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Exterior stairs, one of the favorite design motifs of the Andalusian vernacular, were also uniquely suited to the courtyard apartment form: they allowed the upper units to be entered from individual balconies rather than from a common interior corridor.  This example at El Cordova features the familiar square columns supporting a shed roof, with a balcony beyond constructed of handsome turned posts and balusters.  The stepped balustrade seen here not only adds visual interest, but provides a fine setting for flower pots, a simple form of decoration in keeping with Andalusian custom.