The Courtyard of the Cats is one of the most peculiar and unknown courtyards in the palace. It belonged to the Casas de la Puentezuela de Tres Caños, some annexed houses which back then occupied the southern corner of the current Viana Palace. In the middle of the 16th century they were bought by the first Master of Villaseca, Gómez de Figueroa y Córdoba, but he lost them in a lawsuit against his daughter, who requested them as heritage after her mother’s death.
These houses were intended to be rented, and that is what happened for many years, and the fourth master of Villlaseca, Luis Gómez Bernardo Fernández from Córdoba even recovered the site. It was in the middle of the 18th century when these spaces were definitely connected to the rest, and they were used at the beginning by the managers in the palace.
At the end of the 19th century, it started to be called Courtyard of the Kitchens, since the different kitchens of the palace were located in the surrounding rooms, and it had became a courtyard where the servants passed through.
It was already in the 20th century when it was named Courtyard of the Cats, due to the felines that walked around the area in search for food. As we mentioned before, the kitchens were near and the animals looked for food attracted by the smell.
The Courtyard of the Cats can be accessed through a small and humble room, with a restrained ceiling and central wall, which interrupts a middle well with Arab parapet. The courtyard is rectangular and quite narrow.
Until recently, the Courtyard of the Cats could not be visited; it was restored and decorated with the intention of completing the dozen of courtyards that could be visited in Viana Palace, as well as showing a model as similar as possible to the typical courtyard from Córdoba. Then, as a courtyard for the neighbours, it has the typical white walls, full of pots with geraniums, or the washing sink we can see on one of its sides.
These communal courtyards were a meeting place for neighbours, representing a lifestyle where doors were always open, unlike the current one, where division and secrecy seem to be frequent.
If you are wondering what to do in Córdoba, we recommend you visit Viana Palace hiring one of our guided tours. We will dedicate there a special chapter to the Courtyard of the Cats. Choose to do high quality sightseeing with qualified staff. Do not hesitate, ArtenCórdoba is the best option.
|Blooming calendar of the main species in the Courtyard of the Cats|
|St John’s Wort||X||X||X|
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The regular guided tours are those that you can sign up for individually, are conducted regularly and in one language, Spanish or English
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