Tips for visitors
Cordoba was greatly shaped by its long Roman presence (Corduba
Colonia Patricia was capital of the province Hispania Ulterior
Baetica) and later Moslem occupation (Qurtuba became capital
of the powerful Ummayad Caliphate). Both left their monuments and personality.
The following is a timeline of Cordoba from its pre-history until the
years leading up to the final conquest of Moorish Spain by Isabel and
Ferdinand in 1492.
(Lower Paleolithic Era) Rudimentary stone tools made from river
stones along Guadajoz, El Genil and Guadalquivir rivers.
100,000 BC Neanderthals
in Palma del Rio. "Homo fossilis Cordubensis" Neanderthal
skeleton found--its late dating may indicate co-habitation with
homo sapiens sapiens.
Upper Paleolithic: no known archeological
findings in near city-remains found in southern province Subética
4000 BC Neolithic Cave Culture
- agriculture, herding, stone weapons in Subética mountain
range (Zuheros, Priego, Rute)
- skull of first "Cordobés" found in Zuheros (Archeological
- cave art in Zuheros, Priego, Rute and Doña Mencía
3000 BC Influx of
peoples from eastern regions (Almeria)
- appearance of small, fortified urbs and latifundios
- ca 1500 BC small village established in "La Verdad"
- economy: copper mining, herding, farming
- dolmens built by local kings (Dolmen de la Silera) and land owners
- smooth ceramics, copper knives.
- The Montilla Treasure (National Archeological Museum)
- The Cup of Fuente Palmera (Archeological Museum)
The Iberians in Cordoba
|7th Century BC
- Influx of Indoeuropeans: Punic, Carthaginian and Greek influences
arrive from Gades (Cádiz)
- Iberian towns: Ategua (ruins north of Espejo), Castro Viejo, Izcar,
Iponuba (ruins south of Baena), Torremorana, Ucub (Espejo), Ipagro(?),
- Stellas (Ategua)
- Painted, geometrically decorated cups (Archeological Museum)
- Iberian sculptures (Archeological Museum)
Romans (760 years
- Via Augusta road crosses Roman bridge SW to
Gades (Cádiz) and north to Fons Mellana (Fuente Ovejuna),
continuing to Emerita (Mérida).
- Pax Romana: centuries of peace and prosperity. Agriculture and
olive oil trade. mining.
- Architecture: Roman bridge, Temple of Augustus, Cercadilla Palace,
Roman Theatre, Funerary Monuments, Roman Walls, Aqueduct
- Art: abundant columns, capitals, mosaics, sculptures and ceramics
Roman Atlas of Baetica
Pliny's Natural History
Cordoba During the Republic
206 BC Battle
of Ilipa leaves Romans in control of Guadalquivir River Valley.
Lucio Mario takes control of primitive Iberian town? Archeological
traces of Roman presence in town.
175 BC Construction
of walls, buildings. Possible layout of city.
169/168 BC or 152/151 BC:
Claudio Marcelo founds walled colonia latina (?) of Corduba,
inhabited by chosen local people and Romans.
149 BC Viriato lays seige to Cordoba.
ca 100 BC Pre-Roman
settlement east of Cordoba abandoned. Building of monuments in new
historical references made to forum in Cordoba.
76 BC Earthquake
Caesar meets in Cordoba with leaders of other Roman cities who had
united with him against Pompey. Plants commemorative platanus
45 BC Cordoba
taken by Pompey and attacked unsuccessfully by Caesar, who fights
Cneo in Montemayor and re-conquers Ategua. Battle of Munda (Montilla?).
Caesar re-takes Cordoba, destroying it and causing 22,000 casualties.
- City comes into favor again under emperor Claudius
- Construction of imperial cult temple (dedicated to Claudius?)
Construction of theatre begins.
First coins minted printed with Colonia Patricia
Birth of Seneca, philosopher who committed suicide after being condemned
to death by Nero.
27 AD Territorial reorganization: Corduba designated Colonia
Patricia and capital of Hispania Ulterior Baetica.
Cordoba under the Empire (39 AD-6th Century
- Birth of Marco Anneo Lucano, poet and nephew of Seneca. Committed
suicide after unsuccessfully conspiring against Nero.
Dismantling of eastern circus.
Inscription commemorates theatrical representations, gladiator games
(amphitheatre) and races in the circus in Cordoba.
Earthquake destroys theatre.
becomes first bishop of Cordoba
becomes bishop of Cordoba. Advises Emperor Constantine.
Construction of Palatium Maximiani in Cercadilla neighborhood.
Transformation of city: certain streets abandoned, Provincial forum
occupied with houses, temple dismantled. Appearance of Christian
basilicas and places of worship.
Visigoths (150 years
-Visigoths have relatively short span of rule
in Cordoba, which retains much of its Roman identity.
-Christian basilicas appear (Santa Clara, San Vicente) in mid 5th
Vandals, Suevos and Alanos invade Spain.
expell other Germanic tribes from Spain. Cordoba maintains independence
from Visigoth government in Toledo and Byzantine imperial government.
550 In battles
between Visigoths and Byzantine Empire, Agila attacks Cordoba and
takes Cordoba in civil war against his son, Hermenegildo. Cordoba
loses autonomous status and lives 150 years of Visigoth rule.
Islamic Cordoba (525
years): The Moors in Al-Andalus
- Reconstruction of Roman bridge, Alcazar. Construction of Al-Rusafa,
Aljama or Great Friday Mosque, Medina al-Zarhara (936), Albolafia
Water Mill (1136),
- Capital of Ummayid Caliphate, which makes Qurtuba the leading
economic, political and cultural center of Europe during the so-called
- Great Mosque the culmination of Islamic Architecture in Spain
The Emirate of Damascus (711-756)
|711 - Tariq
leads a group of Moslem soldiers on the conquests of Spain, disembarking
near Gibraltar. His lieutenant, Mugit, conquers Cordoba from Visigoths.
400 Visigoth men besieged outside city in St. Acisclo church for 3
716 - Emir al-Hurr makes Cordoba his administrative center.
756 Abd al-Rahman I defeats and deposes
the emir of Al-Andalus.
785 Construction of Alcazar begun.
786 Construction of Great Mosque begun.
788 Construction of one of the oldest
known mosques in Cordoba, still evident in Santiago Church.
818 Revolt against al-Hakam I and razing
of Saqunda neighborhood on south bank of river. 20,000 exiles.
848 Abd al-Rahman II's expansion of
Great Mosque completed.
ca 900 Construction of mosque on site
where San Juan de los Caballeros church now stands (Minaret still
Ummayad Califate (929-1031)
929 Abd al-Rahman III proclaims himself
Caliph, beginning Cordoba's era of maximum political, economic and
936/941Construction of palace city
Madinat al-Zahra' (Medina Azahara) on western outskirts begins.
Within a few years government is transfered there.
941 Great Aljama Mosque built
2nd half 10th C Period of maximum
-Construction of minaret of mosque on site of present San Lorenzo
church (partially conserved).
962-965 al-Hakam II's expansion of
Great Mosque. Construction of mihrab and maqsura present today.
979-981 Building by Almanzor of new
city, Madinat al-Zahira, outside of Corodba (east?).
988 Almanzor's expansion of Great
Mosque to present dimensions.
1009-1031 Civil war. Breaking up
of Caliphate into Taifa Kingdoms. Destruction of Medina al-Zahira,
Taifa Kingdoms (1031-1091)
1069 The taifa king of Seville annexes
1075 Cordoba taken by the taifa kingdom
1078 Cordoba re-taken by Seville.
1091 Cordoba becomes part of Almorávide
1136 Construction of the Albolafia
1162 Cordoba becomes capital of al-Andalus
again, leading to urban renewal: fortress on south bank of river,
Arab baths and rebuilding of walls.
1236 Ferndinand III, King of Castille
and Leon, conquers Cordoba.
|2nd half XIII
Century - construction of churches and monasteries in city.
1315 Construction of Synagogue.
1328 Alfonso XI completes initial work
on reform of Alcazar.
2nd half XIV - Alcazar re-enforced.
Inquisition Tower completed.
1369-1386 Wall completed around Alcazar
garden. Perhaps Calahorra Tower also built at this time.
1391 Jewry assaulted. At this time
the walled southwestern portion of the city, called the Jewry Castle.
1404 Malmuerta Tower built along the
northwestern Ajerquía walls.
Capital, vol. 1, editor Emilio Cabrera, Caja Provincial de Ahorros
de Córdoba, 1994 (out of print). Guía Arqueológica
de Córdoba, editor Disiderio Vaquerizo Gil, Plurabelle,
2003. Islamic Spain (Architectural Guides for Travellers), Godfrey
Goodwin, Penguin Books, 1991 (out of print).
Biographical Index for Cordoba Spain
Christopher Columbus and Cordoba
The Historical Context of the Mosque-Cathedral of Cordoba
Academic Citations: How to Link to Us