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On Monday our blog talked about the street art cropping up in different places, but if that wasn’t your cup of tea, why not head to Cordoba? The residents there are putting on a different kind of show that is a little more traditional, how about a patio festival?

The best-kept patios in Spain are open to the public in May, to show off how they earned their UNESCO status. Cordoba’s annual Patio Festival – run since 1921 – has proved so popular in recent years that the Town Hall has had to begin issuing tickets to limit numbers.

Due to the hot, dry Cordoban climate, the city’s inhabitants adapted the typical design of the popular house to their needs, making the home centre around an inner courtyard (patio in Spanish), normally with a fountain in the middle and often a well to collect rainwater. Further adjustments gave the house an entrance from the street which passed through a porch, and filling the courtyard with plants to give the sensation of freshness.

Every year patio owners embark in a heated competition to find the most beautiful gardens in two categories, traditional and modern. Tourists can lose themselves in the tiny backstreets of the old town, and chat to the creators of the spectacular hidden gardens. The patios are characteristic of Cordoba’s architecture, as the houses grow up around and branch off the central space.

Running between 5 and 18 May 2014, competing patios are open mornings from 11am to 2pm, and from 6-10pm Sunday to Thursday, and 6pm-12am Friday and Saturday. For more information, visit patios.cordoba.es.

Source: http://www.theolivepress.es/spain-news/2014/05/01/cordoba-patio-festival-set-to-wow-tourists-in-biggest-year-yet/ and http://english.turismodecordoba.org/patios-de-cordoba.cfm