Now that we’re pretty comfortable with directions and getting around the city, today we walked the few “blocks” to the river.  I say blocks, but there’s really no concept like that here.  I mean it only for distance.   Anyway, we often do the river walk at home, and today we did the river walk Cordoba style.  We strolled the wide paved walkway above the river’s edge to the Roman bridge.

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I don’t know what attracted this flock of birds…

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…but there are always birds of all kinds in the river, and the small river islands called “Los Sotos de la Albolafia,” are set aside as wetland refuges.  70% of the birds on the river are legally protected.

On the north shore of the river is an old mill.

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I assumed it was a flour mill, maybe a few hundred years old.  Instead, it’s well over 1000 years old.  It’s called the “Molino de la Albolafia” and was built by a Moorish ruler named Abd al-Rahman.  It drove water pumps to irrigate the Alcazar Palace Gardens, until Queen Isabella (“la catolica”), annoyed by its constant squeaking, had it dismantled.  Later, it was re-commissioned as a flour mill, until it fell into disuse.  The wheel that’s there now was added recently.

At one point, there were 11 mills operating on the river.  Here’s another on the opposite shore.  Though the wheel for this mill was never restored, you can clearly see the millrace (the channel for water to the wheel) in the second photo.

 

About halfway across the bridge is a monument to St. Rafael.  Rafael is credited with protecting the city from the plague, and there are monuments in his honor throughout the city.

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At the far end of the bridge is the Tower of La Calahorra, a fortified gate built by the Moors.

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The river and bridge are on one side, and this moat on the other.

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The Moors built it as an arched gate between two towers.   The third tower that connects the original two was added by In 1369 King Enrique II to defend against his brother, Pedro I the Cruel.  I have two questions about that.  First, how do you, as Pedro junior, live up to your dad’s rep?  Second, for all those who have brothers, what title would you bestow on your sibling?  (Rick, don’t forget, I review/approve all comments.)

Like most fortifications, the tower eventually became useless for defense.  It was a prison in the 18th century, then a girl’s school in the 19th.  (Same may argue whether there’s actually much of a difference.)  Now the tower is used as a museum, and is high on our to-visit list.

Here are two views from the far shore, looking back at the city.

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We walked back along the south side of the river, past this park with Spanish galleon that has the absolute perfect background to spark the imagination.

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Here’s one last very imaginative view of the bridge.

 

For aficionados, it’s from season 5, episode 3.  Turns out there’s another castle nearby that was used more extensively in GoT.   It’s not on any tours, and you have to take a local bus to get there, but we’re going to visit soon, for sure.