Who is Muhammad al-Idrisi??
Muhammad al-Idrisi was born in Andalusia, which at that time belonged to the Moors (Arabs). He came from a noble family (a descendant of the Prophet Mohammed). He studied at the University of Cordoba, one of the first higher education institutions in Europe. Later, in 1138, he moved to Palermo. He was hired by the ruler of Sicily, Roger II. By order of the king, he organised several geographical expeditions to create a detailed map of the world. Al-Idrisi made several trips to France, Portugal, England, and the Maghreb (the territory to the west of Egypt – Mauritania, Western Sahara, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, and Libya).
As a result of the hard work of the geographer Muhammad, in 1154 he created a map in the form of a silver hemisphere on paper. The work associated with the map became a geographical encyclopaedia – the so-called Book of Roger. The full title of this work is 1154: “The Joy of One Who Passionately Desires to Cross the World”. Muhammad’s map and work mention the city of Gunkbar (Ungu) in the Eastern Carpathians. This record is considered to be the earliest written mention of Uzhgorod city. Later, in Hungarian charters, our town was called Ungvar, i.e. “the castle over the Ung River”.