10 October 2007

Spain - Day 5 Medina Azahara

After staying in Cordoba the night before we were handy for Medina or Madinat Al-Zahra as they call it locally.

We arrived about 1100 after a late morning and getting the car from the car-park and the heavy traffic in Cordoba!

The car-park at Zahra is quite small and less simple once a coach or two are involved. We ended up on the way in, half on the road and half in a ditch, and they charged us 80¢ for the privilege.

On the other hand it is free for EU citizens to get in!

For the next three hours we spent walking in the burning heat and looking at the magnificence that Abd ar-Rahman III built and named after his wife.

As well as a palace it was also his main seat of power and was connected to the city at Cordoba with a brick road, sadly not yellow or paved with gold.

The site is in two halves, the business and private areas. It is hard to see the difference. Both show an oppulence that was designed to show his power and visitors got the IKEA system of walking round and round to get to his official "office" or the throne room. The best of the discoveries was in the private area and is covered to protect it.

The work of discovery and restoration will take years and years.

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