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The exterior of the Mezquita in Cordoba, Spain on July 28, 2007.  Cordoba is often cited as a historical model of peaceful coexistence among Christians, Jews and Muslims when the city was the capital of Moorish southern Spain and the Umayyad caliphate for nearly 500 years; today Cordoba attracts tourists from around the Middle East and North Africa as well as the West because of the city's shared cultural patrimony.