landlord of that house, belonged long ago to a well positioned member of the Church, in the light of the chapel still stands.
The house, as many other, became in house of neighbours and little by little Ángel moved there his workshop and he rented the empty rooms. Finally, the landlord’s widow sell the rest of the house and its courtyards. So, that’s how it was that the use of the house changed in hardly 30 years.
Today, Meryan is itself a delight. That abandoned little garden became into a workshop and the two other courtyards were decorated with flowers and fountains, inviting you to enjoy and wander by our particular oasis, from Encarnación Street to Calleja de las Flores.