Mozarabic Basilica and Bobastro Ruins, Ardales (Unique Site)
This site is key to understanding the initial development of Al-Andalus. It was from Ardales that the rebel Umar Ibn Hafsun led the revolt against Córdoba's rule in the late 9th and early 10th centuries. Later, the Islamic State took over by armed force, and the Umayyad Caliphate commenced under Abd al-Rahman III. The archaeological site consists of a cave church and a series of rock-hewn houses, among others.
Recommended month to visit it: March.
In a place of inaccessible nature known as Las Mesas de Villaverde, with narrow and winding paths, deep precipices and tall ravines, the Muladi rebel Omar Ben Hafsun established his headquarters to prepare the revolts against the Caliphate of Cordoba.
The ruins of a Moorish fortress, a Muslim necropolis and, above all, a purely unique Mozarab country church suggests that there is still much to discover in these archaeological remains of the of the 9th and 10th centuries. The church, probably built by Ben Hafsun when he converted to Christianity, is the only one known to be of Mozarab origin in what were the lands Al-Andalus.
- Bobastro: 341344 / 4085220
Mozarabic church in the form of a cave stands out from the rest of medieval archaeological monuments from the 9th and 10th century on this location. It has a plan of a basilica, three naves and horseshoe arches. It was caved in a rock round 917 CE and connected to a hermitical convent.
It was discovered by F. J. Simonet in 1869 and excavated by G. de Mergelina in 1927. Bobastro was designed and built by Omar Ibn Hafsún at an unassailable place that was the centre of operations in the war against the Emirate of Córdoba.
Although the temple is the most well-known part of this complex, the site also includes the surroundings of ‘Las mesas de Villaverde’, which is the name of this place. Next to it, there is a rocky temple and a small quarry.
Thanks to its location and uniqueness, this complex is considered to be a Heritage Site of Cultural Interest (BIC). The Bobastro ruins are of great historical and tourist value.