Mysterious Walls of Córdoba

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cordoba street quotes

While I was wasting time at work this afternoon, I began to sift through the vaults of unpublished posts on my blog. Seriously, who does this? Anyways, I came across this draft I meant to post a year ago when I was living in southern Spain. There has been a mystery brewing in Córdoba, and it’s taken over the old quarter, where I luckily called home for 10 months. Why live in modern, comfortable temperature-controlled apartments when you could live on a quaint narrow street 5 minutes from the Mezquita in apartment straight out of the 1890’s?

Córdoba has no shortage of beautiful white-washed crumbly old buildings, many of them abandoned due to the crippling economic crisis in Spain. 2 years ago someone decided to do something about it, and jazz up these decaying historical walls by posting philosophical quotes and typical Andalusian sayings in black square letters. The more decrepit, stained, and hidden the wall, the better! It’s like a poetic Banksy!

As I began to explore my neighborhood, I started to notice these sayings everywhere, usually in tucked away corners and up back alleys. Ok, I was intrigued. I began to take different walks around town and change up my routes, hoping to stumble onto some new ones. By the spring, I had managed to find around 50. Sometimes they would disappear as building owners would cover them up, but usually another one would pop up later. It is peculiar because no one knows who is behind it. The mysterious artist is nicknamed the Street Pirate of Córdoba (callejero pirata de Córdoba). You can like his or her fan page on Facebook here. People (like me) are so into this phenomenon that they hunt out knew quotes and have compiled this map on Google, so if you are ever in Córdoba, you can check out some of the sayings for yourself.

Have you ever seen mysterious street art become famous like this? Does your city have anything similar?

Here are some of my favorites. Excuse my translations. I did my best. If you have any better ideas, let me know! Enjoy.

“This way we can take a short cut….”

“I’m going quickly” or literally “I go flying”
“Looking for my place”
“It’s within walking distance” or “It’s only two steps away” Actually I don’t really have any idea what this means.

“I’ll wait for you here”

“Quiero perderme” “I want to lose myself”

Andalúz way of saying “straight forward”
“No exit”
“A stop on the way”

“I’m going”

“Step by step”

“Keep looking for me”

“Finally I’ve found you”

“Not allowed to go back”

“Against the current”

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19 Comments on “Mysterious Walls of Córdoba

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  1. Stumbled to you from Kaley — this is an excellent post, in an excellent place! Not too hard to summon up a philosopher’s ideal in a place like Cordoba.

  2. This is so, so cool! I’ve never been to Córdoba but I’m planning on visiting this summer hopefully. I’ve never seen anything like this before! I’ll have to see if I can spot any while I’m there 🙂

  3. Awesome, I never knew these existed! I visited Córdoba in spring of 2010 but don’t remember seeing any of these. Either I wasn’t very observant, or the callejero pirata hadn’t started yet.

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