Ornament Of The World

The fame of Córdoba penetrated even distant Germany: the Saxon nun Hroswitha, famous in the last half of the 10th century for her Latin poems and dramas, called it the Ornament of the World.  —Reinhardt Dozy


In a city of Andalusia, southern Spain, lies the ruins of what was once an empire that held the seeds of gracious civilization.  Today, imagine the broken architectural ruins that was once bustling with life.  Like Jolo, in the southernmost tip of the Philippines where peoples of various faith once lived peacefully, intertwined by marriages and traditions, Cordoba once had Muslims, Jews and Christians living as neighbors without rancor.  Caliphs had Jewish advisers and Christians as negotiators.

Moses Maimonides, famous Jewish philosopher, was born in Cordoba.  He was a jurist and physician, and was also known by his Arabic name Abū ʿImran Mūsā ibn Maymūn ibn ʿUbayd Allāh.  Maimonides Hospital in New York City was named after Moses Maimonides.

Albucasis, Arab Muslim physician and surgeon came from Cordoba.  His contributions to surgical procedures and instruments are still applied to this day. Recognition of ectopic pregnancy and haemophilia groundwork started with Albucasis.

Before we started exploring Cordoba, on the recommendation of a native Spaniard, also revisiting Cordoba, we stopped at a small coffee shop to taste the hot chocolate and churro.  The hot chocolate was excellent, so thick and creamy, you could stand a spoon in it and the churro was delightful.


The Medina az-Zahra, once known as the Versailles of the Middle Ages, (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medina_Azahara) is now only 10% of what it was at the height of its glory.  Today, excavation which started in 1911 is still ongoing, and from the 10% that is on display now, one can just imagine the wonders to be unfolded when all is done.  My second visit to this place, after more than two decades, still left me in awe at what men at peace can do with vast imagination and determination.  The library of the caliphs is said to have had over four hundred thousand books.  For now, it is just one of the Palaces of Memories.  New orange trees now dot the landscape around the Medina, much like it used to be in the medieval ages.

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The Mezquita Catedral de Cordoba, designed by a Syrian, boast grand hallways with roofs supported by pillars of beautiful stones in the hypostyle.  Richly flowing arcades, honeycombed domes, colorful mosaics, calligraphy, doors, screens, bearing Moorish architectural influences leaves one in awe.  My pictures are an attempt to add this stunning place to my own palace of memories, but certainly do not do this justice to the Mezquita.

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After the reconquista, christians took over the Mezquita and moorish influences were embedded with christian ideology.

I could never tire visiting this place.




10 comments on “Ornament Of The World

  1. Hello Doll,

    I live precariously through you. I thought you might be traveling, but
    was not sure. I always learn something new from you. Oh my, it sounds
    wonderful the places you have visited. Your narrative is so clear, I can
    imagine life in these cities centuries ago. I love traveling and seeing
    beautiful buildings, its truly amazing what man can do when he is not

    We will speak soon.

    Thank you for sharing with me.


    Larkia Bigby
    Legal Secretary
    JONES DAY® – One Firm Worldwide℠
    222 East 41st Street
    New York, New York 10017
    Direct: (212) 326-7861
    Email: lbigby@jonesday.com

  2. You really write so well, cuzz, your reviews are a joy to read. They could be little novels, well researched, all those juicy tidbits of historical facts, such beautiful prose.

    Our batch year in high school has planned a trip to Italy in October, and I immediately signed up for the Tuscany, Montecacino portion. Only to find out it’s a big big group of 49! I hate big groups😣, I can’t occupy two seats on the bus and make myself comfortable. They have already rented a huge villa (which was what clicked for me). It is a long trip but I might skip the Rome portion, join them for Milan and leave from there because the bulk are going on to Prague and Budapest which I just visited last year (and the Taiwan itinerary I had was probably better). From Milan, I might want to spend a few nights in Venice before coming home. What would you recommend as must sees in those areas?

    Hugs, keep writing those ripples. I can’t seem to access the whole article in Amazon. Will do some fiddling later in the day when have more leisure.


    Sent from my iPhone


    • Thank you my dear. You are no slouch in the writing department either I read your reviews and they are great. We should collaborate on a mini-series on our ancestors.

  3. Hi Bertie, Hi Bertie I really admire your writings! I think you’re very talented and you could write a book! Is this the same place in Spain where you’re going! It’s really beautiful! Thanks again for sending! See you soon! Take care! Mely

    Sent from my iPhone


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