Jewish Quarter tour in Cordoba
Today, in addition to the guided tours that exist in the city for conventional tourists, which include a visit to the Cathedral-Mosque and the Synagogue, it is possible to take a Jewish Quarter guided tour in Cordoba. A visual and emotional walk through Jewish history, through the stories of the lives of the Jewish families who once inhabited their territories, in the most genuine Sephardic way.
Córdoba was an example of the good triangular relationship among Christians, Muslims and Jews and an indisputable bastion of the 3 cultures. A fact that was maintained during almost the entire Ancient Ages and much of the Middle Ages.
Founded by the Romans during the 2nd century BC. C., the city of Cordoba, in Spain, was the capital of Hispania Ulterior Baetica in times of the Roman Republic. Time of coexistence with pagans, Christians and Jews although sometimes the Romans imposed small prohibitions and punishments on them.
In 589, the Cordovan Jews were victims of a bloody persecution on the part of the Christian Visigoths of Hispania. Consequently, in the eighth century the Jews welcomed the Muslim conquerors and, particularly, the Berbers, thus opening a period of Muslim tolerance for the Jewish creed.
During the Muslim period, there was a flourishing of Jewish culture. The number of practitioners in the city of Cordoba increased considerably, due to immigration from Africa.
The Cordovan Hebrews developed multiple trades. It is known that at least three quarters of the population were artisans. The rest were dedicated to commerce and finance – taking advantage of the fact that neither the Arabs nor the Christians were allowed usury -, even many of them acceded to important positions of civil and military power until the arrival of the Almoravids and Almohads in Al -Andalus.
During Christian Cordoba, until the middle of the 14th century there was a positive attitude towards the Jewish community. From that moment, a popular anti-Jewish climate began that grew until his expulsion or forced conversion with the Edict of Granada in 1492.
Córdoba and its characters
Moshe ben Maimon (1135-1204), better known as Maimonides, was one of the most distinguished Andalusian Jews. Not only did he limit himself to the study of the Torah and Jewish tradition, but he was also trained in mathematics, astronomy, philosophy and physics. Philosopher and doctor, born in Córdoba in 1135, his commitment to rationalism gave him a certain reputation as a heretic in traditional Jewish circles.
His Mishneh Torah (Second Law) legal code written in Hebrew, is recognized as the cornerstone of any Talmudic school. He simplified the 613 precepts of the Torah to 13.
Another great work written by Maimonides was Moreh Nebukhim (Guide for the Perplexed) written in Arabic and translated into Hebrew.
Another of the characters who once inhabited the houses, roamed the streets and rested in the city squares was Hasday ibn Shaprut, a Jewish doctor and diplomat from the caliphate of al-Andalus due to his linguistic gifts (great command of Arabic, Hebrew and Latin). He became a minister to Abd-al-Rahman III
The poet Juda Levi also spent a good time in Córdoba and, without a doubt, the beauty of the city resulted in beautiful verses.
Jewish Quarter tour
The limits of the current Cordovan Jewish quarter go from the Puerta de Almodóvar to the Mosque-Cathedral and the current episcopal seat, to the south.
Therefore, the streets of Judíos, Averroes, Tomás Conde, the squares of Judá Leví and Maimonides coincide, among others.
On this Jewish Quarter guided tour in Cordoba you can visit the Plaza de Maimónides, a set of manor residences, such as Las Bulas or the Counts of Hornachuelos. Enter the Synagogue, enjoy the balconies, bars, pots with colorful flowers that break with the monotonous whiteness of the facades.
Likewise, from almost any street it is possible to see the Bell Tower of the Mosque-Cathedral and the old minaret of Abderramán III, making its way between the roofs, as a backdrop. You can visit the Archaeological Museum of Córdoba, located in the old palace of the Páez de Castillejo, which has a wide variety of pieces ranging from Prehistory to the Late Middle Ages and includes the only Hebrew tombstone found so far in the city of Cordoba.