Córdoba or Cordova (both: kôrˈdōvä) [key], city (1990 pop. 307,275), capital of Córdoba prov., S Spain, in Andalusia, on the Guadalquivir River. Modern industries in the city include brewing, distilling, textile manufacturing, metallurgy, and tourism. Córdoba flourished under the Romans, then passed to the Visigoths (572) and the Moors (711). Under the Umayyad dynasty it became the seat (756–1031) of an independent emirate, later called caliphate, which included most of Muslim Spain. The city was then one of the greatest and wealthiest in Europe, renowned as a center of Muslim and Jewish culture and admired for its architectural glories—notably, the great mosque, begun in the 8th cent., which is one of the finest of all Muslim monuments—and for its gold, silver, silk, and leather work. The city reached its zenith under Abd ar-Rahman III, who also founded the city of Medina Azahara, whose ruins E of Córdoba were discovered in 1911. Córdoba declined after the fall of the Umayyads and became subject to Seville in 1078. Ferdinand III of Castile conquered it in 1236; in 1238 the great mosque became a cathedral. Córdoba never recovered its former splendor, but remained famous for its work in gold, silver, and leather. It was sacked by the French in 1808 and sided with Franco early (1936) in the civil war. The Senecas, Lucan, Averroës, and Maimonides were born in Córdoba. There is a university in the city.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.