Córdoba, also called Cordova, is a city in the southern Spanish province of Andalusia. It was conquered by invading Islamic armies in the eighth century, and then became the capital of the Islamic Emirate and then Caliphate of Córdoba, including most of the Iberian Peninsula. It has been estimated that in the 10th century Córdoba was the most populous city in the world, and under the rule of Caliph Al Hakam II it had also become a centre for education under its Islamic rulers. Al Hakam II opened many libraries in addition to the many medical schools and universities which existed at this time. During these centuries Córdoba became a predominantly Muslim society with minorities living in a restricted second-class status. It returned to Christian rule in 1236, during the Reconquista.
Today it is a moderately sized modern city. The historic centre was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site.