Córdoba is, without a doubt, the star attraction of Andalusia. The pretty Moorish patios and glorious mosque alone makes it lay claim over that title. It was conquered by invading Islamic armies in the eighth century. Then it became the capital of the Islamic Emirate and then Caliphate of Córdoba, including most of the Iberian Peninsula. The name itself derives from Kartuba, Phoenician for “rich and precious city.”

It has been estimated that in the 10th century Córdoba was the most populous city in the world, and under the rule of Caliph Al Hakam II it had also become a centre for education under its Islamic rulers. This has meant the city was enjoying a golden age as the western capital of the Islamic empire. Al Hakam II opened many libraries in addition to the many medical schools and universities which existed at this time. During these centuries Córdoba became a predominantly Muslim society.

Córdoba’s most impressive Moorish monument is the Mezquita. Alcázar de los Reyes Cristianos and the Jewish quarter (Juderia) add a lot more flavour to this wonderful city and its rich history. A stroll down the historic centre can give visitors a glimpse of a city that once was the envy of many across the world.

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