Not to be confused with its famous namesakes in Spain and Argentina, Córdoba has an illustrious history and a justifiable sense of civic pride; the contract that sealed Mexico’s independence was signed here in 1821. The city itself was originally founded in 1618 as a staging post between Mexico City and the coast, with the purpose of protecting the Spanish crown's interests from the local slave rebellion, led by Gaspar Yanga, which was strong in the area.
As an overnight stop, Córdoba is less lovely than nearby Orizaba but more lively, on the sheer strength of its main plaza. It's a 24-hour live ‘show,’ where theater-goers in high heels dodge hungry pigeons and grandpas moonlight as marimba players. Watching over it all is an impressive baroque cathedral, easily the most resplendent in the state.