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Medina Azahara

Medina Azahara

1. Towards the Rich Hall


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Palace of the favourite wife

Medina Azahara, Spain

Medina Azahara, Spain

10th century Caliph Abdurrahman 3 was a most amorous man, and nobody pleased him more than his favourite wife az-Zahra. His love and lust took total control over 1/3 of the annual state budget from 936 until 961, in order to build her a city he believed was fit for a woman like her.
For modern visitors, the Medina Azahara can look like never was completed and then abandoned. But this condition is actually a product of looting for building materials over centuries. Both the Alcazar of Sevilla and the nearby Monastery of San JÚronimo were served with pieces from az-Zahra's palace city.
It was not before 1944 that excavations and restoration of the area was begun. Many areas are still in such a poor condition that your imagination will have to do all of the reconstruction. The nicest parts are also the most important, the palace.

By Tore Kjeilen