Córdoba (Cordova in English) is a city in Andalusia, southern Spain, and the capital of the province of Córdoba. Located at 37.88° North, 4.77° West, on the Guadalquivir river, it was founded in ancient Roman times as Corduba by Claudius Marcellus. Its population in 2007 was 323,600.
Today a moderately-sized modern city, the old town contains many impressive architectural reminders of when Córdoba was the thriving capital of the Caliphate of Córdoba that governed almost all of the Iberian peninsula. It has been estimated that Córdoba, with up to 500,000 inhabitants in the tenth century, was the largest city in Western Europe and, perhaps, in the world.
Córdoba was the capital of the Roman province of Hispania Ulterior Baetica. Great philosophers like Lucius Annaeus Seneca the Younger, orators like Seneca the Elder and poets like Lucan expressed themselves in the palaces of Córdoba. Later, it occupied an important place in the Provincia Hispaniae of the Byzantine Empire (552-572) and during the Visigoth period.
It was captured in 716 by the Muslims, and Córdoba became capital during the Umayyad Caliphate, the period of its apogee, with a population ranging between 250,000 and 500,000 inhabitants. In the 10th century, Córdoba – called قرطبة (Qurţuba) in Arabic – was one of the largest cities in the world, as well as a great cultural, political and economic centre. The Córdoba Mosque dates back to this time. In 1236 it was captured by the king of Castile.
With one of the most extensive historical heritages in the world (declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO December 17 1984), the city also features a number of modern areas, including the districts of Zoco and the railway station district, Plan RENFE.
The regional government (the Junta de Andalucía) has for some time been studying the creation of a Córdoba Metropolitan Area that would comprise, in addition to the capital itself, the towns of Villafranca, Obejo, La Carlota, Villaharta, Villaviciosa, Almodóvar del Río. and Guadalcázar. The combined population of such an area would be around 351,000.
The city is located in a depression of the valley of the Guadalquivir. In the north is the Sierra Morena, which defines the borders of the municipal area.
Summers, with increased daily thermal oscillations, have the highest maximum temperatures in Europe, exceeding 40 °C occasionally. Local minimum summer temperature is 27 °C, the highest in Spain and Europe. Precipitation is concentrated in the coldest months; this is due to the Atlantic coastal influence. Precipitation is generated by storms from the west that occur more often from December through February. This Atlantic characteristic then gives way to a hot summer with significant drought more typical of Mediterranean climates.
Annual rain surpasses 500 mm although there is a recognized inter-annual irregularity. In agreement with the climatic Classification of Köppen, the local climate can be described as Csa.
Registered maximum temperatures at Córdoba Airport (located at 6 km of the city) are 46.6° (23rd, July 1995) and 46.2° (1st, August 2003). The minimum temperature is -8.2° (28 January 2005).
Córdoba was also the birthplace of
In addition some scholars have linked to Córdoba
Both of these were evidently descended from families which lived in Córdoba before the expulsion of the Jews from Spain.
More recently, several flamenco artists were born here as well, including