June 29: cannonball!

2012/06/29 § Leave a comment

On this day in 1236 the six-month siege of Cordoba ended.

In this significant chapter of the so-called Reconquista, the Catholic Ferdinand III (the original king of León–and Castille) took the city back from the Muslim rule that had been established in 711.  In the centuries that followed Cordoba had become the greatest city in the world–huge in population, rich in intellectual endeavor, glittering in its culture.  After the Reconquista, it lost a lot of mosques and synagogues, gained a lot of churches and was depleted of virtually all its stature, shrinking to a husk of what it once was.

The siege is also believed by some historians to be one of the first confirmed uses of gunpowder in Europe, introducing a technology that would eventually make the walls–built by Muslims and Christians alike in the middle ages–obsolete.  Overall, not a great day for the city once known as the “ornament of the world.”

Image: walls in Cordoba (Clio’s)

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You are currently reading June 29: cannonball! at Clio’s Calendar: Daily Musings on Architectural History.

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