Córdoba, which was once considered the most populous city in the world, was once home to a thriving Jewish community, and now its ancient neighborhood of white buildings is considered one of the most famous juderías (Jewish quarters) in Spain. Wander the area’s narrow lanes and visit its famous synagogue and souks.
During the Moorish Caliphate (the period of Islamic rule over Spain, which ended in 1031), the Jewish community flourished as Córdoba became a center for commerce, prosperity, education, and religious tolerance. But in 1492, during the Spanish Inquisition, Jewish people were expelled from Spain, their neighborhoods becoming cultural relics. Córdoba's Jewish Quarter's retains its synagogue, one of just three in Spain that survived the Inquisition and the only one in Andalusia.
Also located in the barrio's small streets is Casa Sefarad, a project dedicated to preserving and haring Judeo-Spanish history. While wandering the area, also keep an eye out for the statue of Maimonides, the famous Jewish doctor and philosopher, and peruse the neighborhood’s renowned jewelry and silversmith shops. Guided walking tours of Córdoba typically include a stroll through the city’s Jewish Quarter.
Things to Know Before You Go
- The neighborhood is mostly confined to the streets of Tomas Conde, Judíos, and Plaza Juda Leví.
- Museo Taurino de Córdoba (the bullfighting museum) is also located in the Jewish Quarter,
- Shop for souvenirs, as well as handmade fabrics, pottery, and leather goods in this area.
How to Get There
The Jewish Quarter is situated just to the north and west of the Mezquita, reaching as far west as Puerta de Almodovar, and east to Calle El Rey Heredia. Córdoba is about a 41-minute train ride or a little more than a 1.5-hour drive from Seville. Guided day trips from Seville are available and include round-trip transportation.
When to Get There
This neighborhood is the most visited in Córdoba, so expect big crowds during tourist season and on the weekends. In May, the city also hosts the Cruces de Mayo (May Crosses) Festival, followed by the Patio Festival, and then the Córdoba Festival. During this time, the city is decked out with festive decorations, making it a popular time to visit.
The Synagogue of Córdoba
Located in the center of the Jewish Quarter, the former synagogue now serves as a museum, offering a look at the Jewish culture’s impact on Spanish history. The interior features walls with intricate Hebrew inscriptions, scalloped archways, and Mudejar plasterwork. This is a must-see when visiting Córdoba, and is typically included on walking tours of the city.