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World Heritage Site

for World Heritage Travellers

Madinat al-Zahra

Madinat al-Zahra is part of the Tentative list of Spain in order to qualify for inclusion in the World Heritage List.

Click here for a short description of the site, as delivered by the state party.

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  • Tentative

The coordinates shown for all tentative sites were produced as a community effort. They are not official and may change on inscription.

Community Reviews


Svein Heltberg Norway 06.12.17

Madinat al-Zahra (T) by Svein Heltberg

After the WHS-gettogether in September 2017 we had a Sunday drive ending in Cordoba where we spent the night. When leaving for Malaga airport we decided to make the detour of 8 km to the archeological site of Madinat al-Zahra. It was Monday and we knew the museum and the site itself was closed, but we defied that. It is a former city - something must be possible to see!

We arrived just after noon and the museum parking lot was empty and the museum closed as expected. We looked for signs to archeological site – but there were none. Anyway we chose the most likely direction and drove – and in 5 minutes we discovered something that we agreed had to be the Madinat. It was slightly uphill so we got a nice view and with the camera lens we got a couple of nice pictures.

We could see no city, but building-structures and arcs that still are standing upright tells some of the story of what it has been. The site is the capital of the caliphate Abd al-Rahman III founded in 940, abandoned in 1010, then slowly buried in a meadow. By the years it turned into a myth of a faraway western point of Islam, then revealed in 1911.

We got the overview, but missed the archeological details. When it becomes a true world heritage site we have to revisit this place.


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Site Info

Site History

  • 2015 - Submitted 
  • 2015 - Revision Formerly on T List as Medina Azahara, Cordoba (1998)

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  • Madinat al-Zahra