Reception hall of
|Inscription||2018 (42nd |
Medina Azahara (
Built beginning in 936-940, the city included ceremonial reception halls, mosques, administrative and government offices, gardens, a mint, workshops, barracks, residences and baths. Water was supplied through aqueducts.
The main reason for its construction was politico-ideological: the dignity of the Caliph required the establishment of a new city, a symbol of his power, imitating other Eastern
Located 4 miles (6.4 km) west of
There was also a quarry of
The topography played a decisive role in shaping the city. Taking full advantage of the uneven terrain, the palace city of Madinat az-Zahra was distributed in three terraces. Unlike the labyrinthine and chaotic character typical of Muslim urbanism, the site of the city adopted a rectangular shape comprising an area of 112 hectares. It extended 1,500 metres (4,900 ft) per side from east to west and about 750 metres (2,460 ft) from north to south, just warped on the north side by the need to adapt to the difficult topography of the terrain.
Its location in the foothills of Sierra Morena made it possible to design an urban program in which the location and physical relationships between the various constructions were expressive of the role of each in the setting. The palace was located at a higher level, and staggered its buildings along the side of the mountain in an expression of clear preeminence over the urban hamlets and the Aljama Mosque spread across the plains below. Following the terraces, the first corresponds to the residential area of the caliph, next comes the official area including the houses of the viziers, the guard-room, administrative offices and gardens. Next is the city proper, with housing, crafts, and the great mosque of the two lower terraces separated by another wall in order to isolate the upper palace complex. Archaeological research[
There were two complexes outside but close by the city, one a large