More than 500 years have passed since the fall of the final caliphate in Andalusian Spain, but the Moorish influence still whispers down backstreets and echoes off tiled courtyards. You’ll see it in the city’s architecture and taste it in the local cuisine. You’ll hear it in the plucked-string sounds of Flamenco played in hidden corners.
Until the mid-8th century, the Umayyads ruled the Islamic empire, a swathe of territory that covered much of the modern-day Middle East as well as the Iberian Peninsula and North Africa. The Abbasids overthrew the Umayyads in 750 A.D., and the young Umayyad prince fled across the Straights of Gibraltar to form a new capital in exile at Cordoba, in southern Spain. This began the Moorish reign in Al-Andalus, the Arabic name for the Iberian terrain, a period of time marked by artistic excellence and scientific progress.