The city of Cordoba – or Cordova – has experienced many phases during it’s existence. It is located in valley of Quadalquivir-river, where climate is warm and land fruitful. As many cities in Spain also Cordoba was first founded by Carthagians. When Hamilcar Barca was conquering Hispania for Carthage, he renamed old settlements beside Quadalquivir to “Kartuba” honoring with the name the Numidian commander – Juba – whi had died nearby in battle. Then in the second Punic war Kartuba was taken by Romans.
BC 169 a new Roman colony was based beside old Iberian settlement by the Roman consul Marcus Claudius Marcellus. It is known that there were a Roman forum in the city as also many other Roman buildings like temples.
In 100 BC somebody buried a treasure – the famous Cordoba Treasure – in Cordoba outskirts where it was found in beginning of 1900. It consisted Celtic artefacts and Roman coins around 100 BC. After some bargains treasure is now to see in the British Museum.
At the time of Roman Rebublic Cordoba was the capital city of Hispania Ulterior. Then later on during Roman Empire city was capital of Hispania Baetica. Very famous Romans were philosopher Seneca the Younger and orator Seneca the Elder. Also a poet Lucan came from Roman Cordoba.
After Roman times
Rome hold Hispania nearly seven hundred years and after their empire collapsed, it left a huge empty space which was to be filled with something. First Byzantine hold the region short time and then little over hundred years it was hold by Visigoth. But their time ended very soon when Arabic conquerers – mainly Berbers – came from north Africa and conquered whole Spain in couple years at beginning of 700 AD.
Moorish type arches in palace of Medinat Azharat near Cordoba.
Very very nice artwork from famous mosque of Cordoba. One can say that Muslims created own type of building architecture in different cities of Al Andalus.
When Spain was conquered by muslims, is was ruled from Cordoba for 300 hundred years. At that time Cordoba was probably most populated city in Europe and richies flowed from all “Al Andalus” into the city. Therefore they were able to build great buildings – like mosque of Cordoba – and palace cities like Medina Azhara.
Once Caliphate of Cordoba was ruled from here. This City palace is looking over Quadalquivir-valley only couple kilometers from Cordoba.
Originally this building was a Visigoth church but when Abd ar-Rahman I escaped from palace revolution of Damaskos and took reign of Al-Andalus, he started to build a mosque from half of the church. Then later on other muslim rulers expanded it at least four times.
Here under mosque roof is the forest of columns – robbed from Roman and Visigoth houses around Cordoba. Luckily mosque was left for afterworld to see.
One can only wonder the huge area of mosque and the forest of columns. Red-white-arches – in two layers – look marvellous. One can only wonder the beautiful lines and corridors under arches inside the mosque – Mezquita in local language. Mastermind designing!
Here nice courty-yard inside great mosque of Cordoba. There are small channels between trees to irrigate their roots. Muslims builded very intelligent irrigation systems all over Al Andalus.
In every muslim city there was an alcazaba – a muslim fortress and palace. And there were always as well bathhouse with open star-like openings in roof. By the way – there still is arabic bathouse in Cordoba. But in different building.
There are still some remnants of old muslim bathhouse.
In year 1236 muslim city of Cordoba fell to Ferdinand III – king of Castile and Leon. Of course they changed many things and builded new houses – and teared apart many muslim structures.
Here – in times of reconquista – there was always pools, fountains and gardens beside castles.
Iron lady of Castile and Leon – Isabella. Main figures with Ferdinand securing reconquista.
Maimonides – a judish scolar from Cordoba who found himself even physician of Saladdin. Still sitting on the streets of Cordoba – after so many hundred years.