03. Early Europe & Colonial Americas Europe Spain

UNESCO: Historic Center of Córdoba

July 26, 2018

Like Florence, the whole historic center of Córdoba is incorporated in this UNESCO Site. That tells you there is so much here that they couldn’t narrow it down to one building of importance. In general, Córdoba is known as the original capital of Moorish (Muslim Caliphate in the Iberian Peninsula.
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Córdoba’s history does not start with the Muslim conquest but that period is certainly touted as its “glory days.” Córdoba was a Carthaginian province (a North African civilization) that later fell to the Romans and even later still to the Germanic tribes, the Visigoths. Then the Visigothic kingdom fell to the Umayyad ruler in exile, Abd al-Rahman I in 756. The political and social rule of the Islamic caliphs allowed Córdoba to flourish., It became a renowned metropolis famous for its intellectual life, monumental architecture, and tolerance of diverse cultures and religious traditions during the 10th century.
However, all good things must come to an end and the kingdom collapsed in the 11th century after civil war. Finally, in 1236 the Christian king Ferdinand III (not to be confused with the more famous husband of Isabella) captured the city. They did not however destroy all remains of Islamic life, for example the famous mosque became part of the cathedral complex but retained must of its original form.
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The subsequent Christian monarchs built the Alcázar de los Reyes Cristianos (fortress or palace) and other defensive structures like the Tower of Calahorra. In the historic center there are also a few notable churches (too many to name here) and other important administrative buildings (not interesting to name here). Mostly, these buildings display a unique confluence of Morrish and Christian-Iberian styles that more or less coexist as they have been adapted and re-adapted over the centuries.


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