Córdoba & Madinat al-Zahra’

Córdoba was the capital of Islamic Iberia (Arabic al-Andalus) during the reign of the Andalusi Umayyad dynasty (756-1031 CE), and one of the most celebrated cities of the medieval period.  Around 936 the Andalusi Umayyad ruler ‘Abd al-Rahman III began construction of a new royal city, Madinat al-Zahra’. Located just a few kilometers west of Córdoba, the new city became a center of court administration. Although the city was sacked and destroyed only a century or so after its foundation,  excavations ongoing since the 1980s provide a wealth of information about the urban planning, architecture, and material culture of early Islamic Iberia.