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Medina Azahara, in Spain’s Sierra Morena mountains, was given its Arabic name, which means “The Shining City,” by the 10th century caliph who had it built. Nicknamed the “Versailles of al-Andalus,” it is considered one of the most important Islamic archaeological sites worldwide. Five years ago, a team of European archaeologists began a new excavation project at this World Heritage site. For over 100 years, excavations here have concentrated inside the Caliph’s palace. This new excavation project is focused outside the palace walls, in areas of the city never before studied. A massive new building came to light, its function unknown. Beyond the mystery of this building, the very location of this city is an enigma in itself. Why was a Muslim city of such importance built in a then primarily Christian area, far from most of Al Andalusia, then the name for Muslim Spain?

Length: 60 min

Country: France

Language: French w/ English subtitles

Director: Stéphane Bégoin Thomas Marlie

Producer(s): Amélie Juan