Córdoba or Cordova as it is known in English, is a city in Andalusia, southern Spain. Cordova was an Iberian and Roman city in ancient times, during the Middle Ages, later it became the capital of an Islamic caliphate. It has been estimated that in the 10th century Córdoba was the most populous city in the world, and under the rule of CaliphAl Hakam II it had also become a centre for education under its Islamic rulers. Al Hakam II opened many libraries on top of the many medical schools and universities which existed at this time. Such universities contributed towards developments in mathematics and astronomy. During these centuries Córdoba had become the intellectual centre of Europe and was also known for its predominantly Muslim society that was tolerant toward its Christian and Jewish minorities.
Today it is a moderately-sized modern city; its population in 2011 was about 330,000. The historic centre , the second largest Old town in Europe ,was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The first trace of human presence in the area is remains of a Neanderthal Man, dating to c. 42,000 to 35,000 B.C.E
The most important building and symbol of the city, the Great Mosque of Córdoba and current cathedral, alongside the Roman bridge, are the best known facet of the city. Other Roman remains include the Roman Temple, the Theatre, Mausoleum, the Colonial Forum, the Forum Adiectum, an amphitheater and the remains of the Palace of the Emperor Maximian in the Archaeological site of Cercadilla, among others. Near the cathedral is the old Jewish quarter, which consists of many irregular streets, such as Calleja de las Flores and Calleja del Pañuelo, and which is home to the Synagogue and the Sephardic House. In the extreme southwest of the Old Town is the Alcázar de los Reyes Cristianos, a former royal property and the seat of the Inquisition; adjacent to it are the Royal Stables, a breeding place of the Andalusian horse. Near the stables are located, along the walls, the medieval Baths of the Caliphate. In the south of the Old town and east of the great cathedral, in the Plaza del Potro, is the Posada del Potro, a row of inns mentioned in literary works such as Don Quixote and La Feria de los Discretos. Along the banks of the Guadalquivir are the Mills of the Guadalquivir, moorish era buildings that took advantage of the water force to grind the flour. The city is home to 12 Christian churches that were built (many as transformations of mosques) by Ferdinand III of Castile after the reconquest of the city in the 13th century. They were to act both as churches and as the administrative centres in the neighborhoods into which the city was divided in medieval times.