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(8 km out of Cordoba) In 936 caliph Abdul Rahman decided he needed a new residential town, and had built Medina Azahara, at that time the largest town in all the region, by 10.000 workers within 25 years. 4.300 columns, all of them originating from older buildings in all the Mediterranean area, were used.|
On top of a hill there was the palace, Alcazar Califal, below the administrative district with parks and gardens, while the actual town was located in the flat land. Chroniclers tell us about the extraordinary beauty of the palaces "Throne Hall" and "Golden Salon", both with arcs of ebony and ivory and ornaments of marble, gold and precious stones. In the center there was a basin filled with mercury, which reflected the rays of sunshine.
But this colossal work existed for only 74 years - then it was conquered and destroyed by the Bereberes. Most of the artworks were stolen, and many of them were lateron integrated in the many palaces of Cordoba.
Medina-Azahara was all but forgotten, until archaeologists started to excavate it in 1910.
La Sierra Norte
A mountain range in the north of Cordoba, having to offer to the visitor apart of the beautiful landscape villages with interesting monuments: In Montoro there are the churches of Santa Maria de la Mota, 12th century with remains of Roman and Visigothic epochs, and San Bartolomé, of 15th century. Almodovar has a very impressive castle in gothic Mudejar style.
Los Valles del Sur
In the south of Cordoba, there are the villages Montilla and Moriles, both with important viniculture and the historical Baena, well-known in Spain for the spectacular celebrations of Easter-week. Worth visiting are as well Espejo, with a castle of 14th century, Cabra, a village in very typical Andalusian style, and Priego with several remarkable baroque buildings.
Cordoba's Great Mosque |
Fiestas and Folklore |