Did you know that Cordoba has 4 inscriptions on the World Heritage list granted by Unesco? The first of all is the Mosque-Cathedral in 1984, the second is the historic center surrounding it in 1994, the third is the Patios in 2012 and the last one to be granted was Medina Azahara in 2018. This last one is the one we will discuss and talk about in this blog. You need to be prepared to be warned in advance that Medina Azahara will make you fall in love with it and want to visit it. If you are also interested in the other heritage sites, we have the Guided Tour Mosque-Cathedral and the Guided Tour Patios of Cordoba, both of which are incredible to experience.
The Caliphate City of Medina Azahara was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site on 1 July 2018 and this archaeological site corresponds to a newly founded city built in the mid-10th century as the seat of the Caliphate of Cordoba by the western Umayyad dynasty. Subsequently, the city was destroyed after a short period of life and was hidden until its recovery at the beginning of the 20th century.
Medina Azahara has a complete urban complex with buildings, decoration and everyday objects, giving you an incredible insight into the material culture of a civilization that disappeared in its prime. It should be noted that it is the only preserved site of such a city in Europe.
Its history begins with Abderraman III, and his decision to found a city on the outskirts of Cordoba, between 936 and 976. This city was to bring together the administrative and residential tasks of the Caliphate of Cordoba, and taking advantage of its orography, this city was designed from the existing heights, where the upper terrace was occupied by the private and residential function of the royal family, as well as the governmental function.
This city was a clear example of how perfect and splendid al-Andalus was. It was a city of such beauty that there was no other city in the world that could compare to it.
Have I left you interested? Keep reading this blog to find out more about Medina Azahara and why it is a World Heritage Site. In fact, to know more about this fantastic monument and to know in the best possible way why it is a Unesco World Heritage Site, with our Guided Tour to Medina Azahara you will get it, having at your hand the best guides of the city.
UNESCO declared Medina Azahara a World Heritage Site because it builds a unique example of Umayyad architecture, art and culture in the West. World Heritage Sites are a legacy of monuments and sites of great natural and cultural wealth that belong to the whole world.
Furthermore, the declaration of Medina Azahara as a World Heritage Site recognizes, in addition to its fantastic details and great architectural qualities, the fact that it was a concept-city that was built practically from scratch with a clear political and religious purpose and with the aim of being an ideological showcase.
This UNESCO distinction is very important as it has been proven that when a site receives it, between three and six months later there is a significant increase in the number of visitors, which Medina Azahara has been prepared for in terms of tourism.
As we have previously commented, the Caliphate City of Medina Azahara was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site on 1 July 2018, being technically the most solid candidacy as pointed out at the time by Alberto Montejo, archaeologist and historical heritage researcher. It is the most recent date of the four World Heritage Sites that Cordoba has, but not for that reason the least important.
In the end, to have four world heritage declarations is to be a reference and an example on an international level in one of the most demanded and demanding sectors such as cultural and heritage tourism, and this obliges us to take the maximum measures for the protection, conservation and dissemination of these assets, as well as making them valuable for the city so that the people of Cordoba see them as the opportunity that they are.
When it was asked to be declared, the candidacy of Medina Azahara had great public support, especially in recent weeks through the Twitter hashtag #EstoyConMedina. In the end, Medina Azahara has been and is very much loved in the city of Córdoba. Its citizens know how important this archaeological site is.