added by archaeologs A site in southern Spain that was probably Carthaginian in origin and was occupied by the Romans in 152 BC. It declined under the rule of the Visigoths from the 6th to the early 8th century AD. In 711 Córdoba was captured and largely destroyed by the Muslims. Its recovered under 'Abd ar-Rahman I, a member of the Umayyad family, who made Córdoba his capital in 756. 'Abd ar-Rahman I founded the Great Mosque of Córdoba, which was later enlarged and completed about 976. The city quickly rose to become one of the finest in Europe, rivaled only by Baghdad and Constantinople. In the 10th century, one of the rulers of Cordoba built a pleasure-city outside its walls known as Medina al Zahara; this is now an archaeological site.