Medina Azahara

Medina Azahara tickets and tours

The Medina Azahara (the Shining City) of Córdoba is the ruins of a fortified palace and city found at the base of the Sierra Morena mountains around 5...

In the top 5 attractions for Cordoba
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Guided Tour
Walking tours
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Explore the vast medieval palace of the Medina Azahara of Córdoba on a 3-hour guided tour, and travel back in time to the days of the Caliph...

Duration
3 hours
Free cancellation
Available in: English
Attractions & monuments

Medina Azahara is an architectural complex located 8km from Córdoba, which can be reached by car or bus. It is one of the best preserved sit...

Duration
3 hours
Free cancellation
Available in: English
Attractions & monuments

Would you like to discover one of the most important monuments in Córdoba with an expert guide? With this 2-hours guided tour you will disco...

Duration
3 hours
Free cancellation
Available in: English

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The inside story

The Medina Azahara (the Shining City) of Córdoba is the ruins of a fortified palace and city found at the base of the Sierra Morena mountains around 5 miles from the city center of Córdoba. Considered one of the most important archaeological sites in Spain, it is also a popular tourist attraction for those visiting Córdoba.

Construction of the new city began in 936 as an assertion of power by Caliph Abd-al Rahman III. Originally constructed as the Caliph’s residence and headquarters of the Caliphate, the city quickly became one of the most powerful and influential medieval kingdoms in all of Europe.

The city was built on three terraces surrounded by a city wall and consisted of the royal palace, mosques, government offices, residences, gardens and baths. The existence of the city was short-lived after it was destroyed in 1010 during a civil war, which brought about the end of the Caliphate. The city was left in ruins, untouched and forgotten until it’s rediscovery in the early 20th century.

A large portion of the site remains unexcavated but the ruins of the Caliph’s palace, the mosque and other areas have been excavated and restored. Visit the Medina Azahara and feel the magnificence of this former city, take in the beauty of the precious stone and appreciate the distinct Andalusian Islamic architecture.

There is a museum also on site, which is located just over a mile away from the archaeological site, next to the visitor reception. It features artifacts from the site and historic information about the history of Córdoba and the Caliphate. In addition to the museum, there is an auditorium where you can watch a short video on the history of the Medina Azahara.

The Medina Azahara is accessible by car and there is parking situated beside the visitor reception and museum. There is also a public bus which leaves the center of Córdoba during the summer but a guided tour with transportation included from Córdoba is the most convenient way to visit the Medina Azahara. To arrive at the actual archaeological site, you have to take the shuttle bus from the visitor reception as it is the only authorized vehicle allowed on the site.

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How to get there

Medina Azahara Ctra. Palma del Río, km 5.5, 14005 Córdoba, Spain Cordoba
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