Andalucia Villas among the cobbled streets of La Juderia in Cordoba

Cordoba’s old Jewish quarter, La Juderia, was mostly built during the Moorish occupation of ANDALUCIA VILLAS. With winding cobbled streets, it is not unlike many other towns and villages in southern Spain. There is however a small difference you may not even have noticed on previous visits: as the area is built on a downward slope, the paths have all been deliberately built utilizing that slight slope. This means that when it rains the gradient slopes towards the centre and guides the gushing water effectively out of the area and downhill into the Guadalquivir River below, saving any of the Juderia homes from flooding.

Walk towards the centre of La Juderia and you will almost stumble across the Synagogue, one of the last remaining in Spain and built originally in 1315 under the Mudejar reign. Converted into a church in the late 16th century, it was initially controlled by a guild of shoemakers until being rediscovered during the 19th century. Inside the old church is an early example of a gallery built for women; above of the gallery the walls are covered in both plain motifs and Hebrew psalms. A chest filled with the Holy scrolls would have been kept in a semi-circular arch along the beautifully restored wall.

The Spanish Jews were expelled from Spain by the Catholic monarchs not long after the reconquest had come to the end in 1492. While most headed out of the country to places such as Portugal, others travelled further afield and a few even stayed behind initially changing their religion although practising in hiding. The Casa de Sefarad has been restored to that period. At one time there was an underground tunnel connecting it to the Synagogue; now it is a small museum devoting its exhibits to a reviving interest in the one-time important Sephardic-Judaic-Spanish tradition focusing on music traditions and the female forward thinkers of an ancient time in Cordoba. This was when the city was the capital of the region and one of the most advanced and learned…

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