Cordoba was Spain’s first city ruled by Muslims since the early 8th Century, during the Junid period, early settlements of Muslims into Visigothic Iberia. Today we witness a unique, fused culture, from the Roman through to the Islamic period of Al-Andalus. The city was chosen by AbdulRahman al-Dakhil, the last descendant of the Ummayad dynasty in Damascus, founder of the Ummayad Emirate of al-Andalus. Al-Andalus was kept together as an Emirate from 750 EC, ruled from Cordoba by the Ummayad dynasty until it’s peak in 929 EC. It was at this point when AbdulRahman III, claimed himself Emir al Mu’minin making himself Caliph of Al-Andalus. Cordoba’s famous Ummayad Mosque contains many secrets that complete its history.
A symbol of the peak of Ummayad al-Andalus is also the Palatial City of Medinat al Zahra, which some claim to be of the first parliaments in Europe, where a government structure formed by 128 ‘walis’ or regional delegates would come together with the Visir and counsel the Caliph on the event of Ashura. Organized and commissioned taxes were collected from places as far as the silk, gold and other medieval commercial routes reached: eastwards to China and India and southwards to Senegal and deeper into Africa! Although the Court city only lasted just under 100 years, it symbolizes the climax of Muslim Spain, the Ummayad Caliphate and its downfall. After this period the Caliphate fell into smaller units or provinces becoming fortified Kingdoms in themselves.
Cordoba is a breathtaking city which contains many Muslim, Jewish, Christian and Roman architecture and cultural landmarks. The exotic city reflects shrewdly the diverse artistic and religious era of Spain and stands as an integral Spanish tourist destination. First-time tourists mainly look forward to visiting this sun-drenched jewel of Spain.