Under the Umayyad caliphate (929–1031), Córdoba became the greatest intelectual centre in all Europe, and many libraries and schools were built.
The Umayyad Caliphs commissioned luxurious objects for their palaces. These were decorated with ornate marble capitals, decorated wall panels, and marble fountains. The palace-city at Madinat al-Zahra and the additions to the Great Mosque of Córdoba are especially magnificent.
Make a virtual visit to the following monuments and answer these questions:
• What was Madinat al-Zahara? When and why was Madinat al-Zahara destroyed? What is its function today?
• When did construction work begin on the Christian cathedral inside the Aljama
mosque? Explain what you have learned about the Mosque of Córdoba.