"Entering through the North Gate" Medina AzahÓra Things to Do Tip by sim1

Medina AzahÓra Things to Do: 32 reviews and 70 photos

  North Gate
by sim1
  • North Gate - Medina Azahàra
      North Gate
    by sim1
  • Madinat al-Zahra - Medina Azahàra
      Madinat al-Zahra
    by sim1
  • Madinat al-Zahra - Medina Azahàra
      Madinat al-Zahra
    by sim1
  • Shall we go left or right? - Medina Azahàra
      Shall we go left or right?
    by sim1

Okay, it is time to start moving and discover this archaeological site for ourselves. The parking place is located above the Madinat al-Zahra and the old city stretches on a terrace-like slope out below us. Old walls, piles of stones and impressive arches are visible in the distance while we walk over paved streets down the slope into the city. Our first stop is at the 'North Gate' which needs some imagination and additional information to understand the significance of this place.

The road leading to the gate is the so called Walnut-Tree way (Camino de los Nogales) which was the fastest route to Cordoba. This was the main entrance from where the city got its food supplies and construction materials. What we see nowadays is a partial reconstruction of the 1930's as looters took many of the blocks forming the original gateway and tower.

It is interesting to notice that the gateway consists of a passage with several right-angled turns, defended by a tower and at the time a small group of guards. This was a common system in Islamic military architecture to control and defend the entrance gateways.

When following the road into the city you will end up at a crossing where you have to decide to go left or right. Left will bring you to the administrative section of the Alcßzar and right to the residential part of the Alcßzar. You always have to return to this point to get from one area to another. We opted to go left first, into the administrative section, but I don't think there is any advantage/difference which area you would choose to visit first.

Address: Carretera de Palma del RÝo, Km 8, 14029 Cordoba
Phone: +34 957329130
Website: http://www.juntadeandalucia.es/cultura/madinatalzahra

Review Helpfulness: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Mar 30, 2008
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