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Medina Azahara

Located a few miles west of Cordoba, the remains of 10th century palace city of Medina Azahara (also known as Medinat al-Zahra) are worth a short trip. At one time, this city was of unimaginable luxury and glory. Although there is nothing but ruins, visitors can feel the former magnificence of the city.

Medina Azahara Image Gallery

In 936, Abd al-Rahman III commanded to built this city which was probably the most beautiful manmade place the world has ever seen. It took three decades and the power of 10,000 workers to built palaces, dwelling houses, gardens and a mosque.

Medina Azahara was built on three large terraces on a southward slope. Its plan is rectangular and it spans over an area of more than 110 hectares (270 acres).

Chronicles give evidence of the exceptional magnificence of Medina City. These records report of a Golden Saloon and a Throne Hall being decorated with arches of ebony and ivory, marble, gold, and jewels.

The height of this great city where, in the first instance, foreign representatives and ambassadors were received, was not of duration. 74 years after it was completed, Berbers took and looted the city so that it sank into oblivion. It was 1910 when archaeologists rediscovered Medina Azahara and started to excavate its ruins. Since 1923, the remains of the city had been declared as protected historic site.

Even in present days parts of glorious paintings, columns and walls are in relatively good condition. Two Saloons underwent restoration in the 1990s. Restoration is to be continued; reconstruction work may result in temporary closures of certain areas of the monument.

On November 18th, 2014 Medina Azahara has been accepted for the recommendation list for future world cultural heritage sites. The is first step towards Medina Azahara’s designation as world cultural heritage.

Note: Starting in spring 2017, Medina Azahara will be offering nocturnal visitation. As many as 814 LED lights are being installed which will illuminate buildings, gardens and paths meandering through the monument.




Carretera de Palma del Rio, km 5.5
14005 Cordoba

Tel.: (+34) 957 – 10 36 37


Tue - Sat: 9 am - 6.30 pm
Sundays, holidays: 9 am - 3.30pm
Closed on Mondays

Special Summer Hours
16 June - 15 September

Tuesday - Sunday, holidays:
9 am - 3.30 pm
Closed on Mondays

Entrance Fee

EU residents (proof required, e.g. passport) free, all others 1.50 EUR

Getting There

GPS Coordinates

From Cordoba use N-431 westbound, make a right turn at km 5.5.

There is a regularly scheduled bus service between Cordoba and the Medina Azahara archaeological site. Departures are in Cordoba, Paseo de la Victoria Blvd.

37.88759, -4.86904

  Mezquita Mosqe

  Alcázar de los Reyes

  Medina Azahara

  Puente Romano


  Caballerizas Reales

  Templo Romano

  Torre de la Calahorra

  Torre de la Malmuerta

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