A PAIR of landmark exhibitions of Spanish history have opened in Cordoba and Sevilla.

The two shows offer a fascinating insight into the days when the Moors and Phoenicians made Spain one of their key strongholds.

As well as providing the Roman Empire with three Caesars, Andalucia was also the centre of the world in the eleventh century with the Cordoba caliphate.

Now more than 150 archaeological finds dating back to the period are on display at a new complex built within the medieval site of Medina Azahara, five kilometres from Cordoba.

Costing the Culture Ministry some 22 million euros to build, the centre was officially opened by Spanish Queen Sofia and Junta President Jose Antonio Grinan.

Meanwhile, Grinan was also present for the launch of an exhibition displaying the so-called Treasure of Carambolo in Sevilla’s Archaeological Museum.

Dating back to Phoenician times, before the Romans arrived in Spain, the priceless gold jewels – more than 2000 years old – will be on public view until January 2010.

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