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I found it searching the wonderful archives of the Biblioteca Nacional. It seems that the document itself dates from the 1950’s but the author is not known. However, as far as the date is concerned, it is very likely that the unknown author could have belonged to the circle of bright Arabists that flourished around those very same years:  Manuel Ocaña, Emilio García Gómez, Rafael y Rosario Castejón and some others that, as a result of a government policy looking to cast light on our history, were able to search into the history of Muslim Spain. Just to give you an idea of how strong this Arabist intellectual fashion came to be back then I shall state that around that time there were serious voices backing the idea of taking the Mezquita to its original Muslim self, that is, place the Christian Cathedral somewhere else (further reading here).

The map itself has some errors and inaccuracies but despite that it is a well crafted document that makes available in a clear way how the city looked like in the Xth century. It is certainly a pleasure to observe this ancient disposition, moreover when an empirical knowledge of the city grants you that little extra thing and you are able to recognize the old places in its current state.

For instance: we can very well appreciate how the Xth century city inherited the Roman structures –so did the Visigoths before them–  such as the wall around the Medina or the Roman Bridge. We can also see big free terraces by the eastern side of the wall where after the Reconquista would eventually be home to all the new churches and parishes such as Saint Francisco and Saint Pablo. There is also a big terrace where the Corredera square would be built. North from there there is another big terrace where Colón square would eventually go. These open spaces, these terraces outside the wall had multiple uses: assembly of troops, cattle fairs and markets or certain given dates where the population needed to be gathered.

Next to our Hotel Viento10, in what is called the Axerquia and within the Pergamineros district, you can see beside and along the river various small circles marking the place where the tanneries used to be. Our district gathered guilds for paper manufacturers and tanneries. That is the reason behind the names of streets like the Tinte (Tint) street.

We can also read the name of the different gates of the wall, or where were the main mosques located; most of them shared the same locations as the Fernandinas churches. But more importantly, what the map truly reveals as the most important heritage nowadays is the actual map, or in other words, the way in which that ancient urban distribution of the city has reached our present. It is astonishing to realize that our little cozy Viento street was already there a thousand years ago.

We now invite you to play and locate your favorite street in this interesting map. In order for you to do so we have attached a full map in high resolution that you can download. Enjoy it!

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