THE CITY OF THE THREE CULTURES
Córdoba was declared a World Heritage Site in 1994. The universal value of its historical remains led UNESCO to extend the title of World Heritage Site not only to the Mosque-Cathedral (1984), but also to the surrounding urban area. In addition, the Cordoba Courtyards (or ‘Patios’) Festival was named Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in 2012.
TRAVEL BACK IN TIME. Cordoba today reflects the importance of the influential civilizations that lived here. Romans, Muslims, Jews and Christians have all left a deep imprint on the local heritage, culture, customs and traditions.
Cordoba, the City of the Four Cultures, despite occasional problems between communities, wisely managed to bury its differences and create the perfect climate for the development of arts and sciences. The peak moment of this intercultural and religious concord was between the years 936 and 1031, coinciding with the maximum splendour of the Cordoba Caliphate. The harmonious relationship achieved between the three cultures turned the city and areas of the province into unrivalled centres of learning.
ROMAN CORDOBA. The city was founded in the mid-second century BC by the Roman praetor Marco Claudio Marcelo. It grew and was soon named the capital city of Further Hispania. The city produced for Imperial Rome writers and philosophers of the stature of Seneca - the most important figure in Hispano-Roman Cordoba - and his nephew Lucan.
ISLAMIC CORDOBA. After the victory over the Visigoths in 711, the Muslims took control of Cordoba, converting it shortly afterwards into the capital of a new province of the Islamic world which they named AI-Andalus. The greatest splendour of Islamic Cordoba was achieved by Abd al-Rahman III, who in 929 established a Caliphate independently from Damascus, and turned Cordoba into the most flourishing, cultured and highly populated city of its day in Europe.
JEWISH CORDOBA. After the Christian conquest of Cordoba by Ferdinand III, a law was passed in 1236 giving equal treatment to Christians, Muslims and Jews. However, this peaceful coexistence lasted only until the end of the century, and the Spanish Inquisition, established under the reign of the Catholic Monarchs at the end of the C.15th, persecuted converted Jews and finally decreed their expulsion in 1492.
CHRISTIAN CORDOBA. The beginning of the 13th century saw the writing on the wall for the beleaguered Muslim community, when King Fernando III took control of the ailing Caliphate capital in 1236. Successive dynasties then ruled over Cordoba during the periods of the Habsburgs (1516 to 1700) and Bourbons (1700 to 1900), leading up to the period of 20th century Cordoba (1900 to 2000).
CONTEMPORARY CORDOBA. Since the middle of the C.20th, Cordoba has undergone a significant economic, social and cultural revival, with the creation of the university, the improvement of transport infrastructures (especially the High Speed Train) and the declaration of Cordoba as a World Heritage Site, which made the city a benchmark for international tourism.