Andalucía is a region famous for its landmarks that are part of the legacy of the Moorish Empires. These landmarks are part of provinces such as Cordoba, Granada and Seville. From all these landmarks, visitors usually remain unaware of the fact that there are statues of luminaries hidden away in the streets of Cordoba. Such luminaries that once formed a great part of Islamic Spain.
Statues speak a great deal about how people feel about an individual. A statue is usually built to commemorate a certain personality or to celebrate and show appreciation of their legacy and contribution to society. Below are some of the statues that you will find when walking the streets of Cordoba.
Ibn Rushd [Averroes]
His full name was Abu al-Walid Muhammad ibn Ahmad ibn Rushd, although in the West he is better known as Averroes. Ibn Rushd was born in 1126, which was only fifteen years after the death of Imam Ghazzali, therefore entering the world at a time when education and knowledge were flourishing in the Muslim world. Ibn Rushd was a true polymath, with knowledge, expertise and genuine contributions to philosophy, Islamic law (jurisprudence), medicine, astronomy, mathematics, physics and geography. Not surprisingly, he became known as the “Prince of Science” (Tbakhi and Amr, 2008).
You’ll find the statue of Ibn Rushd, in deep thought, by clicking here.
Maimonides [Musa Ibn Maymun]
Known as one of the most influential and important Jewish thinkers of all time (Rudavsky, 2010), Musa was also the personal physician of Salahuddin al-Ayyubi when he was residing in Egypt. Whilst Maimonides lived and worked in Cordoba for many years of his life, he eventually travelled and settled in Egypt. At first, Musa and his family had to flee Cordoba and travel for ten years eventually settling in Fez, Morocco. They then moved again in 1165 to Fustat in Egypt (Rosner, 2002). Musa was famously known for having written Mishneh Torah (Second Torah) which is a fourteen-volume work of Jewish law (Ismail, 2018).
You’ll find the statue of Maimonides by clicking here.
A 12th century physician, Al-Ghafiqi was born in a city in Spain called Belalcazar which is in the province of Cordoba. His full name was Muhammad Ibn Aslam Al-Ghafiqi. He specialised in the study of Opthalmology and whilst compiling Kitab al-Murshid fî tibb al-‘ayn (The Right Guide to Ophthalmology), he believed that diet played a great part in good eye sight.
You’ll find the statue of Al-Ghafiqi by clicking here.
As well as serving as the second Umayyad Caliph of Cordoba, al-Hakam, whose full name was Abu al-As al-Hakam al-Amawi Ibn Abd al-Rahman was also a great father, husband and brother. What made him unique from the many caliphs that reigned in Islamic Spain was his passion and unyielding desire to learn. History tells us that Al-Hakam II was the sort of person who used to lock himself in a library despite him being a Caliph with huge amounts of responsibilities. It is also recorded that it was due to his interest in gaining more knowledge, Muslims and Catholics were gathered to contribute towards translating many books from Latin and Greek into Arabic (Najībābādī et al., 2001).
You’ll find the statue of Al-Hakam II by clicking here.
As well as authoring a book about love called ‘The Ring of the Dove’, Ibn Hazm was also a leading figure when it came to Islamic Law and theology. His statue was built in 1963 to commemorate not only the 900th anniversary of his death (Adang, Fierro and Schmidtke, 2013), but also to celebrate his contribution to knowledge. Once a great scholar of Islam, Ibn Hazm was known by many to be from the most brilliant minds produced by al-Andalus (ibid, 2013). Born and bred in Cordoba, this is the city Ibn Hazm called home.
You’ll find the statue of Ibn Hazm by clicking here.
Tbakhi, A. and Amr, S. (2008). Ibn Rushd (Averroes) : Prince of science. Annals of Saudi Medicine, 28(2), p.145.
İsmail. (2018). Mishneh torah by M. maimonides. Entelekya Logico-Metaphysical Review, 2(2), 123-126.
Rosner, F. (2002). The Life of Moses Maimonides, a Prominent Medieval Physician. Journal of Biology and Medicine, 19, pp.125-8.
Rudavsky, T. (2010). Maimonides. Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell.
Arjona-Castro, A & Phd, Antonio. (1997). [Cerebrovascular stroke, the cause of the death of the caliph al-Hakam II].. Neurología (Barcelona, Spain). 12. 78-81.
Najībābādī, A., Mubārakfūrī, S., Abdullah, A. and Salafi, M. (2001). The History of Islam. 1st ed.
Adang, C., Fierro, M. and Schmidtke, S. (2013). Ibn Ḥazm of Cordoba: The Life and Works of a Controversial Thinker (Handbook of Oriental Studies. Section 1, the Near and Middle East). Boston: Brill.