Cordoba c. 1000


Map Code: Ax02170

Muslim invaders stormed Cordoba in 711. It was made a provincial capital in 716 and its Roman bridge was restored shortly afterwards (720). Abd-al-Rahman I (756–88) established the Umayyad Emirate (later Caliphate) of Al-Andalus, with Cordoba its overall capital. Rahman began the construction of the Mezquita, the Great Mosque, in 786. By the 10th century, Cordoba was the largest, and wealthiest, city in western Europe with a population of c. 350,00 and dominion over most of the Iberian peninsula, and suzerainty over ports in neighbouring North Africa. Successive rulers extended and embellished the Mezquita; their capital had paved streets and street-lighting, observatories, aqueducts and a famous library. It was also notably tolerant, with Christians and Jews featuring prominently in the city’s commerce, administration and culture. The authoritarian vizier Almanzor (976–1002) extended the empire, but, upon his death, the Caliphate swiftly disintegrated. In 1031, it was conquered by the taifa (principality) of Seville and slid into medieval-1001-1450 obscurity.

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