Starting from the eastern side, the first thing we see, in the north, is the gate entering the fortress of Medina Azahara. The northern gate was the supplying place of the fortress, both of building materials for the palace and of raw material for the population. As its name suggests, it is located approximately in the centre of the northern part of the wall surrounding the palatial city, and it was the most frequent entrance gate connecting to Córdoba. To this gate one can get from the Path of the Walnut Trees, whose final part is flanked by a tower with a latrine and stairs to access the path along the wall.
Nowadays, there are few original remains of the northern gate, due to the pillaging of material in the wall hangings, and we could only preserve the foundations of the walls in the perimeter, which were elevated. The result was that other remains, whose function is difficult to establish, ended up at a ground level.
Due to its outline, it would be an access gate in curve, followed by a room with doors facing each other, where a small sentry group controlled the access from the inside and guaranteed more security at the entrance of the fortress in case of danger. From the security system at the entrance (called of double door), two marble jambs are preserved in the place.
From the northern gate, an uneven descending ramp starts towards the left, connecting with four doors –identified by its jambs and notches– and, in turn, leading us to the next outstanding structure of the public section of the fortress: the higher basilical building.
If you are not sure what to do in Córdoba, we recommend you visit the Archaeological Site of Medina Azahara hiring one of our guided tours. We will talk there about the Northern Gate and its relevance inside the site. Choose to do high quality sightseeing with qualified staff. Do not hesitate, ArtenCórdoba is the best option.
Text: Jesús Pijuán.