Posada del Potro (Inn of the Colt)
As we mentioned in the section about the Potro Square (of the Colt), the neighbourhood Collación de San Nicolás de la Ajerquía became a very important economic and commercial centre in the city. Besides, most craft trades in Córdoba were concentrated. The economic boom attacted merchants, traders, travellers… from different places, which caused a great number of lodges, taverns and inns to be set up in the area in a few years.
One of the streets where there was a higher concentration of this kind of establishment was called Mesones Street (Lodges), today Lucano Street. Although many of them survived until the beginning of the 20th century, most of them have been destroyed and substituted by more modern businesses like hotels, hostels and souvenirs shops, among others.
Within this commercial and craftiness atmosphere, there was our Posada del Potro (Inn of the Colt) in the square with the same name. Back then it was actually a brothel, that is, a house of prostitution; an activity which was however recognised and approved by the authorities of the city. Curiously enough, this activity is still present, although less than 20 or 30 years ago, in houses on Lucano or Rey Heredia Streets, and the vicinity.
With a simple, plain and whitewashed façade, the inn shows from the outside both floors of the house, which can be accessed through a small wooden lintelled opening. Once inside, we are attracted by its beautiful and large courtyard, irregular, almost rectangular, from which we can access the different rooms that, as we say, are arranged in two floors. The second floor, where we can climb through a stairway, had a balustrated gallery with wooden ceilings. It is especially interesting the contrast between the whiteness of the walls and the brown and green colour from the flower pots and the vegetable decoration, respectively.
The Posada del Potro (Inn of the Colt), apart from being an inspiration to artists like Francisco de Quevedo or Miguel de Cervantes himself, has been a main element in numerous legends, such as what happened to Army Captain Pedro I the Cruel: The soldier decided to stay in the tavern on a rainy night; he was carrying a big case which was checked by the innkeeper, infamous in the neighbourhood. When the captain went to his room, a young woman warned him about the innkeeper, which kept him awake all night. During the night, the innkeeper sneaked in the room through a trap door to rob the soldier, but he was caught. The soldier quickly escaped to Seville to tell the King about it. Some time later, the monarch went there himself to verify the events, and when he saw they were true, he ordered the innkeeper to be sentenced, tied to a window and dislocated by several colts. At the end, the girl happened to be the daughter of a man who had been killed by the innkeeper and she married the captain.
The Posada del Potro (Inn of the Colt) kept its original function until the middle of the 19th century, when the area lost its commercial relevance, and its main source of income, especially coming from merchants, decreased considerably. From this moment, the building was used as a “neighbours’ farmyard” until the middle of the last century, and it was later abandoned. But in the 1970s, Manuel Salcedo Hierro, back then Deputy Mayor of Culture in the City Council of Córdoba, rescued it from an oblivion that had lasted more than 20 years.
Nowadays, the Posada del Potro (Inn of the Colt) has become the headquarters of a museum Córdoba has dedicated to the flamenco singer Fosforito and, in general, to the tradition of flamenco in our city. It is called Centro de Arte Flamenco Fosforito (Centre of Flamenco Art Fosforito).
If you are wondering what to visit in Córdoba, a good option would be the Posada del Potro (Inn of the Colt), choosing one of our guided tours. Choosing to do high quality sightseeing is choosing ArtenCórdoba.