Visiting the Royal Stables and Andalusian Horses of Córdoba - WanderWisdom - Travel
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Visiting the Royal Stables and Andalusian Horses of Córdoba

Traveling has always been one of my passions. It exposes us to new cultures and experiences and makes the world a more tolerant place.

visiting-the-royal-stables-and-andalusian-horses-of-crdoba

I’m willing to bet that most visitors who make a day trip to Cordoba do so for the sole purpose of seeing the amazing Mosque-Cathedral known as the Mezquita. And rightfully so, as this is one of Spain’s most iconic and historical monuments to a bygone era. But, there is another very good reason to visit Cordoba, especially if you love horses and have a desire to see the legendary Andalusian Horses of Spain.

visiting-the-royal-stables-and-andalusian-horses-of-crdoba

Located just behind the Alcazar and a short walk from the Mezquita is the Royal Stables of Cordoba. The building was originally part of the Alcazar, built by King Philip II in 1570. It retains its military character and Moorish architecture and is located in a scenic setting in the historic district of Cordoba on the banks of the Guadalquivir River. The King was a real lover of horses, which explains his motivation for constructing the stables and setting out to create a purebred Spanish horse.

visiting-the-royal-stables-and-andalusian-horses-of-crdoba

Known worldwide as the Andalusian horse, they were first recognized as a distinct breed in the 15th century, however, their history goes back thousands of years on the Iberian Peninsula. Cave paintings in Spain have been found showing pictures of horses that date as far back as 30,000 BC. What distinguishes this breed is their long thick mane and tail, as well as their elegant yet robust build. Although found in many colors, gray is the most common coat color. Because of their extreme athleticism, the Andalusian horse has been used in the past as a warhorse, as well as the preferred breed of nobility across Europe. Today, they can be found performing around the world in many equestrian activities, including dressage and show jumping.

visiting-the-royal-stables-and-andalusian-horses-of-crdoba

If you would like to see the Andalusian horses you have a couple of options while in Cordoba. You can attend one of the nightly shows that take place at the Royal Stables or you can watch the horses during their afternoon practice session. If you are staying in Cordoba, I would highly recommend trying to attend the nightly show, called the Passion and ’Duende’ of the Andalusian Horse. Even though we did not have an opportunity to see the show, the reviews are excellent. However, if you are in Cordoba as a day trip, which many visitors are, then I would offer the practice session as a great alternative to experience these majestic creatures.

visiting-the-royal-stables-and-andalusian-horses-of-crdoba

Royal Stables Visitor Information

Nightly Show:​ Passion and Spirit of the Andalusian Horse

  • ​Days: Wednesday, Friday, Saturday
  • ​Hours: Show starts at 9 pm
  • ​Length: Approximately 90 minutes
  • Ticket Price:​ Adults – 15 euros, 20 euros for premium seating
  • ​​Children – 10 euros

Practice Session:

  • ​Days: Monday to Saturday
  • ​Hours:​ 10 am – 1:30 pm, 4 pm – 8 pm
  • ​Ticket Price:​ 5 euros
visiting-the-royal-stables-and-andalusian-horses-of-crdoba

Carriage Museum

Whether you are attending the show or the practice session, I would suggest starting your visit by touring the carriage museum that is located just to the left of the ticket booth as you enter the grounds. The museum contains a wonderful collection of historic carriages dating back centuries, and the arched columns and vaulted ceiling add an architectural flair to what was the stables for the horses at one time. It won’t take long to tour the carriage house, perhaps 15 to 20 minutes, but it’s definitely worth seeing.

visiting-the-royal-stables-and-andalusian-horses-of-crdoba
visiting-the-royal-stables-and-andalusian-horses-of-crdoba

Practice Session

If you are attending the practice session you can wander the grounds as you please or just sit and watch the horses with their trainers and riders as they practice their routines. One of the things that we really enjoyed was the ability to interact with the horses up-close. I realize this certainly isn’t for everyone, but for us, it was a treat to be able to touch them and take photos of these beautiful creatures. Watching the horses come and go from their stalls, getting bathed, eating, and of course, performing is a real treat for anyone with a love for horses. On our visit to the practice session we wound up staying for about 2 hours, so there is no need to rush your visit. We leisurely toured the carriage house, spent an hour or so sitting in the stands watching the horses practice, and then roamed the grounds while meeting some of the horses. It all added up to an amazing experience and something that I highly recommend if you are visiting Cordoba.

Meet and greet

Meet and greet

The Passion and Spirit of the Andalusian Horse

If attending the nightly show you can arrive an hour early, at 8 pm, and spend the time viewing the carriage museum and roaming the grounds. It really is a beautiful setting and once the sun sets and the grounds are illuminated it just adds to the ambiance. The show, which starts at 9 pm, will give you the opportunity to see the horses display their amazing athletic ability while marveling at the talented riders, music, traditional costumes, and flamenco dancers that all combine to make this show a magical event. Expect the show to last approximately 90 minutes.

visiting-the-royal-stables-and-andalusian-horses-of-crdoba

Because we were visiting Cordoba as a day trip from Seville we could not stay to see the evening show. But, getting the opportunity to spend a couple of hours at the stables and watching these beautiful creatures was a wonderful experience and one that I highly recommend for anyone visiting Cordoba. The Mezquita is not the only “must see” in Cordoba, add the Royal Stables to your list and you will not be disappointed.

visiting-the-royal-stables-and-andalusian-horses-of-crdoba

Questions & Answers

Question: Do you know if the show or royal stables of Cordoba are open to visitors all year?

Answer: I believe the formal show is open from late April until the end of December. The show looks to run 3 or 4 nights each week on Wednesday through Saturday. The stables and practice session I believe are open Monday through Saturday. I'm not sure if the practice session is open year-round, I assume it most likely follows the schedule of the show and might be open just April through December.

© 2019 Bill De Giulio

Comments

Bill De Giulio (author) from Massachusetts on June 27, 2020:

Thank you, Adrienne. They are indeed stunning and amazing athletes. We were fortunate to see them practicing and it was a wonderful experience to get up close with them. Thanks for commenting, have a great day.

Adrienne Farricelli on June 27, 2020:

Andalusian horses are stunning! I love the jump they are trained to do and have heard that it was meant to be taught for military purposes, but then this belief has been discredited since it exposes the horses's vulnerable belly. I hope to visit these Royal Stables one day.

Bill De Giulio (author) from Massachusetts on June 27, 2020:

Thank you, Mona. They are amazing. It was a wonderful experience getting to see them. Have a great day.

Mona Sabalones Gonzalez from Philippines on June 26, 2020:

I have always loved horses and dreamt of riding one but never have. Still, I like horses very much and learning about the Andalusian horses is a very nice treat indeed. They really are exceptionally beautiful with their thick manes, their strong bodies, and long tails. I loved the photo of the horse jumping, raising its forefeet very high and its back feet lower, but still all fours in the air.

Bill De Giulio (author) from Massachusetts on March 30, 2020:

Thanks Peggy. They were beautiful and a joy to watch. We would definitely see them again if we were ever to return to Córdoba.

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on March 30, 2020:

What beautiful horses! I would definitely wish to see them and take in that show if we ever travel to Cordoba. Thanks for showcasing them here.

Bill De Giulio (author) from Massachusetts on February 01, 2019:

Thank you Linda. They certainly are. We very much enjoyed getting the opportunity to see them. Have a great day.

Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on January 31, 2019:

The horses are beautiful. I would definitely visit them if I was in the area. Thanks for sharing the information and your experience, Bill.

Bill De Giulio (author) from Massachusetts on January 30, 2019:

Hi Flourish. Oh my, yes he does. Too funny. I love that last photo also. I can just imagine what he must have been thinking? Reminded me a little of Mr. Ed.

FlourishAnyway from USA on January 30, 2019:

They are such gorgeous animals, and I like both your lunch tip and alternative to the nightly show. Those photos are darn good, too. The trainer in the first photo looks like he's wet his pants, and the horse in the last photo looks like he could be saying to you, "Whaaaat??"

Bill De Giulio (author) from Massachusetts on January 29, 2019:

Thank you Rhanee. We really enjoyed Spain, especially seeing the Andalusian horses.

Rhanee on January 28, 2019:

Wonderful trip, Bill. I love the pictures and commentary.

Bill De Giulio (author) from Massachusetts on January 28, 2019:

Thank you Heidi. Yes, I have recently upgraded my camera, it takes great action shots, which certainly came in handy with the horses. Thanks for stopping by, have a great week also.

Heidi Thorne from Chicago Area on January 28, 2019:

You definitely have a fast camera to get those horse action shots! I have difficulty getting my dogs to stand or sit still for a nanosecond. :)

Gorgeous photos, as always. Have a great week!

Bill De Giulio (author) from Massachusetts on January 28, 2019:

Thank you Lorna. Definitely worth seeing if you ever get back to Cordoba. Have a wonderful day.

Bill De Giulio (author) from Massachusetts on January 28, 2019:

Thank you Bronwen. We stumbled across this just prior to leaving for Spain and thought it would be a nice thing to do while in Cordoba. I must say we thoroughly enjoyed it. Thanks you for the comments, have a nice day.

Lorna Lamon on January 28, 2019:

Great article and lovely photos - would definitely visit next time.

Bronwen Scott-Branagan from Victoria, Australia on January 27, 2019:

Thank you for a delightful visit. We went to Spain with friends, toured around for about a week and and saw many interesting places and sampled lots of tasty food, but somehow we did not see the andalusian horses. Obviously they are something we should have looked for. Thank you for the lovely photos and armchair visit.

Bill De Giulio (author) from Massachusetts on January 27, 2019:

Thank you Liz. Definitely worth seeing if you ever return. Have a great day.

Liz Westwood from UK on January 27, 2019:

Having read your article, I thonk I need to put a return trip to Cordoba on my list, as this is something we missed on our first visit there.

Bill De Giulio (author) from Massachusetts on January 27, 2019:

Thanks Bill. My wife and I both love horses also, so this was a great way to spend the afternoon while we were in Cordoba. A great week to you also.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on January 27, 2019:

That is one trip I would love. I love horses...such majestic, beautiful animals. Thanks for the tour, Bill. Have a great week, and stay warm.

Bill De Giulio (author) from Massachusetts on January 27, 2019:

Thanks, Mike. We really enjoyed the opportunity to see the horses practicing. Beautiful animals.

Readmikenow on January 27, 2019:

Good article. I enjoyed reading it and the pictures are also excellent.

Bill De Giulio (author) from Massachusetts on January 27, 2019:

Hi John. The Mezquita is the Mosque-Cathedral of Cordoba, famous for its Moorish architecture and specifically its 856 red and white marble columns. It's an amazing place.

John Hansen from Queensland Australia on January 26, 2019:

I love horses, Bill, and the Andalusian's are certainly one of the most beautiful breeds. It does sound like a wonderful place to visit. I know I am ignorant, being on the other side of the world, but what is The Mezquita? Thanks for sharing.

Bill De Giulio (author) from Massachusetts on January 26, 2019:

Thank you. We really enjoyed seeing the horses practicing and getting the opportunity to interact with them.

L.M. Hosler on January 26, 2019:

Beautiful horses and I loved the other pictures. This would be something I would love to see.