The history of Algeciras is a tale of ups and downs played out in time with the bonanza and the conflicts in the Straits of Gibraltar and in the relations between the shores of Europe and Africa.
Al-Yazirat al-Khadra, the gateway to al-Andalus from the Maghrib, was the first city to be taken by the Muslims. In times of the emirs and caliphs it served as the capital of the cora, or provincial circumscription, and maintained a strong trading activity with the Maghrib, evidence of which can be found in its busy shipyards.
After Tariq ibn Zyad disembarked in 711, Algeciras became a base for Musa’s conquests in Iberia at the dawn of al-Andalus. It grew quickly with the construction of the walled Medina of the Old Town, a great mosque commissioned by Abd al-Rahman I and a fortress for the governor.