Located in the heart of Córdoba’s Jewish Quarter, and just blocks away from the Mezquita, the Córdoba Synagogue (Sinagoga de Córdoba) is the Juderia's (Jewish Quarter’s) main attraction and is a one-of-a-kind site in the Andalusia region. Built in the 14th century, the small synagogue houses a courtyard, prayer room, and women's gallery.
While the Jewish community once played a key role on the Iberian Peninsula, Jewish people were expelled in 1492 during the Spanish Inquisition. Córdoba’s synagogue and two others in the city of Toledo remain as the only lasting structures of their kind from pre-Inquisition Spain.
With a humble brick exterior, the small temple has intricate Hebrew inscriptions on the interior walls, scalloped archways, and Mudejar plasterwork that’s reminiscent of the ivory-colored carvings in the Alcázar of Seville. After the Spanish Inquisition, the synagogue was used as a hospital, a chapel, and a school. Now, it is open to the public as a museum of Jewish culture in Spain. Visit as part of a cultural walking tour, or on a day trip from Madrid.
Things to Know Before You Go
- The synagogue is quite small, but it’s worth a quick visit.
- Admission is free for European Union citizens.
- You can easily travel to Córdoba from Madrid via AVE, a high-speed rail service. The trip takes about 2.5 hours.
How to Get There
The synagogue is located near one of the busiest avenues in the city, Conde Vallellano Avenue, at the back of the Red Cross Hospital in the Jewish Quarter. It can be tricky to find parking in the area, so public transportation is recommended. It’s accessible via bus lines: 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 9, 16, 01, and 02.
When to Get There
The synagogue is closed Monday, Christmas Day, and January 1 and 6. In order to avoid the crowds and bypass large tour groups, plan to arrive early in the morning or late in the day. Peak tourist months are April, May, and June, so expect to encounter the most visitors then.
The Mosque-Cathedral of Córdoba
Another significant religious site in Córdoba, the Mosque-Cathedral (Mezquita de Córdoba) is considered one of the most exquisite Islamic structures in the Western world. It features a range of architectural styles, including Gothic, Renaissance, and baroque, and it is often a stop on guided tours of the city, along with the synagogue.