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“The resplendent city”

Archaeological Ensemble of Madinat Al-Zahra
Ranked #10 of 142 things to do in Cordoba
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: Monday Closed
Reviewed August 15, 2013

The Madina Alzahara or (resplendent city) was built by Abdul Al-Rhaman lll as an alternative to the blistering heat and indefensability of the city of Cordoba it is a huge archaeological feat which is being carried through with great skill and care.
the entrance was free to EU citizens.
A hat is essential in summer

Thank durnfordSpain
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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251 - 255 of 1,913 reviews

Reviewed August 14, 2013

The archeological site and the museum are really worth considering; the museum is modern and captivating; the visit to the site is a really valuable experience (although the Throne Room is now closed) if you will be accompanied by a knowledgeable and passionate guide like Rafael Jesus Alvarez Cordoba.

Il sito archeologico e il museo sono assolutamente da visitare.
Il museo è coinvolgente e all'avanguardia; la visita al sito diventa un splendida esperienza (nonostante la Sala del Trono sia al momento chiusa) se, come noi, vi farete accompagnare da una guida esperta e appassionata come Rafael Jesus Alvarez Cordoba.

El yacimiento arquelogico y el museo son muy bonitos.
El museo es envolviente y moderno; la visita a el yacimiento es esplendida si, como nos, encontrais una guia experta y apasionada como Rafael Jesus Alvarez Cordoba.

Thank GiorgiaMirko78
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 4, 2013

I can't say that this place is mandatory for visiting, but if you have time you should visit it. The excavations are still "young" and the restorations are still in progress. It's an interesting place with great history, but unfortunately forgotten by the time. Also, it's very hot during the summer days (38 degrees + ), so be prepared. The official way to visit is to stop at the museum's parking ( which is about 1.5 km away ), to enter into the museum and then to catch a special shuttle bus ( on every 15-20 minutes ). As we found out, due to the EU funding, the entrance tickets are free for EU citizens ( but the buss is 2 euro ). If you want, you can try to go to the excavations by your self - there have a small parking, but the road to there is very narrow. Guiding information on place is available, but it's better to find a guide. We was not prepared, but fortunately we met Rafael, a freelance guide, which made us an excavations tour for about an hour. You can find him at rjalvaco@gmail.com, but if not, probably you can ask in the museum.

Thank vasilevn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 20, 2013

Very nice archaeological site. I learned a lot about Spain in the past during the Islamic era. I joined guided tour and the guide is good, has a lot of knowledge & passionate about the history. As mentioned by other reviewers, to go there we have to arrange it in tourist info office or travel agent. We then take a bus outside Cordoba for around 30-40 min to the museum. There we change the bus to the archaeological site. The guided tour takes around 1.5 hour and only leave around half an hour for visiting the museum before the bus to Cordoba departs! Surely it's not enough. At least we need another 1.5 hour for the museum. I don't know how to advise on this, but just plan it carefully.

1  Thank Asti W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 15, 2013

This is a review of visiting, not of the site itself: you can read many excellent reviews of this magnificent site elsewhere. We first visited the site in 2009: we drove up to the ruins, parked, took the written guide and were amazed. We were seeing a gigantic 3D jigsaw puzzle being solved to reveal a magnificent city that will certainly be one of the great archaeological sites in Western Europe when fully explored.
So we were very excited to return in 2013 to see the progress that had been made. Disaster. The guardians of the site have, rather than spending money on archaeology, spent it on 'an award-winning interpretation centre' a mile aand a half away, complete with expensive computer graphics. Visitors who want to see the real thing, now have to park miles away and walk through blazing heat to the 'interpretation centre' where they can buy tickets for the site. They then have to walk back to the car park and wait half an hour without shade for a bus. During the ride, the ticket collector will try to sell them a meal at a nearby hotel.. And when they get to the site, they will find that some of the most thrilling parts are closed to the public for the foreseeable future. And if they are enterprising and catch a providentially waiting bus, or get dropped off directly at the site, they will discover that the jobsworths won't sell them a ticket there. Instead they will have to wait another half hour for a bus to go DOWN to the 'interpretation centre' to buy a ticket, and then wait another half hour (no shade and 41ºC) for a bus back up again. And the unfriendly unhelpful jobsworths will sneer at their discomfort all the while.
It is a measure of the site that it is probably still worth a visit - although perhaps in Spring or in the autumn.

5  Thank Quentar_people
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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