In 936, Abd al-Rahman III began building Madinat al-Zahra, a new capital city, in the hills 5 miles west of Cordoba. It has been described as one of the world's wonders and compared to the hanging gardens of Babylon. There were 3400 marble columns and the king's salon had walls of translucent marble and crystal. A large bowl of mercury could be tilted to create an ever-changing light show.
The ruins were re-discovered and are being unburied and recreated. It's an enchanting, evocative place to roam.