At the western fringe of Cordoba lie the extensive ruins of an Islamic palace and city called Medina Azahara. Built in the 10th century, it was the capital of then Muslim Spain and, for a short time, an almost mythic jewel of culture and wealth. The city was then sacked and burned in a revolt and only in the last hundred years has begun historical reconstruction.
Nowadays, you'll find porticoes, arches, columns, bath complexes, and the remains of halls still bearing the craftmanship and design of the Muslim society that was forced to abandon it. A collection of ruins on par with any that left in Rome's wake, find your way to Medina Azahara for a chance to augment your understanding of the overwhelming Muslim influence on this part of the world. Entrance is free and there is a museum on the grounds for those who would like further historical context.