18 Feb, 2015 @ 11:52
1 min read

EXCLUSIVE: Google Maps probe into why Algeciras is apparently still an 11th century Muslim ‘taifa’

Taifa e
RETURN TO AL ANDALUS: Google turns back time by 1000 years to label Algeciras a Muslim taifa

GOOGLE has launched an investigation into why its map site lists a key Andalucian town as being under Muslim rule.

It comes after the Olive Press spotted that Google Maps was labelling Algeciras as a ‘Taifa’, an Islamic term unused in Spain since the middle ages.

A probe is now underway to find out how the bizarre ‘editing error’ labelled the Cadiz port with the title, which ceased to exist in 1058.

Under Islamic rule, the Al Andalus caliphate divided its regions into taifas including Ronda, Sevilla and Granada.

It comes, controversially, after extremist Muslim group Isis announced its desire to reclaim Al Andalus, ‘the land of our forefathers’.

Osama Bin Laden also made claims to retake the former Moorish region for Islam.

A Google spokesman thanked the Olive Press for ‘flagging this mistake which we have worked to rectify’.

She said: “This has now been fixed and should start to appear on Maps soon.”

“I can confirm this is not the work of a hacker,” she added, putting the strange label down to a mere ‘editing error’.

However, Briton Nick Orson who spotted the ‘strange case’ while searching for a Spanish holiday destination, said: “The whole thing is very mysterious.

“You don’t just accidentally label a place ‘Taifa’ by pressing the wrong key. You need to have historical knowledge and use it deliberately,” added the retired biologist.

Isis has announced frightening plans for one single Muslim caliphate, spanning from Morocco to China, with Spain as the main European target.

The Taifa of Algeciras existed for 23 years in 11th century Moorish Andalucia, until it was annexed to the Taifa of Sevilla.

The reaction to the ‘editing error’ has been one of bewilderment.

One Algeciras resident told the Olive Press: “It is a curious error, perhaps Google meant the ‘Bay of Algeciras’, or maybe Google was around 1000 years ago.”

Tom Powell

DO YOU HAVE NEWS FOR US at Spain’s most popular English newspaper - the Olive Press? Contact us now via email: [email protected] or call 951 273 575. To contact the newsdesk out of regular office hours please call +34 665 798 618.


  1. The “Islamic Takeover” headline was not warranted. Islam is not an evil religion and it is a shame the Olive Press continue to perpetuate this myth with such careless headlines.

  2. At last ! I reported this myself about a month ago. And again about 2 weeks ago.
    I also sent them an error message for the small village of Albarracin near Teruel which also was renamed Taifa of Albarracín. It’s a shame that Google allow changes to be made with out checking first.

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