UNESCO DECLARES THE CALIPHATE CITY OF MEDINA AZAHARA A WORLD HERITAGE SITE
The Caliphate City of Medina Azahara, located in the Province of Cordoba, is proud to be declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The World Heritage Committee meeting, held in Manama from 24th June until 4th July 2018, inscribed the cultural wonder onto its distinguished World Heritage List on the basis that “it provides in-depth knowledge of the now vanished Western Islamic civilization of Al-Andalus, at the height of its splendour”.
UNESCO continued to state in their official nomination text that “the site’s most valuable asset is the fact that it contains the urban layout of a complete city, with all its streets, buildings, decorative elements and everyday objects, all of which gives us a special insight into the material culture of a vanished civilization.”
The archaeological site was built in the mid-10th century CE by the Umayyad dynasty as the seat of the Caliphate of Cordoba. Once the de facto capital of Muslim Spain, the medieval Moorish city was brought to ruins in the Fitna of Al-Andalus, a civil war that raged across southern Spain eventually bringing an end to the Caliphate. The ruins were then forgotten for another 1,000 years until their rediscovery in the early 20th century, with excavations only beginning in 1910. A mere 10 percent of the 112 hectares has been excavated, meaning that there is still many an untold mystery hidden in the ancient city.
Nowadays, visitors are able to indulge in its rich cultural heritage in the form of a guided tour. Residing only four miles west of the main city of Cordoba in the Sierra Morena mountain range, the Medina Azahara is a must-see for any traveller exploring this magnificent part of Spain.
Images are available here. Pic credit © Madinat al-Zahra Archaeological Site (CAMaZ)
For more information on UNESCO and their inscription of Medina Azahara, please visit https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1560/
For more information on Medina Azahara as a visitor destination, please visit http://www.medinaazahara.org/
For more information on Andalusia as a visitor destination, please visit http://www.andalucia.org/en/
For further information on Spain or Cordoba as a visitor destination, please visis www.spain.info or email Spain@wearelotus.co.uk