Jewish heritage of Cordoba

Cordoba – layers of Heritage

Cordoba presents its history in layers of traditions, religious and administrative tolerance and intolerance, prosperity and persecution of Jews and Muslims. Jews and Muslims are also said to have had great minds of learning in Toledo, with prestigious universities and libraries, which were well visited.

Judeira, the Jewish Quarter of Cordoba

Judeira, the Jewish Quarter of Cordoba

Judeira, Rabbi Maimonides and the Synagogue

While the Muslim heritage is witnessed by the Mezquita and the adjacent Souk, built in the Arabic Bazar style, the Jewish heritage presents itself with the white washed Judeira, the Jewish quarter, one of the last three Synagogues of Spain and being the hometown of Maimonides. The old town of Cordoba with the Judeira and the Mezquita are UNESCO heritage sites.

Rabbi Maimonides

MaimonidesWithin the Judeira is a statue of Maimonides, the Sephardic Jewish Rabbi (1135-1204), who went into exile with his family to finally settle in Egypt. He became one of the two most-studied Jewish philosophers of all time (also recognized by Christians and Muslims as a revolutionary religious thinker), as well as a physician. Reference: Info Cordoba

The Synagogue of Cordoba

synagogueThe Synagogues of Cordoba and Toledo are of the three significant Synagogues remaining in Spain. The Synagogue in Cordoba was built in 1315 by Simon Majeb and is apparently largely unaltered (its Mudejar reliefs were coveredand it was used as a rabies hospital, seat of the shoe-makers’ guild and finally a 19th-century primary school). The buildings around it were probably used as public baths and a Talmudic school.
Excited to finally visit a synagogue and one of the prosperous Jewish times of Europe, we headed for it first reaching Cordoba, only to realize, that it is closed on Monday. It hadn’t occurred to me to look up opening hours of a praying place!

Walking through the Judeira, the Jewish Quarter of Cordoba

is like walking through different eras and layers of history.

Entrance of old town Cordoba

Entrance of old town Cordoba

Judeira, the Jewish Quarter of Cordoba

Judeira, the Jewish Quarter of Cordoba

Note the colorful pots with the Petunias. It was just after Easter and they were preparing for the Patio festival


Statue of Maimonides, Sephardic Jewish Rabbi, who left his hometown Cordoba with his family at the Jewish expulsion from Andalusia. He returned later to the seat of learning in Toledo as famous Rabbi and Physician

Me at the Maimonides Square

Me, at the Maimonides Piazza

Walking through the Judeira

Walking through the Judeira

a beautiful wooden carved door in the Judeira

a beautiful wooden carved door in the Judeira

My husband demonstrating how narrow the lanes of the Judeira could be

First sight of the Bell Tower, once the Minaret of the Mezquita
First sight of the Bell Tower, once the Minaret of the Mezquita. The original Minaret is encased in this Bell Tower


  • The Synagogue is closed Mondays
  • If time permits, visit the House of Sephardic Jews. We were short on time, however it is recommended
  • Parking in old Cordoba is very difficult. I looked up a parking facility in one of the forums, which led us to a close by Parking house, at a walking distance to old Cordoba.
  • There are lots of Eateries around the Mezquita serving traditional spanish food and Tapas. Peope get themselves Picnics to eat in the gardens of the Mezquita or the restaurants, depending on your preference and temperature.
  • Talking of Jewish and Muslim roots: Be careful regarding pork, which is served in abundance in Cordoba, even in a Vegetarian soup, I just read!

Have you been to Cordoba? What is your impression?


2 responses to “Jewish heritage of Cordoba

    • It is really beautiful, with a surprise around every corner. The houses leave their indoor decorated patios open for the visitors, I read. In fact in one of the houses a few tourists sneaked in to take pictures and I went along. Bothersome are beggars in the centre, all around the Mezquita.

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