|Córdoba was founded by the Romans due to its strategic importance as the highest navigable point of the Guadalquivir River, it became a port city of great importance, used for shipping Spanish olive oil, wine and wheat back to Ancient Rome. In 716 Córdoba was captured by the Muslims, and became the capital of the Moorish kingdom of El-Andalus. In the tenth century Córdoba was one of the largest cities in the world, with a population of maybe up to 500,000 inhabitants.
Córdobas heyday was during the early Moorish period when it was reputed to be the most splendid city of Europe. The main tourist attraction is the Great Mosque (the Mezquita), built between 785 and 1002 and one of the largest Mosques in all of Islam. When the city was reconquered by the Christians in 1236, the new rulers of the city were so awed by the beauty of the Great Mosque that they left it stand. In the 16th century a Christian cathedral was build in the center of the mosque in the midst of its rows of arches and columns, creating the extraordinary church-mosque we see today.
Nowadays, Córdoba is also a modern city, with a population of around 325,000, well connected to other Andalusian cities by the high speed train, AVE, linking Córdoba with Sevilla (138 km.) and Madrid (400 km.). Inside the city it is very easy and fast to reach your destination due to an efficient public transport system.
Córdoba is also synonymous with art, culture and leisure, thanks to a myriad of cultural events that are organized here throughout the year: Flamenco festivals, concerts, ballet and other activities. These are complemented by a number of museums and an exciting nightlife.