Córdoba was once the most important metropolis of the Caliphate and today is a city of harmony and contrast. It is a city in which the history of the Caliphs, Romans, Jews and Christians is still very much alive and was the centre of the Arab realm of Al-Andalus that reached its peak around 1000 A.D.
The Ponte Romana extends across the Gudalquivir and leads to the old town. With its 16 arches, the Roman bridge that spans across the river is one of the city’s main landmarks.
The city’s most important building is the La Mezquita, in the centre of the old town. It is undoubtedly the most splendid mosque of Moorish-Islamic origin on the Iberian Peninsula. Construction of the main mosque began in 785 A.D. during the rule of Abd ar-Rahman I. The world’s third largest mosque was built on the site of a West Gothic Christian church that was built on the remains of a Roman temple.
The Plaza Santa Marina dates back to the 17th century and was once used as a bull-fighting arena and also as a theatrical stage. Today, it is frequently used as a marketplace. The striking monument of the famous Spanish toreador, Manolete, who was killed during a bullfight inside the arena, occupies a large section of the square.
Mighty walls surround the Medina. Some of its old gates have survived, such as the Puerta De Almodovar that leads into the Jewish quarter. Once known as a wealthy city, Córdoba was considered to be a worthy prize and was thus well protected and fortified.
A combination of the Arabic, Jewish and Christian worlds, Córdoba is most deservedly the 'Pearl of Andalusia'!