The Azerbaijan State News Agency


Madrid only European capital home to Islamic civilization: Spanish academic

Madrid only European capital home to Islamic civilization: Spanish academic

Baku, April 2, AZERTAC

Madrid remains the only Islamic civilization-oriented capital in Western Europe, although many people first think about Cordoba or Granada when Spain’s Al-Andulus era from the years 711 to 1492 is mentioned, according to Anadolu Agency.

Of the 2 million Muslim tourists who visit Spain each year, a large number travel to the southern region of Andalusia, home to relics from the Islamic era such as the Alhambra Palac e, Cordoba Mosque-Cathedral, Alcazar Palace, and Medina Azahara.

But just 75 kilometers (nearly 47 miles) from Toledo, which served as the most significant northern city during that time despite its ancient Roman origins, Madrid holds importance in Islamic history, in both name and historical relevance.

Daniel Gil-Benumeya Flores, a professor of Arab and Islamic studies at Madrid's Complutense University, told Anadolu that Islamic Madrid began in the mid-eighth century, around 150 years after the establishment of Al-Andalus.

"Madrid was part of Al-Andalus, the Muslim territory of the Iberian Peninsula, for 250 years. Even after being conquered by Christians, it still had a Muslim minority for another 500 years. So there’s a historical Islamic presence in Madrid spanning approximately 700 years," he said.

Underlining that the city back then was sparsely populated, Flores added: "It was not really of great importance.

"Madrid's importance mainly stemmed from being a frontier city, thus in a territory where there were frequent wars, frequent battles, especially between Al-Andalus troops and troops from the northern Christian kingdoms."

"But administratively, Madrid belonged to Toledo. It was a city within the region or district of Toledo," he said.

Named after Arabic 'Magrit'

Flores said the modern name Madrid originates from the Arabic word "Magrit" during the Al-Andulus era.

On theories on the name’s origin, such as its resemblance to the Arabic word for riverbed and its potential connection to North Africa's Barbaria region, he said it came from the Latin "matrice" and Arabic "magrit," meaning a place where abundant water sources converge.

Remnants of Muslim Madrid in haze

The professor said little is known about Madrid from that era, and archaeological remains of Muslim Madrid are few and far between.

"There are very few remains from Muslim Madrid, and the responsibility for that lies in Madrid being the capital," he said.

"When Madrid became the capital, which was in the 16th century, it became the capital of the largest empire of its time and also the empire that presented itself as the defender of Christianity or the Catholic faith against Islam, which at that time was mainly embodied by the Ottoman Empire, against the Protestant Reformation and paganism in the case of the American colonies,” he explained.

"So, it felt odd, uncomfortable, that the capital of such a large empire with such symbolic value had an Islamic origin. Therefore, during the 16th and 17th centuries, practically all of medieval Madrid was destroyed.”

Flores added that despite the need to carry out excavations in Madrid, there have been no systematic efforts to do so.

The park in the city center, named after Emir Muhammed I, the founder of Madrid in the Andalusian Islamic era in the years 852-886, is currently closed to the public due to concerns of potential vandalism.

Flores highlighted the significance of walls uncovered during construction in the 1950s near Almudena Cathedral, where King Felipe VI of Spain got married.

The walls represent the only officially recognized remains from the Andalusian Islamic era, he said.

Saying he believes the park has considerable remains, Flores lamented a lack of funding and permission for archaeological research since its conversion to a park in the 1990s.

The construction of Madrid's walls had begun in the late eighth century, with additions made in the 10th century during attacks by the Kingdom of Asturias.

Flores described the walls as formidable structures, originally 12-15 meters (29-49 feet) high and made of flint stone – a rare choice for that era but also found in Madrid's residential buildings.

He stressed that the nearby Royal Collections Gallery likely conceals important remains, although they are not accessible to the public. Similarly, Flores said remains were discovered beneath the Italian Culture Institute, but were covered up.

Share news on social media

Follow us on social network

Trump trial gets underway in New York with jury selection in historic case

Release of the Press Service of the President

Tree-planting campaign held in Baku

Renovated courtyards handed over to residents with participation of Leyla Aliyeva

Baku presents official poster of ISSF World Cup

World Bank welcomes “ASAN service" concept

Azerbaijan name 7 gymnasts to compete in FIG Rhythmic Gymnastics World Cup - AG Trophy in Baku

US NSA Jake Sullivan postpones India visit amid Middle East crisis

Coral reefs hit by fourth global bleaching event

Azerbaijan, ACWA Power discuss cooperation on onshore and offshore wind energy projects

Azerbaijan exports crude oil and oil products worth about $3.5 billion in Q1 2024

Abu Dhabi playing host to 14th Assembly of International Renewable Energy Agency

Memorandum of Understanding on establishing Türkiye-Azerbaijan University approved - ORDER

bp begins oil production from major new platform offshore Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan exports 67.600 tons of petroleum coke in Q1 2024

Mexico City records record-high temperature of 34.2C

Copenhagen fire: Spire collapses as historic stock exchange engulfed by flames

World's fastest camera captures footage at 156 trillion frames per second

Tesla lays off ‘more than 10 percent’ of its workforce, loses top executives

® First quarter 2024 financial results revealed by Kapital Bank

President Ilham Aliyev laid foundation stone for Shirvan irrigation canal in Hajigabul district
The head of state addressed the event VIDEO

Azerbaijan will also become a reliable green hydrogen supplier for EU, says Energy Minister

UEFA Champions League quarterfinal 2nd leg to kick off with 2 matches

Azerbaijani gymnasts to flight for glory at Czech Aerobic Open 2024

Türkiye’s 1st indigenous Earth observation satellite completes 1st year in space

Azerbaijan, Türkiye exchange mutual experience in military information field

Military ammunition found in Azerbaijan’s Jabrayil district

President Ilham Aliyev: We are doing everything in a planned manner in order to obtain maximum efficiency from every inch of land VIDEO

President: We now have full possession of our water resources

President Ilham Aliyev: Caspian Sea water desalination project is underway

President of Azerbaijan: We are implementing large-scale work in Karabakh and Eastern Zangezur that is unmatched on a global scale VIDEO

President: Many infrastructure projects have been solved in Azerbaijan

Major infrastructure projects facing the government in the coming years disclosed

President: Efficient utilization of water resources is our primary task

Azerbaijani President: The Shirvan canal will be our largest project in terms of water volume and coverage of farmland

President: After the Shirvan irrigation canal has been put into operation, Lake Hajigabul will also be filled

President Ilham Aliyev: Among infrastructure projects implemented in Azerbaijan in recent years, Shirvan irrigation canal holds special importance

Australia: 15-year-old arrested over Sydney church stabbing

South Caucasus is a region of growing importance, says Kazakh expert

Baku hosting Azerbaijan Insurtech Summit for first time

Combined Arms Army conducts technical inspection of auto vehicles

UN’s Indigenous Issues Permanent Forum opens session focused on youth voices

Baku Book Center hosts presentation of methodological manual “Azerbaijani language proficiency level requirements”

Center for Analysis of Economic Reforms and Communication transferred all information systems to "Government Cloud"

Azerbaijan, Serbia explore current state and prospects of strategic partnership

China's GDP expands 5.3 pct year on year in Q1

Oil prices go up in global markets

Azerbaijani oil price declines in global markets

Azerbaijani FM meets with President of Uzbekistan

Geneva hosts International Day of Nowruz

Canton Fair opens in China with surge in overseas purchasers

Turkish foreign minister, UN chief discuss recent regional developments

ANAMA highlights Azerbaijan's mine action efforts in liberated territories

Nadal confirms comeback at Barcelona Open, to face Cobolli

Seventeen in hospital after football fans’ minibus crashes in West Yorkshire

® Baku Steel Company CJSC represents Azerbaijan in Dusseldorf

® Kapital Bank introduces exciting “50 gün 50 hədiyyə” (“50 days 50 gifts”) lottery

Bulgaria to host European, Balkan Cups in whitewater rafting in April

Academician Zarifa Aliyeva commemorated in Ukraine

Azerbaijan, Oman explore prospects for bilateral relations

BHOS hosts meeting with students and graduates selected to participate in SOCAR's ‘Young Talents’ program

ANAMA: 725 unexploded ordnances neutralized over past week

US forces intercepted more than 80 attack drones and at least 6 ballistic missiles from Iran and Yemen, says Central Command

UN Youth Climate Champion outlines measures to ensure young people's involvement in global processes

Azerbaijani taekwondo fighters claim two medals in Belgrade

Azerbaijani female gymnasts claim seven golds in Bishkek tournament

Azerbaijan’s population hits 10,187 million

COP29 Presidency holds first press conference

12 killed in weather-related accidents in Oman

Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum Pipeline accounted for over 50.1 percent of Azerbaijan’s gas transportation

Jeyhun Bayramov: Armenia must reciprocate Azerbaijan's efforts towards peace and construction in the region

BTC pipeline transports over 9 million tons of oil in January-March 2024

Azerbaijan’s Energy Minister to attend Green Hydrogen Summit and 14th Session of Irena Assembly

‘Main topics of COP29 negotiations are under comprehensive discussion with all parties’

Over 15,600 residential buildings in Russia affected by floods

Apple loses top phonemaker spot to Samsung as iPhone shipments drop, IDC says

® Azercell continues to support “Youth Can!" project

COP29 website set to launch this week

Azerbaijan unveils COP29 logo

President Ilham Aliyev extends congratulations to President-elect of Slovakia Peter Pellegrini

To His Excellency Mr. Peter Pellegrini, President-elect of the Slovak Republic

COP29 President-Designate: The green transition is among Azerbaijan's national priorities VIDEO

Baku Stadium chosen as the venue for COP29 VIDEO

30 killed in rain-related incidents in Pakistan VIDEO

Self-driving cars safety project launched

COP29 CEO: Whole world will focus its attention on Baku in November this year VIDEO

3 killed in Mexico helicopter crash

Magnitude 3.2 quake jolts Azerbaijan’s Imishli district

Boxer Omar Aslanli seals Azerbaijan`s another gold at European Championships

Azerbaijani FM holds meeting with Uzbek counterpart

Azerbaijani judo team triumphs at Berlin Cadet European Cup 2024

Global oil prices drop

Aston Villa shock Arsenal, allow Manchester City stay on top of English Premier League

Udinese vs. Roma match in Italy abandoned after player collapses

Bayer Leverkusen win first-ever German Bundesliga title

Azerbaijani boxer claims European crown

Azerbaijan Defense Minister meets with the King of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan

Foreign Minister of Azerbaijan embarks on working visit to Uzbekistan

Azerbaijan women’s 3x3 national basketball team qualifies for Paris 2024 Summer Olympics

Azerbaijani Minister of Defense pays official visit to Jordan