Cordoba is a city with an enormous heritage of culture and monuments. Due partly to Its strategic position on the River Guadalquivir and partly to the wealth of remains left by the different peoples who inhabited the city, Cordoba has become a privileged city in the very heart of the history of the Western World: its vast Caliphal (Arabic) civilization, during the Middle Ages, was the most brilliant in the Europe of its day and forged lasting links between East and West.
For tourists, it is one of the most frequently visited of all Spanish cities, mainly because of its enormous historical interest and artistic heritage. Such influential figures in Roman civilization as the philosopher Seneca or the poet Lucan were born here, and in the 10th century Caliphal (Arabic) Cordoba became the most refined and advanced civilization in Europe where scholars, poets, doctors, philosophers and mystics lived, some of whom achieved world-wide fame, such as the philosopher Averroes or the Jewish doctor Maimonides. The heritage dating from after the Christian conquest is equally impressive: churches, convents, hospitals, palaces and numerous stately homes surround the marvellous, unique building that is the Mosque-Cathedral and make Cordoba one of the greatest monumental cities in Europe. In 1994, the UNESCO recognised the universal importance of the historic buildings in Cordoba, by extending the limits of the World Heritage Site beyond the Mosque itself to include the whole of the historic quarter.