Cordoba

What connection does it have to Arabia?

This is a city in Spain.

However, it was formerly the Islamic capital of Spain, and it was ruled by Muslims from the 700s to the 1200s. At one point, it was the largest Islamic city in the world.

It’s still home to The Great Mosque of Cordoba.

Why I Looked It Up

I was watching Lawrence of Arabia. The Arab Prince Feisal, played by Alec Guinness, says, wistfully:

Which is why my father made this war upon the Turks. My father, Mr Lawrence, not the English. But my father is old and I… I long for the vanished gardens of Cordoba. However, before the gardens must come the fighting.

I was curious about this, because I was vaguely aware of Cordoba being a European city. I was confused why an Arab character would express longing for a city in mainland Europe.

This line, incidentally, seems to be a verse from a 19th century poem by Abd Al Rahman III.

I long for the gardens at Cordoba,
Where the maidens weep like morning roses
And the sun never rises without gilding
The clouds with the colors of red roses,
Where the tears that fall from paradisal skies
Are the tears that quench Cordoba’s roses.

I can’t figure out if the gardens were literal, or simply a figurative expression of the love of Cordoba.

This is item #96 in a sequence of 435 items.

You can use your left/right arrow keys to navigate