The capital of the province of Córdoba has over 321,000 inhabitants and is located in the south of Spain, on the banks of the river Guadalquivir and at the foot of the Sierra Morena. The climate is a mixture of mediterranean, continental and atlantic climates, with soft winters and very warm summers (maximum temperatures rising above 40º) Some famous people from Córdoba are: Luis de Góngora (poet), Felipe and Alfonso Reyes (basketball players), Fernando Tejero (actor) and Julio Romero de Torres (painter)
The first reference to Córdoba can be found in the third century b.C, in the tartessian period, when a small setttlement that controlled about 50 acres was founded. Thanks to the nearby Sierra Morena mountain range there was a certain abundance of metals and the economy was based on the metallurgy of copper and silver. When the Cartagenes came to the city it received its first name: Karduba, in which you can easily recognize the present name of the city. In 206 b.C the romans conquered the city and started to build their monuments and a forum. It became the scene of various fights between two different groups, the Caesareans and the Pompeyans, until the year 45 b.C. Under the reign of emperor Augustus the city expanded towards the river. Córdoba was attacked and occupied by the Vandals after the fall of the Roman empire. A century later the Visigoths appeared in Spain and occupied the city. They also built various monuments. With the arrival of the Arabs in 716 the city became the capital of the Emirate of Córdoba, and practically all of Al-Ándalus. Córdoba grew exponentially, reaching 450,000 inhabitants in the year 1000, making it the most heavily populated city of that time. The city’s best-known building was constructed during this time: The Mezquita de Córdoba. The Christian reconquest took place in 1236 and all arabs were ordered to convert or leave the city. Under the reign of king Fernando III several churches were built, both in the city as well as outside. In 1328 king Alfonso XI ordered the construction of the building we now know as the Alcázar de los Reyes Cristianos, the royal palace of Córdoba. The city also was the base of operations for the reconquest of Granada in 1492. Works on the cathedral started in 1523 and were directed by Hernán Ruiz I, he used both Gothic and Renaissance styles. His son Hernán Ruiz II continued working on the cathedral, but he applied Mannerism to his designs. He was also responsable for the construction of the casa de los Villalones. The centuries that followed were characterized by epidemics, droughts and bad governments, causing the city to change and lose much of its former glory. But at the beginning of the 20th century a demographic recuperation took place, but the economic recuperation started only in the second part of the 20th century. New quarters were constructed and the University was founded. Nowadays the city breathes a modern atmosphere, but with respect to the old traditions.
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