Cordoba and Al-Andalus – multiculturalism in the Middle Ages

Wednesday, 12 August 2015 - 05:18 pm (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: General, Museums, Exhibitions, UNESCO World Heritage

Gardens of the Alcázar de los Reyes Cristianos © Jebulon

Gardens of the Alcázar de los Reyes Cristianos © Jebulon

Córdoba is a city in Andalusia, southern Spain, and the capital of the province of Córdoba. An Iberian and Roman city in ancient times, in the Middle Ages it became the capital of the Islamic caliphate al-Andalus. The old town contains numerous architectural reminders of when Corduba was the capital of Hispania Ulterior during the Roman Republic and capital of Hispania Baetica during the Roman Empire; and when Qurṭuba was the capital of the Islamic Caliphate of Córdoba, including most of the Iberian peninsula.

Córdoba has the second largest Old town in Europe, the largest urban area in the world declared World Heritage by UNESCO. The most important building and symbol of the city, the Great Mosque of Córdoba and current cathedral, alongside the Roman bridge, are the best known facet of the city. Other Roman remains include the Roman Temple, the Theatre, Mausoleum, the Colonial Forum, the Forum Adiectum, an amphitheater and the remains of the Palace of the Emperor Maximian in the Archaeological site of Cercadilla, among others.

It has been estimated that in the 10th century and beginning of the 11th century, Córdoba was the most populous city in the world, and during these centuries became the intellectual center of Europe. Today it is a moderately-sized modern city; its population in 2008 was 325,453.

Near the mosque-cathedral is the old Jewish quarter, which consists of many irregular streets, such as Calleja de las Flores and Calleja del Pañuelo, and which is home to the Synagogue and the Sephardic House. In the extreme southwest of the Old Town is the Alcázar de los Reyes Cristianos, a former royal property and the seat of the Inquisition; adjacent to it are the Royal Stables, a breeding place of the Andalusian horse. Near the stables are located, along the walls, the medieval Baths of the Caliphate. In the south of the Old town and east of the great mosque, in the Plaza del Potro, is the Posada del Potro, a row of inns mentioned in literary works such as Don Quixote and La Feria de los Discretos and which remained active until 1972. Both the plaza and the inn get their name from the fountain in the center of the plaza, which represents a foal. Not far from this plaza is the Arco del Portillo (a 14th century arch).

© Salvatorecoco Paseo de Córdoba © Cordobapedia-Justojosemm Tower of Calahorra © Cubanito Roman Bridge © flickr.com - James Gordon Roman Bridge and Mezquita Catedral © flickr.com - Emilio García Plaza de las Tendillas © flickr.com - Adamina Palacio de la Merced © Cordobapedia-Justojosem Mezquita with cathedral © Cubanito Interior of the Great Mosque © Timor Espallargas Fountain of the Garden of Colón © Cordobapedia-Justojosemm Calleja de las Flores © Dolores María Macías Naranjo Gardens of the Alcázar de los Reyes Cristianos © Jebulon
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Roman Bridge and Mezquita Catedral © flickr.com - Emilio García
Along the banks of the Guadalquivir are the Mills of the Guadalquivir, Muslim era buildings that took advantage of the water force to grind the flour. They include the Albolafia, Alegría, Carbonell, Casillas, Enmedio, Lope García, Martos, Pápalo, San Antonio, San Lorenzo and San Rafael mills.

Surrounding the large Old town are the Roman walls: gates include the Puerta de Almodóvar, the Puerta de Sevilla and Puerta del Puente, which are the only three gates remaining from the original thirteen. Towers and fortresses include the Malmuerta Tower, the Belén Tower and the Puerta del Rincón’s Tower, and the fortress of the Calahorra Tower and of the Donceles Tower.

Palace buildings in the Old Town include the Palacio de Viana (14th century) and the Palacio de la Merced among others. On the outskirts of the city lies the Archaeological site of the city of Medina Azahara, which, together with the Alhambra in Granada, is one of the main Spanish-Muslim architectural sites in Spain.

Read more on City of Córdoba, Córdoba Tourism, Spain.info – Córdoba, Wikipedia al-Andalus and Wikipedia Córdoba. Learn more about the use of photos. To inform you about latest news most of the city, town or tourism websites offer a newsletter service and/or operate Facebook pages/Twitter accounts. In addition more and more destinations, tourist organisations and cultural institutions offer Apps for your Smart Phone or Tablet, to provide you with a mobile tourist guide (Smart Traveler App by U.S. Department of State - Weather report by weather.com). If you have a suggestion, critique, review or comment to this blog entry, we are looking forward to receive your e-mail at comment@wingsch.net. Please name the headline of the blog post to which your e-mail refers to in the subject line.




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