Retailer selling Moorish souvenirs, Cordoba, Spain – October 2007

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C%c3%b3rdoba,_Spain

Córdoba (also Cordova) is a city in Andalusia, southern Spain, and the capital of the province of Córdoba. Located at 37.88° North, 4.77° West, on the Guadalquivir river, it was founded in ancient Roman times as Corduba by Claudius Marcellus. Its population in 2008 was 325,453.[1]

Today a moderately-sized modern city, the old town contains many impressive architectural reminders of when Qurṭuba (قرطبة), the thriving capital of the Caliphate of Córdoba, governed almost all of the Iberian peninsula. It has been estimated that in the latter half of the tenth century Córdoba, with up to 500,000 inhabitants, was then the most populated city in Europe and, perhaps, in the world.[2]

History

Roman temple of Córdoba.Córdoba was the capital of the Roman province of Hispania Ulterior Baetica. Great Roman philosophers like Lucius Annaeus Seneca the Younger, orators like Seneca the Elder and poets like Lucan came from Roman Cordoba. Later, it occupied an important place in the Provincia Hispaniae of the Byzantine Empire (552-572) and during the Visigoth period.

It was captured in 711[3] by the Muslims, and Córdoba became capital during the Umayyad Caliphate, the period of its apogee, with a population of roughly 400,000 inhabitants,[4] though estimates range between 250,000 and 500,000. In the 10th century, Cordoba – called قرطبة (Qurṭuba) in Arabic – was one of the most advanced cities in the world, as well as a great cultural, political and economic centre. The Córdoba Mosque dates back to this time. In 1236 it was captured by King Ferdinand III during the Spanish Reconquista.

On the Rio Guadalquivir, just downstream from the Puente Romano (Roman Bridge) is a restored Islamic water wheel that once would have raised water to the caliph’s palace.

With one of the most extensive historical heritages in the world (declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO 17 December 1984), the city also features a number of modern areas, including the districts of Zoco and the railway station district, Plan RENFE.

The regional government (the Junta de Andalucía) has for some time been studying the creation of a Córdoba Metropolitan Area that would comprise, in addition to the capital itself, the towns of Villafranca, Obejo, La Carlota, Villaharta, Villaviciosa, Almodóvar del Río and Guadalcázar. The combined population of such an area would be around 351,000.

Geography
The city is located on the banks of the Guadalquivir river and its easy access to the mining resources of the Sierra Morena (coal, lead, zinc) satisfies the population’s needs.

The city is located in a depression of the valley of the Guadalquivir. In the north is the Sierra Morena, which defines the borders of the municipal area.

Córdoba is one of the few cities in the world that has a near-exact antipodal city – Hamilton, New Zealand.

Climate
Córdoba has a Mediterranean climate with Atlantic coastal influences. Winters are mild with isolated frosts.

Summers, with increased daily thermal oscillations, have the highest maximum temperatures in Europe, exceeding 40 °C occasionally. Local minimum summer temperature is 27 °C, the highest in Spain and Europe. Precipitation is concentrated in the coldest months; this is due to the Atlantic coastal influence. Precipitation is generated by storms from the west that occur more often from December through February. This Atlantic characteristic then gives way to a hot summer with significant drought more typical of Mediterranean climates.

Annual rain surpasses 500 mm although there is a recognized inter-annual irregularity. In agreement with the Köppen climate classification, the local climate can be described as Csa.

Registered maximum temperatures at Cordoba Airport (located at 6 km of the city) are 46.6° (23rd, July 1995) and 46.2° (1st, August 2003). The minimum temperature is -8.2° (28 January 2005).

May celebrations
Tourism is especially intense in Córdoba during May because of the weather and as this month hosts three very popular festivals.[7]

The May Crosses Festival takes place at the beginning of the month. During three or four days, crosses of around 3 meters of height are placed in many squares and streets and decorated with flowers and a contest is held to choose the most beautiful one. Usually there is regional food and music near the crosses.

The most important of the three is the Patios Festival celebrated during the second and third week of the month. Many houses of the historic center open their private patios to the public and compete in a contest. Both the architectonic value and the floral decorations are taken into consideration to choose the winners. It is usually very difficult and expensive to find accommodation in the city during the festival.

Córdoba’s Fair takes place at the ending of the month and is similar, if smaller, to the better known Seville Fair.

Main sights

Religious architecture
Great Mosque of Córdoba, which contains columns that date back to the Roman and Visigothic periods, primarily constructed during the Umayyad period (its construction started in 784). It was converted into a Cathedral after the Reconquista.
Córdoba Synagogue (14th century)
Fernandine and Alphonsine-style churches (13th century)
Various monasteries and convents
Walcha Cave (built in 1489)

Civil and military architecture
Alcázar of the Christian Kings (14th century)
Palace of Viana with its flowered patios (16th century)
Royal residences and palaces
The Tower of Calahorra (14th century)
The Door of the Bridge (16th century)
The Plaza Vieja or Plaza Mayor
Walls and towers of the Muslim and also Christian period

Archaeological sites
Roman archaeological remains (temple, mausoleum)
Islamic archaeological remains (minarets preserved in the churches, Arab baths)
Archaeological site of Madinat Al-Zahra (10th century)
The Roman Bridge

Museums
Archeological and Ethnological Museum of Córdoba.
Julio Romero de Torres Museum.
Museum of Fine Arts.
Dioceses Museum.
Baths of the Fortress Califal.
Botanical Museum of Cordova.
Three Cultures Museum.
Bullfighting Museum.
Molino de Martos Hydraulic Museum.

Parks and Gardens
Garden of the Victory
Garden of the Rivas Duc
Garden of the Agriculture
Garden of the Conde de Vallellano
Garden of Juan Carlos I
Park Cruz Conde
Sotos de la Albolafia
Balcón del Guadalquivir
Peri-urban park of Los Villares
Park of the Miraflores

Famous people born in Córdoba and its province
Cordova was the birthplace of five famous philosophers and religious scholars:

In Roman times the Stoic philosopher Seneca,

In classical Islamic times

The Islamic scholar ibn Hazm, a major Muslim theologian and legal jurist,
The Islamic scholar ibn Rushd or Averroes, one of Islam’s most famous and eminent scholars and philosophers,
Imam Abu ‘Abdullah al-Qurtubi, a leading jurist of the Maliki madhab, and
The rabbi and Jewish philosopher Moses Maimonides.

Córdoba was also the birthplace of

The Roman poet Lucan,
The medieval Spanish poet Juan de Mena, and
The Renaissance poet Luis de Góngora, who lived most of his life and wrote all his most important works but one in Cordoba.

In addition some scholars have linked to Córdoba

The Renaissance philosopher Abraham Cohen de Herrera and
The prominent Jewish mystic Moses ben Jacob Cordovero

Both of these were evidently descended from families which lived in Córdoba before the expulsion of the Jews from Spain.

More recently, several flamenco artists were born here as well, including

Vicente Amigo
Joaquín Cortés
Fosforito
Paco Peña
Juan Serrano (Flamenco)
Fernando Tejero

Transport
The city is connected by high speed trains to the main Spanish cities: Madrid, Barcelona, Seville, Malaga and Zaragoza. More than 20 trains per day connect the downtown area, in 54 minutes, with Málaga Airport.

Twin cities

São Paulo, Brazil
Manchester, United Kingdom[8]
Bourg-en-Bresse, France
Fes, Morocco[9]
Lahore, Pakistan[9]
Bethlehem, Palestinian Authority[10]
Damascus, Syria[9]
Al Qayrawan, Tunisia[9]
Adana, Turkey
Istanbul, Turkey
Izmir, Turkey
Bukhara, Uzbekistan[9]

Posted by SaffyH on 2007-12-27 22:53:31

Tagged: , cordoba , spain , al-andalus , andalusia , ColorPhotoAward

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