Was Historic Cordoba the Largest City in the World?
View of Historic Cordoba from The Roman Bridge
El Puente Romano
Cordoba is situated
Famous Sons born in Cordoba
The Visigoth Kings and Cordoba's Fate
The Fleeing Sole Survivor
How to survive in Abassidian Cordoba
Further al-Andalus related pages
Cordoba is the Capital of the Cordoba Province
Cordoba's History dates back for over two thousand years
Before the Guadalquivir River silted-up, ships could navigate up as far inland as to Cordoba. See detailed Cordoba Map
The navigability of the river made it's situation suitable as a strategic capital for Roman Spain (then known as: Corduba Colonia Patricia) and the river equally served the Moors as a strategic location.
Claudius Marcelos (the Roman governor) of Historic Cordoba realising the worth and importance of the fertile region: rich in minerals, wheat and olive oil, transformed Corduba into a city.
References of the Guadalquivir and Historic Cordoba dates back to the Bronze age. Cordoba means: 'Village that Overlooked The River.' The Guadalquivir was referred to by the Moors as: "al-wadi al-kabir": The Great River.
Many Archaeological discoveries situate the area as an early Iberian Settlement area: with equal connections to Spanish Carthage, the Greeks and the Phoenicians.
The Romans built El Puente Romano (the Roman bridge) which crosses the Guadalquivir. The sixteen-eyed bridge formed part of the Hispania Roman Via Augustus, it continued on down to Gades (Cadiz).
Historic Cordoba, became capital of Hispania Ulterior Baetica,
it ended having more construction than Rome itself. They also built the Roman Theatre, the Aqueduct, Temple of Augustus, Roman Walls, Cercadilla Palace and the Funerary Monuments.
Almodovar Gate in Cordoba
Ancient Roman Republic walls surround the city. The oldest Jewish settlement of the Iberian Peninsula, known as "La Juderia", lies beyond the Almodovar's Gate's entrance.
The History of the Roman Walls
During the height of the Moorish Caliphate, Historic Cordoba was an immense city. The Roman Walls were extended by the Moors, exceeding a protecting distance of twenty-two miles
around the historic Cordoban city.
There were Seven Entrace Gates to the city:
- The Roman Bridge Gate
- The Sevilla Gate(15Cth addition)
- The Almodovar Gate
- The Gate of the Galicians
- The Cementary Gate
- The Toldeo Gate
- The Zaragosa Gate
The statue of Seneca is situated outside The Almodovar Gate,
The statue of Averroes flanks The Seville Gate.
Tradition of the Romans and the Moors:
Flowing Water Pools surround the City Walls of Cordoba. Freshening and relaxing the city's occupants
Cordoba is situated in the inland-centre of the Andalucian province
The enormous valley of the Guadalquivir river slices through the province, East to West.
This creates two well-defined zones.
The Northern side
: Sierra Morena, protects Cordoba from fierce Atalantic storms. Cordoba enjoys a Mediterranean climate.
The Southern side
: extensively farmed areas stretching to the edges of the Baetica Sierras. Summers are extremely hot. Often exceeding 40ºC+.
Historic Cordoba is flanked by two Natural Parks: Parque Natural Sierra de Hornachuelos
and Parque Natural Sierra de Andujar
The Route of the Caliphate
The road from Historic Cordoba to Granada is familiarly referred to as: The Route of the Caliphate
Since 1984 the historic part of Cordoba was recognized as a
World Heritage Site
islamic art and architecture was intorduced to the al-Andalus during the construction of the first Islamic monument, the Cordoba Mosque.
Statue of Averroes
- Seneca, Lucius Annaeus was born in 4 BC in Historic Cordoba. He was an acclaimed philosopher, poet and playwright. He became consul of Rome and educated Nero.
- Averroes Aristotle's commentator, 'The Prince of Science'
- Maimonides, Jewish Philosopher,was born in 1135 in Cordoba. He was a famed physician, rabbi and philosopher. The Almohades conquered Cordoba in 1148. Being Jewish, in order to avoid forced conversion or the death penalty, Maimonides and his family chose exile.
- Averoazar, famous Muslim opthamologist
Cordoba is a Birthplace of Poets and Flamenco Artists
- Lucan was a Roman Poet
- Joaquin Cortes
- Vicente Amigo
- Paco Peña, are all famous flameco artists
- Manolete was a popular torero, born in Cordoba in 1914
The Visigoth Kings were busy, either eradicating the Jews or bickering, between themselves. Historic Cordoba's strategic location made it a favourable place and Cordoba suffered much damage - in the never-ending power-fight - between the Visigoths. The Roman Bridge was almost completely wrecked.
When was Cordoba the largest city in the World?
In 711 AD, the Moorish invasion of Iberian Peninsula began. An army of 300 Arabs and 6,700 Berbers (black Moors) landed on the Iberian Peninsula. This particular army represented the Damascan Umayyad Caliphate.
The Visigoths were barbaric.
However, the Moors were powerful, lumnary and were fond of graphic demonstration. One particular occasion was eventfully recorded: when a group of Christians were captured. Some were killed and butchered. The Moors tossed their flesh into boiling cauldrons alongside some other pots with meat inside.
Unknown to the remaining horrified Christians who were forced into being witnesses, the Moors had chucked away the human flesh. The Moors sat down to enjoy their meal.
They released abject Christians, 'certain' that the terrified spectators would spread the rumour of 'how Moors consumed Christians' who would not convert to Islam or submit to the new rulers of al-Andalus.
Interactive Map of Islamic Spain
Most of the Iberian Peninsula soon fell to the Moors
A large majority of the Visigoth Lords had chosen deliberately to rid themselves of the current ruling tyranny. Many willingly converted to Islam, maintaining their contact in politics, seeking advantageous personal infuence.
The legend of King Roderick forcing open the gates of the bewitched Palace, may also have paved way for that reality. Within this Palace lay a prediction. Who that dared to break those very locks would face the invasion of the Moors, depicted, on the only treasure held within the bewitched Palace. (Though the legend was written by the Moors 'after' their successful invasion.)
It was the unfairness of the land division between the Arabs and the Moors. The Moors had done the hardest work in conquering the Iberian Peninsula. This heritage left lingering doubt and much resentment of the Moors towards the Arabs; they often battled for the supremacy.
Taxes were paid recognizing Damacus as the supreme Kingdom. Over a period of time, the initial union began to weaken, and finally with the assassination of the Umayyads, there was a definite desire to break with Abbasidian Caliphate.
Abd-ar-Rahman 1 escaped the murderous dinner party where 90 of his family members were hacked to pieces by the Abbasidians. In the company of his servant Bedhr and thirteen-year-old brother Yahiya and one child, they had to flee further and further from Damascus. Ever sought by spies, once he hid under a chieftains wife's skirts, so close were they to being captured.
His noble breeding and education drew respect wherever they went, though they hid his identity. His red hair and blue eyes and large mole drew exceptional attention.
The fleeing party were almost captured as they reached the Euphrates. His brother's strength was failing. The captors seduced him into returning to the shore, cajoling and promising fairness.
Abd-ar-Rahman swam on. He reached the other shore and turned to observe, his enemies had caught his brother and immediately decapitated him. On they fled...
Meanwhile life in in the al-Andalus Abbasidian Caliphate was fraught with terrible brutality. Cruel Viceroys were appointed in Baghdad and sent to rule. An every-growing rupture evolved with these twenty-odd ruling emirs. Plots grew, massacres were commonplace, towns were ransacked. Life was impossible. A new leadership was needed.
High-ranking Arabs met and it was decided that a divorce from the Abbasidian Caliph was the only way to remain alive. They needed a manner in which to declare 'Independence'. And someone as their leader, who was fearless to do this...How did Caliphal Cordoba Happen?
www.bbc.co.uk The Moorish Conquest of Spain
Calle Judios 12,
Moslem Disunity and the Caliphate
al-Andalus Water Secrets
Madinat az-Zahara purpose