Anecdotes and curiosities of the Jewish quarter of Cordoba

Córdoba is one of the most beautiful cities in Andalusia, perhaps the result of the Jewish and Arab influence it had for centuries. Its architecture and its temples are its great tourist attractions. But What we want to tell you this time is the small story of the Cordoba Jewish quarter and some curious facts about the most charismatic neighborhood of the city.

Patchwork of the history of the Jews in Córdoba

Cordoba is a mix of cultures, because in it for years they managed to live three different religions: the Christian, the Muslim and the Jewish. Each had a well-marked space, but the three came to live in a certain harmony. These spaces are still well defined in the city, and one of them is the Cordoba Jewish quarter.

Maimonides Square - UmaSumak

One of the best known philosophers and doctors in its history was born in the streets of the Jewish quarter: Maimonides. Therefore, a statue of him carved in bronze is erected in a small square.

Maimonides was famous for his breadth of mind and reject any fanatic behavior that was supported by reliable evidence. He challenged his times, but his philosophy of life was respected by many.

"Only occasionally does the truth shine as clear as daylight, and then, our nature and habit run a veil over what we perceive, and we return to darkness, almost as dense as at the beginning."

-Maimonides-

A convulsive story

Square in the Jewish quarter - Rosa G. / Flickr.com

It is believed that the Jews arrived in Cordoba when it was still a Roman city. Later, the tight control to which they would be subjected by the Visigoths made them support the entry of the Arabs into the city.

Jews and Muslims lived together for many years in peace. Not only that, but the Jews had a fundamental role in the city and enjoyed certain privileges.

The arrival of the Almohads put an end to this golden age, although the Jews would recover some rights after the Christian conquest of Cordoba. Again persecuted from the fourteenth century, many chose to leave the city.

What to see in the Jewish quarter of Cordoba?

Just walking through its streets is already a delight for the eyes. Its white houses with flowered balconies, its narrow and cobbled streets and its smell of jasmine, carnations and orange blossom will make you fall in love. Old doors with Jewish Arab touches, craft shops and good restaurants are a claim for thousands of tourists visiting the city.

Synagogue - Trevor Huxham / Flickr.com

Its main synagogue is the main attraction. The religious place where Jews met daily to learn from the Torah, their sacred book. The inscriptions on its walls and its architecture are beautiful, something worth seeing.

Another attraction for the most daring and little sentimental that we can find in the Jewish quarter of Cordoba is the Gallery of the Inquisition. Here you can see all kinds of gadgets used between the thirteenth and nineteenth centuries to torture thousands of people, including many Jews. It doesn't sound nice, but it is interesting to meet. Part of the story ...

Where is the Jewish quarter of Cordoba?

Street of the Jewish Quarter - Claudio Giovanni Colombo

It is located in the heart of the city, near the Arab and Roman areas. It is impossible to get lost, since it is within the walls and a step away from the fabulous Mosque-Cathedral. Finding the Jewish quarter is not difficult, although if you ask anyone in the area you will be able to indicate perfectly.

Once in it, just let yourself go, you will discover absolutely fascinating corners, such as Calleja de las Flores. In fact, the Jewish quarter of Cordoba was declared a World Heritage Site by Unesco, because its narrow streets have a lot of history and many stories to tell.

If you are lucky enough to visit it in May, you can enjoy Los Patios, an annual party that consists of showing the courtyards full of flowers. All beautiful although every year only one gets the recognition as the best. A party also declared of cultural interest by Unesco.

Video: Expulsions of Moriscos, Jews, Huguenots and their economic impact (April 2020).

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