World Heritages in Spain Part I

By | August 28, 2021

Caliphate city of Medina Azahara (World Heritage)

According to pharmacylib, Medina Azahara (Madīnat az-Zahrā) is the ruins of an Umayyad palace city in southern Spain from the middle of the 10th century. She was by Caliph Abd ar-Rahman III. built as the residence of the Caliphate of Cordoba.

After decades of prosperity, it was destroyed in 1111 during the civil war that ended the caliphate and later served as a quarry. The walled Medina Azahara consisted of buildings, streets, bridges and water systems and extended over three terraces (gardens on the lower one, the residential town on the middle, the palace district above). During excavations, two representative buildings (audience halls) came to light, one of which was rebuilt. The five-aisled complex with an entrance hall in front is characterized by magnificently ornamentally decorated wall niches, pillars and capitals.

Caliphate city of Medina Azahara: facts

Official title: Caliphate city of Medina Azahara
Cultural monument: Scheduled palace city based on the model of the Abbasid caliph’s residence Samarra (today Iraq, UNESCO World Heritage Site)
Continent: Europe
Country: Spain
Location: 10 km west of Cordoba in southern Spain (Andalusia)
Appointment: 2018
Meaning: Testimony to the now lost western Islamic culture of Al-Andalus, at the height of its splendor

Antequera dolmen sites (World Heritage)

Located in central Andalusia, the site includes three megalithic monuments: the Dolmen de Menga, the Dolmen de Viera and the Tholos de El Romeral, as well as two natural monuments: the Peña de los Enamorados mountain and the El Torcal massif

Antequera dolmen sites: facts

Official title: Antequera dolmen sites
Cultural monument: around 5000 BC Christ built stone tombs, which are among the largest megalithic structures in Europe
Continent: Europe
Country: Spain
Location: Antequera; Andalusia
Appointment: 2016
Meaning: outstanding buildings of European prehistory

Most important example of megalithic architecture in Europe

“Dolmen” refers to a prehistoric burial chamber that was built from vertically positioned supporting stones and ceiling stones placed on top. The tombs, hidden in three hills on the north-eastern outskirts of Antequera, with their gigantic stone blocks that are perfectly joined together, are among the largest megalithic buildings in Europe. They were made around 5000 BC. Built during the Neolithic and Bronze Ages, they form chambers, connecting passages and rooms covered with lintels or false domes. With a diameter of around 50 meters and a height of 4 meters, the Dolmen de Menga is the largest of the stone graves in the ensemble.

The two mountain peaks form the visual reference points of the cultural site located in a valley. The access of the Dolmen de Menga is oriented towards the mountain Peña de los Enamorados, while the Tholos de El Romeral is positioned at the same distance from the El Torcal mountain range.

Serra de Tramuntana in Mallorca (World Heritage)

The cultural landscape extends along the northwest coast of Mallorca, where the residents cultivated the barren landscape for thousands of years by building terraced fields and irrigation systems.

Serra de Tramuntana in Mallorca: facts

Official title: Serra de Tramuntana cultural landscape in Mallorca
Cultural monument: Mountain range of the Serra de Tramuntana on Mallorca with an average height of almost 1000 m (highest mountain in Mallorca, Puig Major, 1445 m); heavily cut up and partly karstified, with table mountains and cliffs; Area of ​​millennia-old agriculture (olives, oil, wine) with water extraction and distribution systems (dams, water mills) and terraces; in addition to rural settlements, cities, villages and religious centers are also part of the cultural landscape; significant connection between Islamic and Christian cultural achievements
Continent: Europe
Country: Spain
Location: Northwest of Mallorca
Appointment: 2011
Meaning: Outstanding testimony to a thousand year old cultivation of mountain regions and the traditional way of life associated with it; significant example of an intensive exchange between man and nature in a unique landscape; Documentation of the historical development and the exchange of cultures

Ancient Hercules Lighthouse (World Heritage)

The Tower of Hercules is a Roman lighthouse on a cliff near La Coruña. It is 55 m high and rises 112 m high above the sea. It has been showing sailors the way since 110 AD, making it the oldest operating lighthouse in the world.

Ancient Hercules Lighthouse

Ancient Hercules Lighthouse: Facts

Official title: Torre de Hércules (Tower of Hercules)
Cultural monument: On a rocky knoll in the northwest of the northern Spanish port city of La Coruña, 68 m high Torre de Hércules; the only surviving lighthouse from antiquity, Roman core from the 2nd century, upper part from 1693, still in use today; National monument on historical grounds with a Roman house, sculptures, rock inscriptions from the Iron Age and a Muslim cemetery; 224 steps to the top of the lighthouse, visibility of the beacon of 32 nautical miles; Subject of various legends, name derived from the legend of the beheading of the giant Geryon by the Greek hero Hercules; According to tradition, after the tower was built over the remains of Hercules
Continent: Europe
Country: Spain
Location: La Coruña, Galicia
Appointment: 2009
Meaning: Unique, well-preserved evidence of an ancient lighthouse that is still in operation today; Document of the centuries-long use of the Atlantic shipping route off the Spanish north coast since Roman times