Cordoba, capital of a province in Andalucia with the same name, sports Europe's highest summer temperatures.
The city sits at the banks of the Guadalquivir river and is renowned for its leather works and skilled silversmiths.
Cordoba has a long history that features ancient Iberians and invading Carthaginians, Romans, Visigoths and Muslims.
Around 230 BC Hamilcar Barca named the place Kartuba and in 206 BC the Romans renamed it Corduba.
In Roman times the city was the capital of Hispania Baetica, a Roman province. The origins of the Puente Romano bridge hark back to this time.
In 711 the Muslim Umayyad army took Cordoba by storm. As capital of the Emirate and later Caliphate of Cordoba, Cordoba flourished and became the economic, political and cultural center of Al-Andalus. In this period the Great Mosque, also known as the Mesquita, was constructed together with many other mosques and monuments.
After 1000 AD, infighting and a slave uprising caused the demise of the caliphate and Cordoba's heydays were over. The city went on as capital of the much lesser important Taifa of Cordoba.
In 1236 the city was captured
by Ferdinand III of Castile, ending a Muslim rule that lasted for 5 centuries.
The decline of Cordoba continued and it was not before early 20th century that a recovery took place.
Cordoba became a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1984 and today the city draws scores of tourists.