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Córdoba, also called Cordova, is a city in Andalucía, southern Spain, and the capital of the province of Córdoba. Located,on the Guadalquivir river, it was founded in ancient Roman times. Today a moderately sized modern city, the old town contains many impressive architectural reminders of when Córdoba was the thriving capital of the Caliphate of Cordoba that governed almost all of the Iberian peninsula.
In Roman times, the city had more cultural buildings than Rome. It was the capital of the province of Hispania Baetica. Remains of the Roman Temple built by Claudius Marcellus, the Roman Bridge and other Roman remains can still be seen around the city. It is believed that Córdova was the largest city in the world from 935 to 1013.
Córdoba was conquered by the Moors in 711, and Moorish influence can still be felt in the city. During the time of Islamic rule, Córdoba was the largest city and arguably embodied the most sophisticated culture and the most developed bureaucracy in Europe. The most important monument in the city is the former Mosque (the 3rd largest mosque in the world), known as the Mezquita. After the conquest, the Christians rebuilt the cathedral that had once stood before it was 'converted' into the mosque.
Another splendid monument is the city (in ruins) Medina Azahara (Arab: Madinat Al-Zahra). Other important monuments are the Alcázar de los Reyes Cristianos, where in 1492, Christopher Columbus got permission to travel to the "Indies". The califal baths and its churchs and typical streets of the Jewish quarter Judería. Córdoba was recovered from the Muslims by Christian invaders of the north as part of the Reconquista in 1236, and became a center of activity against the remaining Islamic regions.