Snatched from Wikipedia:
Córdoba (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈkorðoβa]) is a city in Andalusia, southern Spain, and the capital of the province of Córdoba. An Iberian and Roman city in ancient times, in the Middle Ages it became the capital of an Islamic caliphate.
The old town contains numerous architectural reminders of when Corduba was the capital of Hispania Ulterior during the Roman Republic and capital of Hispania Baetica during the Roman Empire; and when Qurṭuba (قرطبة) was the capital of the Islamic Caliphate of Córdoba, including most of the Iberian peninsula.
It has been estimated that in the 10th century and beginning of the 11th century, Córdoba was the most populous city in the world,12 and during these centuries became the intellectual center of Europe.3
At the time of Julius Caesar, Córdoba was the capital of the Roman province of Hispania Ulterior Baetica. Great Roman philosophers such as Lucius Annaeus Seneca the Younger, orators such as Seneca the Elder and poets such as Lucan came from Roman Cordoba. Later, it occupied an important place in the Provincia Hispaniae of the Byzantine Empire (552–572) and under the Visigoths, who conquered it in the late 6th century.
Córdoba was captured in 7115 by an Arab/Berber Muslim army. In 716 it became a provincial capital, subordinate to the Caliphate of Damascus; in Arabic it was known as قرطبة (Qurṭubah). In May 766, it was chosen as the capital of the independent Arab Muslim emirate of al-Andalus, later a Caliphate itself. During the caliphate apogee (1000 AD), Córdoba had a population of roughly 500,000 inhabitants,6 though estimates range between 350,000 and 1,000,000. In the 10th and 11th centuries, Córdoba was one of the most advanced cities in the world as well as a great cultural, political, financial and economic centre. The Great Mosque of Córdoba dates back to this time; under caliph Al-Hakam II Córdoba had 3,000 mosques, splendid palaces and 300 public baths, and received what was then the largest library in the world, housing from 400,000 to 1,000,000 volumes.
After the fall of the caliphate (1031), Córdoba became the capital of a Republican independent taifa. This short-lived state was conquered by Al-Mu’tamid ibn Abbad, lord of Seville, in 1070. In turn, the latter was overthrown by the Almoravids, who were later replaced by the Almohads.
During the latter’s domination the city declined, the role of the capital of Muslim al-Andalus having been given to Seville. On 29 June 1236, after a siege of several months, it was captured by King Ferdinand III of Castile, during the Spanish Reconquista. The city was divided into 14 colaciones, and numerous new church buildings were added.