Monday, June 11, 2012

Madinat Al-Zahra

At Madinat Al-Zahra
In front of the city entrance
It's hard to describe what it is like to watch through the ruins of a city that was built over 1000 years ago, but that is exactly what I did.  We visited Madinat Al-Zahra which is located only 7 kilometers outside of Cordoba. Construction on the city began in 936 and took about a decade to complete.  Even though the city stood for barely 80 years it is considered one of the most important archaeological sites in Spain and Europe. Currently only one-tenth of the city has been excavated.  Even so, we went on a two-hour walking tour and I would have liked to stay for at least another two hours!  The view from the highest point in the city is incredible.  I could see for miles.  We were able to see gates, stables, servants quarters, remains of the oven, and the hall of Abd al-Rahman III.  I loved to just stand in the center of the city and gaze out upon the remains and imagine what I would have seen if I was standing there 1000 years ago.  What would the people be doing?  What would they look like?  What would they be wearing?  How would the city look?  After the tour at the ruins we visited the museum, which had original and reconstructed items from the city.  Then we got to watch a 20 minute video that portrayed what the city might have looked at during it's prime.  I would suggest to others going here to do the walking tour outside first.  I liked to have my own images of the city before I saw the video. Also, it's a good idea to go early in the morning before you roast in the sun.  This has definitely been one of my most favorite activities so far.

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