The Route of the Caliphate

The Route of the Caliphate
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This route connects the most important capital cities in the history of Muslim Spain, Cordoba and Granada, and also ventures into the frontier territories of Jaén.

The road links Cordoba and Granada, the Caliph and Nasrid capitals of Al-Andalus. It was one of the most widely travelled routes on the Iberian peninsular during the Middle Ages, as it was used by merchants from all over the world, who supplied and traded with these major population centres; it was also a channel for the communication of knowledge, science and art.

The territories along this route were privy to all the influence and benefits of the Caliphate of Cordoba during its period of maximum splendour, when its capital was the hub of the most brilliant cultural activity in the west.

Cordoba, the starting point. This was the site of the independent state which constituted the beginnings of Muslim Spain, from which Abd al-Rahman I established the emirate ruled by the Omeyad dynasty in the 8th century. In the 10th century, Abd al-Rahman III raised it to the category of caliphate, giving rise to a period of political and cultural splendour never seen before that time. A testament to this glory is the architectural jewel known as the Great Mosque of Cordoba, which has been declared a World Heritage Site.

Cordoba's welcoming atmosphere extends to the ruins of the palatial city of Madinat al-Zahra.

The route then heads towards Espejo, Castro del Río and Baena, historic towns with sturdy fortresses and walls, also known for their exquisite wines.

The itinerary continues through the mountains of the Subbética ranges, and through the legendary and charming villages of Zuheros and Luque, each crowned by its own castle.

Another branch of the route leads southwards towards the countryside south of Cordoba: Fernán Núñez, Montemayor, Montilla and Aguilar de la Frontera, with its original polygonal square.

Lucena, Cabra and Priego de Córdoba contribute a Baroque touch to the route, while the battlements of the castles of Carcabuey, Alcaudete and Castillo de Locubín are a reminder of frontier life.

From Alcalá la Real onwards we can already see the outskirts of Granada, in Moclín and Colomera. Our journey nears its end as we pass through Pinos Puente to Güevejar, Cogollos Vega, Alfacar andVíznar, before reaching the enchantments of our final destination: Granada.

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The Route of the Caliphate - 1
Difficulty Low
A Fernán-Núñez
B Montemayor
C Montilla
D Aguilar de la Frontera
The Route of the Caliphate - 2
Difficulty Medium
A Alcalá la Real
B Moclín
C Colomera
D Pinos Puente
E Güevéjar
F Cogollos de la Vega
G Alfacar
H Víznar
I Granada
The Route of the Caliphate - 3
Difficulty Medium
A Córdoba
B Conjunto Arqueológico Medina Azahara
C Espejo
D Castro del Río
E Baena
F Zuheros
G Luque
The Route of the Caliphate - 4
Difficulty Medium
A Lucena
B Cabra
C Priego de Córdoba
D Carcabuey
E Alcaudete
F Castillo de Locubín

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Routes of the Heritage of Al-Andalus


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