Alcázar of the Caliphs (Córdoba)

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The Al-Andalusian Alcázar, also known as the Caliphal Alcázar or Umayyad Alcázar, was a fortress-palace located in Córdoba (in current Spain) of which only some remains remain, including its Caliphal Baths converted into a museum. The term Al-Andalusian Alcázar has come to replace the traditional Caliphal Alcázar since it was the seat of the government of Al-Andalus, and the residence of the emirs and caliphs of Córdoba since the arrival of the Muslims in the 8th Century until the Christian conquest, in 1236. This term refers to a series of heterogeneous constructions that went from the private dependencies of emirs and caliphs and their close ones to the areas destined to the service, passing through the different official offices from where it was governed Al-Andalus, all surrounded by a walls that surrounded an area of 39,000 m2.

Description[edit]

It was built on a previous Visigothic palace, which was in turn built on a Roman palace.

From the configuration of the alcázar we only know the names of some of its palaces and gardens thanks to the historian al-Maqqari, who collected the information of ibn Baskuwal:

The emirs built real wonders in their alcázar; built extraordinary monuments and beautiful gardens that watered with water brought from the hills of Córdoba.[1]

In spite of the construction of the palatine city of Medina Azahara, the alcázar did not lose its protagonism within the court. This is what the works that Abd-ar-Rahman III carried out, like the construction of a little house annexed to the walls where it keeps several lions that, according to the sources, were used to torture the prisoners. He also built new water pipes and the Dar al-Rawda or Garden House.[1] By its name, possibly located next to al-Rawda, the garden where the royal cemetery was located.[1]

Current Status[edit]

After the Christian conquest, the building lost its function as the center of political power to become a religious center with the construction of the Episcopal Palace, taking advantage of rests of the walls of the alcázar that today can be seen integrated in the facade of the palace itself, as well as in part of the Palacio de Congresos. Likewise, in a small courtyard that is accessed from the main courtyard of that palace can be seen one of the towers that protected the north wall of the alcázar.

In addition to these remains, the only thing that is conserved of the alcázar are its baths, called Caliphal Baths, located in Campo Santo de los Mártires.

As for the Sabbat, it disappeared after the disappearance of the alcázar itself; However, it is still possible to see on the western facade of the mosque - almost on the corner with the north facade - a small door that gave access to the qibla from this corridor, as well as the floor plan, marked on the floor.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "The Ummayad Alcázar of Córdoba". Centro Virtual Cervantes.