Cordoba celebrates this festival revolving around the traditional custom of decorating its popular courtyards. The whitewashed walls are adorned with flower plots overflowing with colourful blossoms, and the streets vibrate to the sound of flamenco and the scent of jasmine and orange blossom. The UNESCO has declared this festival to be a part of our Intangible World Heritage, as it preserves a tradition whose origins date back to Roman times. The festival is a competition to judge the most beautiful courtyards. While it is underway, most of the courtyards in the old part of town are open to visitors. They also stage flamenco shows and offer the opportunity to sample the local gastronomy. The popular quarters where you can see these courtyards include the Alcázar Viejo, between the Alcázar and the parish church of San Basilio, the neighbourhoods of Santa Marina and La Magdalena, and the area around San Lorenzo. You'll also find some particularly attractive and historic courtyards in the old Jewish quarter, in the area of the great Mosque and Cathedral.