Маршрут: евреи в Кордове

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Маршрут: евреи в Кордове

Посещение еврейского квартала в Кордове позволит насладиться магической атмосферой живописных улочек, сохранивших память о трех культурах города. Еврейская улица, синагога, дом Сефардов, рынок и площадь Тибериада составляют основную часть экскурсии. Они воссоздают историю сообщества, родившего выдающегося еврейского мыслителя и ученого Маймонида или нескольких из самых известных евреев своего времени, таких как Hasday ibn Shaprut из Хаена или Yehuda ha-Leví и Abraham ibn Ezrá из Tudela.


Туристический маршрут: евреи в Кордове

История евреев в Кордове

Еврейское сообщество в Кордове практически столь же древнее, как сам город. Приехав в Андалусию, как следует из старинных хроник, во времена короля Соломона, первые евреи поселились в Кордове одновременно с римлянами. Из-за последовательных ограничительных мер, предпринимаемых Вестготами, особенно после перехода в христианство Кекардеро в 589 году, евреи открыто поддерживали мусульманское завоевание Андалусии в 711 году. С этого момента началась Золотая жра Испанского Иудаизма, когда раввинские академии Кордовы были прославлены еврейскими министрами халифов.

После завоевания Кордовы Мугитом, мусульмане договорились с жителями города, обещав не трогать их, кроме 400 рыцарей, которые продолжали сопротивляться из церкви св. Виктории за пределами городских стен и которые боролись до смерти. Договорные отношения между жителями и арабами хорошо видны хотя бы по тому факту, что эмир выкупил за большие деньги базилику Сан Винсенто, чтобы снести ее и построить на ее месте мечеть  — Musalla.

Дальше описание маршрута по еврейской Кордове на английском:

In 716 the Islamic Qurtuba is constituted as the administrative centre of Al-Ándalus, governed by an Emir answerable to Damascus and the centre of power is set up at the Visigoth palace near where the Citadel of the Christian Monarchs is located today.

The arrival of the Umayyad Abd al-Rahman I, the Immigrant, the Disinherited, joined together some groups unhappy with the prevailing policy and the followers of the future emir. In 756 the taking of Córdoba occurred and it was proclaimed as the capital of the independent emirate of Al-Ándalus. Abd al-Rahman I undertook the first major expansion of the Aljama Mosque of Córdoba and rebuilt the walls and the Citadel. It was Hisham I, the son of the first emir, who finished the works his father had started on the large mosque and erected the original minaret which has now disappeared. With the arrival in power of Abd al-Rahman II, the second major extension of the temple occurred and the city experienced a major construction boom.

However, the highest point of Moslem Qurtuba came thanks to Abd al-Rahman III who in 929 claimed the title of Caliph and proclaimed Córdoba as the capital of the Caliphate independent of Damascus, the religious, political and administrative centre of the whole Western Islamic kingdom. His most notable works include the extension of the Mosque and the foundation and construction of the Medina Azahara. Along with his son Al-Hakam II, the second caliph since 951, Córdoba attained its maximum splendour.

In Cordoba during the Caliphate of Abderramán III, Al-Hakam II —whose library attained 400,000 volumes — and their successors, the cultural spirit imported from the East was recreated, transformed, added to and translated into the heart of the flourishing cultural circles comprising Moslems, Jews and Christians to such an extent that Córdoba would become the scientific and cultural heir of Baghdad. The major Greek scientific, poetic and philosophical works conserved at the Alexandria Library were saved from oblivion thanks to the Moslem scientists and philologists who flourished most in Baghdad as from the second half of the 8th century. The Arab scholars and translators managed to merge the ancient Greek, Persian and Indian cultures with those of the new peoples incorporated into the great Arab empire. All of this cultural collection was transmitted to Moslem Spain and from there to the medieval Christian kingdoms.

With Al-Hakam II, the driving force behind the Cordoba university and knowledge, the Jews attained their highpoint in terms of knowledge and education. At the Cordoba schools created by the Caliphs, Jews and Moslems received instruction in philosophy, grammar, botany, maths and music. The Jews enjoyed similar privileges to those held by the Moslems, fought in the same armies and held government office. At this time Hasday in Shaprut received the post of nasi or prince of the Jews, thanks to his linguistic and scientific knowledge as well as his diplomatic skills. As the finance minister of the caliphate and an adept diplomat, Ibn Shaprut became a patron and protector of the intellectual activity of scholars like Dunash ben Labrat, a Talmudist from the north of Africa, and of his rival, Menahem ibn Sharuk. The great Jewish minister was to thank for the arrival in the city of the proud Toda, the Queen of Navarre with her extensive entourage, asking the Caliph for protection and aid. Hasday, who had surrounded himself by a team of scholars, poets and grammaticians, founded a school in Córdoba which was independent from the Gaonato, instigated the studying of the Talmud in the peninsula which rose with the intellectual leadership of Judaism worldwide and became the centre of Jewish knowledge.

After the death of Hasday ibn Shaprut in 970, Jewish Córdoba was in upheaval over the controversy as to who should succeed the learned Moses ben Hanok in the Rabbinate whose son held the post at that time. The Jewish quarter was split internally. The powerful silk manufacturer Jacob ibn Gau was inclined towards Joseph ibn Abitur, far better prepared than Hanok, a protégée of Hasday. Abitur was not only learned in Jewish themes, he was also a great Arabist and poet. As the dispute was dragging on, the matter was submitted to the criterion of the Caliph who opted for Hanok in view of the fact that the majority of the Jewish quarter sided with him too. Nevertheless, when Jacob ibn Gau was appointed a nasi and supreme judge of the Jews of Al-Ándalus and was elected by the Cordoban Jews as the president of their community, he relieved Hanok of his post and called ibn Abitur to take his place. Jacob ibn Gau ended up falling out of favour and Hanok got his post back which he held until his death in 1014.

With the son and successor of Al-Hakam II, Hisam II the city would again go into decline under Almanzor, its visir and to whom the Caliph had entrusted the governance of Qurtuba. A year before the death of the great Rabbi Hanok in 1013 civil war broke out in Córdoba after the death of Hisam II. The Berber king Sulayman joined forces with count Sancho de Castilla to attack the city whilst Wadhih sent his rich Jewish friends who went to Barcelona to seek aid and an alliance with Count Ramon Borrell III. When Sulayman entered Córdoba, he sacked the Jewish quarter, burning houses and businesses. The most powerful Jewish families in Córdoba were reduced to misery and many decided to go into exile. The son of Hasday ibn Shaprut, Joseph, and the grammatician Jonah ibn Jana set up in Saragossa, Samuel ibn Nagdelah in Málaga. In Córdoba only a small number of Jews remained who were pursued by the Almohads whose leader Abd-al Mum´in forced the Jews in 1148 to embrace Islam or die. Faced by this dilemma, many decided to feign conversion, but many others left the city. The synagogue, built by Isaac ibn Shaprut, Hasday’s father, was subject to pillage.

The Almoravide conquest, religious intolerance and the sacking to which the population was subject brought about a new flight of scholars who, used to freedom of thought and creation, felt impinged on by their fanaticism. In 1085, Toledo was conquered by Alfonso VI. This fact would be extremely relevant for the history of Córdoba. Faced by the danger that the Christian victory would extend throughout Al-Ándalus, the area was militarized and fell into the hand of the Almoravides in 1091. The early years of Almohad dominance continued the instability which had been experienced during the Almoravide period and so Al-Ándalus continued to strength in military terms. However, in 1162, the Caliph ‘Abd al-Mu´min once again turned Qurtuba into the capital of the territory. Owing to its geographic position, the city was the ideal spot to defend the south of Al-Ándalus, but also the Christian conquest and entrance into the interior. This is why several fortresses were built near the Al-Andalus citadel. One of them was located in the immediate vicinity of the Calahorra Tower; another was known as the Castillo Viejo de la Judería (Old Castle of the Jewish Quarter). From a religious perspective, the Almohads were far more radical than the Almoravides and they once again presented Christians and Jews with the dilemma of converting to Islam or dying. At his time Maimonides, the most influential Jewish philosopher of his time, whose Guide of the Perplexed left its mark on Jewish thinking and life like no other, left the city.

In June 1236 the Christian troops of Fernando III the Saint conquered the city, finding a place submerged in decadence after the Almohad mandate. After the conquest, the Moslems went free, taking with them their property and servants, but losing their real estate (houses and land) which would be donated and shared between conquerors and settlers. On June 30th Fernando III, surrounded by the nobility and all the people, made his solemn entrance into the city. After a mass, he went to the Caliph’s Palace — built by the Moslems — to start dealings with the nobility regarding what was necessary to repopulate the city.

After the conquest, the Jews would be favoured by a policy of tolerance, once again regaining the splendour of yore which had been lost during the Almoravide and Almohad domination. The Kings granted the same rights to Christians, Jews and Moslems in the charter and assigned the old Jewish quarter area to the Jews, granting them permission to build an additional synagoguedespite the opposition of the chapterhouse. The synagogue was to be built in 1315 and can still be found a Calle Judíos (Jews’ street), 20.

Alfonso X the Wise endeavoured to improve the Jews’ lot by granting them various privileges and rights: their quarters were extended and they were closed off by a wall isolating them from the rest of the population. This measure was not really intended to segregate, but rather to ensure the Jews’ safety, serving as an example of the anti-Semitic climate which started to become prevalent in the Al-Andalus Jewish quarters.

In 1349 the Black Death was to wreak its devastation on the city, something which would recur fifteen years later. This entailed very high mortality rates, a situation which was to be exacerbated by the scarcity of food and money. The relative peace prevailing throughout the 13th century after the Christian conquest was to be cut short in the 14th century, particularly in view of the terrible situation being experienced by the Kingdom of Castile where King Pedro I the Cruel and his stepbrother Enrique II de Trastámara engaged in battle in a Civil War (1351-1369) for the throne. Between 1366 and 1369 Córdoba was the site of a battle between those supporting each side from which Enrique II came out on top.

However, undoubtedly one of the most dramatic events occurring in Córdoba was in 1391 the year when an attack was mounted on the Jewish quarter. The Archdeacon of Écija, Ferrand Martínez, and his sermons led a raging mob to bring down the doors of the synagogue. The tension and revolts had started years before in Seville, spreading from there to the cities of Córdoba and Toledo. One of the reasons why the attacks began on the Jewish quarters was the fact that the Jews were blamed for the plague which was sweeping through Europe, accusing them of poisoning the city’s water. After the slaughters of 1391, the few Jews who managed to get out alive had to convert to Christianity, whilst watching their synagogue become a Catholic hospital and the attackers take possession of their houses and other belongings. Hence, in 1399 it became necessary to repopulate this district, creating a new congregation, that of San Bartolomé, which would be presided over by the Mudéjar Chapel of the same name. Many other converted Jews moved to the San Nicolás de la Axerquía district.

In 1406 the attacks on the Jewish quarter started up again and the persecutions of Jewish-owned houses and shops. As a result, Enrique III the Infirm imposed a fine of 40,000 doubloons on the city of Córdoba of which only a third was paid as the King died suddenly. After this new slaughter many Jews settled in Granada.

In 1473 a new revolt beset the converts. Led by Alonso Rodríguez, a blacksmith, the mob started setting fire to the converts’ houses in the pretext of avenging an insult: from the windows of the house a convert had hurled faecal waters over the image of the Virgin carried in a procession along Herrería street. The governor Alfonso de Aguilar, along with his brother Gonzalo Fernández de Córdoba and other gentlemen, asked the blacksmith to change his mind but in vain. The mob, enraged by the governor’s attitude, attacked converts’ houses in the streets of Ropería, Santa María de Gracia, Curtiduría, Alcaicería and Platería and it was not long before blood was spilled. The governor had to seek refuge in the citadel with the Jews and converts to avoid losing his life. The revolt on San Fernando street against those suspected of judaizing later, in 1482, led to a direct accusation against them by the Inquisition Court.

In around 1478 the Cordoban chief magistrate Francisco Valdés obliged the Jewish community to move to the old Jewish quarterin the Old Citadel, but as they felt rights had been abused, the Jews asked the monarch if they could go back to their former site which they finally achieved after raising the wall and access gates again which isolated them from Christian population.

In the final decade of the 15th century, the concentration of the troops of the Catholic Monarchs in Córdoba to deal the hammer blow to the kingdom of Granada is seen as a ray of hope to recover the site. It is here that Christopher Columbus is received to set out his projected voyage to the Indias. However, once the final Moslem stronghold has been taken, Isabel and Fernando dictate the expulsion of the Jews from the whole Christian territory and Alhambra de Granada. This decree was to be the hammer blow to the already debile Cordoban economy and would put an end to what had been the cohabitation of three cultures for seven centuries. Córdoba would take almost three centuries to recover economically and demographically after the exile of the Jews.

Туристический маршрут: евреи в Кордове

Calahorra Tower

Туристический маршрут по Кордове: евреи в Кордове, описания и карта маршрута, еврейская история Кордовы, Еврейский квартал, иудейская Кордова

At the southern end of the Roman Bridge is the La Calahorra Tower, a fortress of Islamic origin which consisted of two towers joined by an arch which allowed access to the city. The building is currently conserved (with very slight modifications) just as it was erected and carried out in 1369 by order of King Enrique II on the Moslem fortification. This monarch undertook the remodelling of the building to strengthen the city’s defences, a committed proponent of this idea in the long dispute with his brother King Pedro I the Cruel whose armies (and those of his Moslem allies) were defeated by the Cordobans at the battle of Campo de la Verdad, next to the fortress.

Declared a historic-artistic monument in 1931 and restored and conditioned in 1954, the Calahorra Tower was granted to the Institute for Dialogue between Cultures which set up an audio-visual museum there with modern tape-guide techniques. The Museum of the Three Cultures consists of 14 rooms and it presents a cultural overview of the medieval apogee of Córdoba between the 9th and 13th centuries, based on a mutual fertilisation of the Moslem, Christian and Jewish cultures. One of the museum rooms is devoted to Maimonides. It also has a reproduction of Azarquielʼs Astrolabe and depiction of the rites undertaken at the Synagogue.

Alcazar of the Christian Monarchs

Citadel of the Catholic Monarchs
Туристический маршрут по Кордове: евреи в Кордове, описания и карта маршрута, еврейская история Кордовы, Еврейский квартал, иудейская Кордова

The Citadel of the Christian Monarchs was built by Alfonso XI theJustice maker in 1327 on part of the former Caliph’s Al-Andalus palace, being intended to serve as the royal residence and bestowing upon it the castle features which have survived until today. The Inquisition headquarters was set up at the Citadel in 1492 alongside the castle of the Jews, one of the traditional sites of the Jewish collective after King Fernando III the Saint arrived in the city in 1236.

The citadel was the royal residence during the 14th and 15th centuries and as from 1482 it became the headquarters for the Catholic Monarchs’ army to conquer the kingdom of Granada. It was here that Isabel and Fernando received Christopher Columbus and here they were remained until the taking of Granada when they handed the citadel over to the Inquisition. The Court of the Holy Office — which turned a large part of the palace rooms into dungeons — remained at this headquarters until 1812 when the Courts of Cádiz abolished it.

Alcázar Viejo (Old Citadel)

Enmedio street. The former Old Citadel
Туристический маршрут по Кордове: евреи в Кордове, описания и карта маршрута, еврейская история Кордовы, Еврейский квартал, иудейская Кордова

The Old Citadel district was where the Jews settled after the Christian conquest of the city in 1236. As early as the 15th century the Chief Magistrate Francisco Valdés again moved the Jews to the Old Citadeldistrict in 1478. However, the Jewish community complained to the Catholic King and managed to return to their former site within a year. The stipulation by Fernando the Catholic on May 16th 1479 ran as follows:

Fué acordado que los dichos judios se quedasen en la judería donde estaban é que se pusiesen dos puertas en los dichos arcos porque estuviesen mas apartados e cerrados; e habiendo el dicho Corregidor avenido las dichas puertas en siete milmaravedis, y estando lo sobredicho en este estado, que vos el dicho Francisco de Valdés, mi Corregidor, movido por inducimiento de algunas personas habeis mandado so ciertas penas que los dichos judíos dejen sus casas, e judería, e sinoga, é que se pasen á vevir al Alcazar viejo donde vos el dicho Corregidor estais; en lo cual diz que ellos son muy agraviados, porque ellos estando, como están, apartados, no se les debe mandar dejar sus casas é judería é sinoga, é ir a comprar otras casas é facer otra sinoga de nuevo en otra parte, siendo, como es, el lugar donde estan conviniente para ello, porque ellos, perderán toda su facienda, é no tenian con que se sostener, ni tienen con que facer nin comprar casas é sinoga de nuevo; por su parte me fue suplicado y pedido por merced que sobre ello les proveyese como la mi merced fuese. […] Por que vos mando que, luego que con ella furedes requeridos, fagais poner en los dichos arcos viejos, que estan á la entrada de la dicha judería sus puertas con que se cierren y se abran; y si viéredes que otras puertas se deben poner, las fagais poner; é no les constringades ni apremiedes á que se hayan de ir a vivir á otras partes algunas, ni que se hayan de apartar al dicho Alcázar viejo. […] Nin les fagais nin consintais que les fagan mal, ni danno, nin otro desaguisado alguno en sus personas, ni en sus bienes, como no deben; ca yo por esta mi carta tomo á los judíos so mi guarda é amparo é defendimiento real.


Castle of the Jews

The Castillo de los Judíos (Castle of the Jews) after its restoration
Туристический маршрут по Кордове: евреи в Кордове, описания и карта маршрута, еврейская история Кордовы, Еврейский квартал, иудейская Кордова

The streets of Caballerizas Reales, Martín Roa and Hasday in Shaprut delimit, along with the park of Campo Santo de los Mártires, the space occupied by the Old Citadel or Castle of the Jews, as an advance party on the walls, an old Arab fortification which was used by the Jews who settled in Córdoba after the taking of the city by Fernando III in 1236. TheWall tower which overlooks Caballerizas Reales street bears testimony to that advance fortress raised by the Almoravides in the 12th to the 13th centuries, forming part of the San Basilio district or of the Old Citadel, created in the 14th century. From the tower, the arch which leads outside the wall opens out on the right to Martín Roa street where a stretch of the wall is raised which is protected by the Bethlehem tower; below it there lies the statue of the poet Luis Prieto Romana, better known as Luis Navas, one of the most popular characters in 20th century Córdoba.

The archaeological excavations have also allowed the revelation of the foundations of an access gate to the Castle of the Jews at the confluence of Hasday ibn Shaprut street with Campo Santo de los Mártires street. We can deduce from reading some documents about the Cordoban Jews the existence of a synagogue alongside the gate, containing a space which, after the attack on the Jewish quarter in 1391, became a ghetto, eventually accommodating around 500 people within at its height.

Hasday ibn Shaprut

Hasday ibn Shaprut was one of the most unique figures in the court of Abderramán III, a doctor and right-hand man of the Caliph, born in Jaén in 910 and appointed by him the nasir or chief of Jewish communities of Al-Ándalus, a post he held with others such as the minister or head of protocol. A diplomat, writer, a wealthy man and true patron of poets, philosophers, grammaticians and scientists, Ibn Shaprut acted as a true minister of foreign affairs of the Caliphate and was one of the major driving forces in the golden age of Al-Ándalus Jewish culture. He died in Córdoba in around 975.

Fonsario or cemetery of the Jews

Miniature of the Sarajevo Haggadah
Туристический маршрут по Кордове: евреи в Кордове, описания и карта маршрута, еврейская история Кордовы, Еврейский квартал, иудейская Кордова

Traditionally, the Fonsario or Jewish cemetery was situated outside the walls in the former Huerta del Rey, near the Almodóvar gate and the modern Doctor Fleming Avenue, but it has not been possible to corroborate its existence archaeologically.

A Jewish cemetery was located at the excavations carried out by Enrique Romero de Torres around 1930 and a second excavation carried out by José Andrés Vázquez in 1934 who found Jewish burials in a mound situated between the Seville Gate and the modern cemetery of Nuestra Señora de la Salud (Our Lady of Health).

José Andrés Vázquez found twenty tombs of trapezoidal shaped facing eastwards; some of them formed by freestone ashlars with fragmented tile wedges and Arab bricks and roofs with large-scale ashlar made from similar stone. Between these tombs two were joined by a vault-shaped brick thread and also facing east. Alongside the human remains contained by these tombs there were many nails, some of which had wooden adherences. Around the tombs there were fragments of Mudejar ceramics.

At a later date, Romero de Torres would resume the excavation works around twenty metres further up from the place where the previous findings were made. On this occasion around forty two sepulchres were excavated which were identical to the previous ones, with the same orientation and the same construction materials. Other poorer quality tombs were excavated at the site and their contour indicated with boulders. An Arab rainwater tank was also found containing ten skeletons mixed with nails and facing towards the east.

The cemetery

The cemetery was located outside the walls at a certain distance from the Jewish district. The chosen site:

  • Must be on virgin soil
  • Must be on a slope
  • Be oriented towards Jerusalem


The Jewish quarter had to have a direct access to the cemetery to prevent the burials from having to pass through the interior of the city.

After 1492 the monarchs authorised (in Barcelona in 1391) the reuse of stones from Jewish cemeteriesas construction material. It is thus not unusual to find fragments of Hebrew inscriptions in several subsequent constructions.

Despite the pillaging they suffered from the late 14th century, the memory of these cemeteries has remained in the name in certain places, for instance, Montjuïc in Barcelona or Girona. We are aware of the existence of more than twenty medieval Jewish cemeteries. Others are only known of thanks to the documentation or the headstones conserved. The one in Barcelona at Montjuïc was excavated in 1945 and 2000, the one in Seville in 2004, the one in Toledo in 2009 and the one in Ávila in 2012.

Gate of Almodóvar or Bab-al-Yahud

Gate of Almodóvar or Bab-al-Yahud

Туристический маршрут по Кордове: евреи в Кордове, описания и карта маршрута, еврейская история Кордовы, Еврейский квартал, иудейская Кордова

The Gate of Almodóvar, known as the Puerta del Nogal (walnut gate) (Bad-al-Chawz), is of Arab origin. This gate, greatly remodelled in the Christian era, underwent a further major overhaul in the 16th century, subsequently being restored in 1802 and, more recently, in the 1960’s. It is the sole surviving example of the systematic destruction of walls and gates which started in the late 18th century. This disaster originated from demographic expansion experienced by the city after its stagnation for three centuries.

The whole walled stretch to the south of the gate is conserved which is prolonged as far as Campo Santo de los Mártires throughout Cairuán street. This wall, seriously remodelled in the 14th century, underwent major restoration in the 1960’s carried out by José Rebollo who added the moat and the lower promenade which surrounds it, whilst at its southern end the gate known as Puerta de la Luna (Moon Gate) was opened.


Moon Gate

The Moon Gate and Doctor Fleming Avenue
Туристический маршрут по Кордове: евреи в Кордове, описания и карта маршрута, еврейская история Кордовы, Еврейский квартал, иудейская Кордова

The Cordoban wall starts at the house of Bishop Salizanes, a 17th century palace constructed on former Jewish houses and which continues with the monument to Averroes, the Moon Gate and an extensive fountain which recovers the layout of the former ditch and also recalls the stream of water which was supposed to separate the world of the living and the dead (in other words, the Jewish quarter from the Jewish cemetery).

Originally, Luna street, accessed via Moon Gate, was an alleyway which became accessible outside the wall in the 1960’s when the Moon Gate was opened on the westernmost stretch of the wall.

Having past the arch, a square is accessed where the fountain backing onto the front wall stands out, designed in 1964 by the architect José Rebollo dedicated to the God Pan, symbolised by a child by playing the flute, sculpted by Rafael García Rueda who used his own son’s face as the model. Above there is a Baroque stone console. In front there is a column crowned by the image of the Virgen de la Luna (Virgin of the Moon) made of iron. Going into the alley on the right there is the rear of the Casa de las Pavas (Pavas House) and on the left the façade of Casa de Villaceballos (Villaceballos House) with brick walls. In one of the bends we are surprised by the coat-of-arms of Córdoba and now and again the brick blind arches with roof which seem to secure the narrow walls.

Al-Andalus House-Museum

Bath bedecked in flowers
Туристический маршрут по Кордове: евреи в Кордове, описания и карта маршрута, еврейская история Кордовы, Еврейский квартал, иудейская Кордова

At number 12 Judíos street the Al-Andalus house open its doors, a luxurious 12th century dwelling annexed to the western stretch of the Cordoban wall which conserves a vaulted wall-walk. From the Roman mosaic of its cellar to the Morisco living room where the life of Cordoban Moslems is recreated, the Al-Andalus house represents the overlaying of cultures of which the city today is a product. A valuable collection of artistic objects complements the lavish decoration of the house and courtyard, the culmination of work by the French communist historian Roger Garaudy and his wife the Palestinian Salma Farouqui after the former had converted to Islam and both settled in Córdoba.

Calle Judíos (Еврейская улица)

Judíos street
Туристический маршрут по Кордове: евреи в Кордове, описания и карта маршрута, еврейская история Кордовы, Еврейский квартал, иудейская Кордова

Open to the south, la Judíos street runs parallel to the wall. The main thoroughfare of the Jewish quarter, its narrowness, the whitewashed exquisiteness of its houses and the fluting which runs along a large part of its course to facilitate passage to carts and carriages lend it the unmistakable air of a Jewish quarter located in a medieval Moslem city, further added to by the craft’s trades set up on this street.

Casa de Sefarad (Sefarad House)

Entrance to the Sefarad House on Judíos street
Туристический маршрут по Кордове: евреи в Кордове, описания и карта маршрута, еврейская история Кордовы, Еврейский квартал, иудейская Кордова

Directly facing the synagogue, casa de Sefarad, or the House of Memory is a 14th century property which is linked, according to various sources, to the Jewish temple. The coloured circles of the courtyard chapter are one of the original elements of this building, restored conscientiously to recreate the spirit of the Cordoban Jews. Besides serving as a point of reference on any itinerary through Hebrew Córdoba, the Casa de la Memoria (House of Memory) is a cultural centre where concerts and acts of many kinds are staged and it boasts a specialised library and shop where you can find a wide range of Jewish-related objects.

Синагога Кордовы

Interior of the synagogue
Туристический маршрут по Кордове: евреи в Кордове, описания и карта маршрута, еврейская история Кордовы, Еврейский квартал, иудейская Кордова

Situated at number 20 on Judíos street, the synagogue is undoubtedly the most important building of the Cordoban Jewish quarter. Closed in 5075 in the Jewish calendar, in other words 1315 of the Christian era, the temple was built under the reign of Alfonso VI as thanks by the latter to the Jews for their collaboration in the victory at the Battle of Salado against the Moslems. The work was completed by Isaac Moheb as stated in the foundation inscription.

A small courtyard precedes the entrance to the hall from which access is gained to the prayer room and the steps which lead to the women’s tribune on the upper floor. In the first, a spacious stone souk precedes the precious decoration of arabesque on the four walls; on the eastern wall, the central space stands out, presided over by a menorah which occupies the place where the rabbi conducting the ceremony would stand, and on his right a brick cabinet has been conserved used for keeping the Aron Kodesh or holy ark inside which the Torahscrolls were kept; at the southern wall the tribune opens up by way of three magnificent windows.

After the expulsion of the Jews, the synagogue complex, which included the annexed Talmudic study centre, became a hydrophobic hospital and the prayer room was transformed into the Chapel of Santa Quiteria.In 1588 the property was acquired by the brotherhood of cobbles, a guild which included a major part of New Christians of Jewish origin and in the 19th century the roof was replaced by a barrel vault and the plasterwork was lined in stucco.. In 1884 the chaplain Mariano Párraga, along with the academic Rafael Romero Barros (father of the painter Julio Romero de Torres), discovered the original plasterwork and in 1885, after it was declared a National Monument, a careful recovery process began which has allowed much of its original splendour to be restored.

Что такое синагога?

The synagogue (place of congregation, in Greek) is a Jewish temple. It faces Jerusalem, the Holy City, and it is a place for religious ceremonies, communal prayer, studying and meeting.

The Torahis read at the ceremonies. This task is conducted by the Rabbis aided by the cohen or singing child. The synagogue is not only a house of prayer but also an instruction centre as it is there where the Talmudic schools are usually run.

Men and women sit in separate sections.

The synagogue interior contains:

  1. The Hejal closet located in the east wall, facing Jerusalem, stored inside the Sefer Torah, the scrolls of the Torah, the Jewish sacred law.
  2. The Ner Tamid, the everlasting flame always lit before the Ark.
  3. The menorah, a seven-armed candelabrum, a habitual symbol in worship.
  4. The Bimah, place from where the Torah is read.

Еврейский квартал в Кордове

The Jewish quarter. Deanes Street
Туристический маршрут по Кордове: евреи в Кордове, описания и карта маршрута, еврейская история Кордовы, Еврейский квартал, иудейская Кордова

From an urbanistic perspective, theJewish Quarter district presents the typical Islamic layout with two central intersecting streets and a labyrinth of small roads which sometimes culminated in typical culs-de sac or wall-walks. The limits of the current Jewish quarter stretch from theAlmodóvar Gate to the Mosque-Cathedral and the Episcopal Palace (the former Al-Andalus citadel) to the south. Rey Heredia street marked the district frontier to the east, adjoining the wall to the west. These limits thus coincide major features with the streets Judíos, Albucasis, Manríquez, Averroes, Judería, Almanzor, Tomás Conde, Deanes, Romero and the squares Cardenal Salazar, Judá Leví and Maimónides.

The current Jewish quarter district was separated from the rest of the city by a walled site which isolated its inhabitants whilst protecting them from the Christians anger. We know that one of the gates of this site was that of Malburguete located opposite the Mosque-Cathedral at the start of the current Judería street. But not all the Jews lived in this district. Reduced at the beginning to the east, very soon, as from 1260, some Jews settled in nearby areas and subsequently at commercial sites within the San Salvador district where the Local Council is now housed and the San Andrés district alongside the parish of San Nicolás de la Axerquía in Ribera and even to the north of the city on the outskirts of the Puerta del Osario (Cemetery Gate), Merced field and the Santa Marina district, revealing that they could move about the city easily. Over the centuries the Sephardis also lived in other areas of the city. Later, in 1272 Alfonso X the Wise ordered the closing off of the Jewish quarter district, forcing the Jews to live therein and thereby creating the Jewish quarter around the Mosque which we know today.

Federico García Lorca and the Jewish quarter of Córdoba

In the poem San Rafael which Federico García Lorca dedicated to Córdoba (1928) the poet refers to the image of San Rafael situated alongside the PuenteGate as the Arcángel aljamiado (Archangel of the aljama), perhaps because his statue is situated at one of the limits of the aljama:

The Archangel of the aljama,
with his dark sequins,
at the meeting of the waves
sought murmuring and a refuge.


The municipal crafts souk
Туристический маршрут по Кордове: евреи в Кордове, описания и карта маршрута, еврейская история Кордовы, Еврейский квартал, иудейская Кордова

As in the other Moslem cities, Córdoba constituted a large marketplace. Traders and craftsmen opened their shops on the street in a narrow, busy corridor which spread throughput almost the whole city, offering its customers products they made themselves or brought from all around the world. In ancient times the souk contained wool, perfumeries, shops etc. It suffered several fires along its history until in the 10th century thealcaicería was created, a royal market overseen by the Caliph guardwhere the lavishest, imported products were sold like silks, perfumes, spices etc. This building served simultaneously as a warehouse and as a guest house for travellers.

The current municipal souk, a two-storey Mudejar style building with a large porticoed courtyard where the Cordoban craftsmen reveal their know-how with leather work, silverware or ceramics.


Часовня св. Бартоломео

Entrance to the chapel of St. Bartholomew on Averroes street
Туристический маршрут по Кордове: евреи в Кордове, описания и карта маршрута, еврейская история Кордовы, Еврейский квартал, иудейская Кордова

At the corner of Averroes street and Cardenal Salazar, the chapel of St. Bartholomew serves as an example of the setting up right in the heart of the Jewish quarter of a new parish of converts after the attack of 1391 when the Jews who decided to remain faithful to the law of Moses were segregated to the stronghold of the Old Citadel.

Possibly raised on a former mosque between 1399 and 1410, the chapel constitutes a splendid example of Gothic-Mudejar style. It comprises a rectangular nave with a cross vault which still retains a plinth of original plasterwork and tiles which have recently been restored; it also has a courtyard parallel to the chapel nave with a façade giving out onto the street. On the façade there is a pointed arch and a three-arched portico, whilst the roof is lined in Arabic ceramic tiles.

It currently forms part of the Faculty of Philosophy and Letters of Córdoba University. Cardenal Salazar street leads to the square of the same name where you can access the University outbuilding in a building which used to serve as the Provincial Hospital of Agudos.



Tiberiades Square

Tiberidades square with the sculpture of Maimonides
Туристический маршрут по Кордове: евреи в Кордове, описания и карта маршрута, еврейская история Кордовы, Еврейский квартал, иудейская Кордова

The private Tiberiades square, where the bronze sculpture of Maimonides is situated, the work of Amadeo Ruiz Olmos, is a small square for a great man, the greatest of those coming out of the Cordoban aljama, so much so that amongst the Jews the expression arose De Moisés a Moisés no hubo otro como Moisés (Moses come and go but there was none like Moses), alluding to the first name of Moses ben Maimón, better known asMaimonides, or also by his Hebrew initials which formed the name Rambam.

The sculpture was inaugurated in 1985 to commemorate the 850th anniversary of the birth of the Sephardi scholar and the square received the name of Tiberiades, the Palestinian settlement in Galilee where thecenotaph is situated which pays universal tribute to Maimonides. Dressed in Arabian style, sitting in melancholy fashion with a book between his hands, the universal master seems to be recalling, right in the heart of the Jewish quarter which he saw come to light, a life packed with deeds and visions.

Moses ben Maimón, Maimonides

Moses ben Maimón, better known as Maimonides, or also by his Hebrew initials which form the name of Rambam, was born in Córdoba on March 30th 1135. Maimonides was the son of Rabbi Maión ben Yosef with whom he started studying the Torah; he would later learn maths, astronomy, physics and philosophy. Fleeing from Córdoba because of the pressure of the Almohads, in 1171 he arrived in Cairo where he set up as the doctor of the court of Saladin, subsequently attaining the office of ra’is al-Yahud or head of the Jewish community. Whilst in the Egyptian capital he would write his Regimen of Health. Comments on the aphorisms of Hippocrates, Comments on the Mishneh and Letter to Yemen, as well as his two most famous works: the legal treatise Mishneh Torah(Second Law) and the Moreh Nevukhim (Guide of the perplexed), written in Arab and later translated into Hebrew. He died in Cairo on December 13th 1204.

Maimónides Square

Maimónides or Bulas square with the Bullfighting Museum
Туристический маршрут по Кордове: евреи в Кордове, описания и карта маршрута, еврейская история Кордовы, Еврейский квартал, иудейская Кордова

Maimónides Square was known in times of yore as the Armentas, Arcediano and Bulas square, in the latter case with regard to the Renaissance house of Bulas where the Córdoba Bullfighting Museum is currently situated. At the opposite end of the square at the corner with Tomás Conde street, another noble building of note: the house of theCounts of Hornachuelos.

Abraham ibn Daud

Despite having been surpassed by Maimonides, Abraham ibn Daud (1110-1180) is the real father of Jewish rationalist thought. A philosopher and a historian, he was famous for introducing Aristotelian thought into the knowledge of Judaism and he was the first Jewish thinker who was an apologist of Aristotelian rationalism, before Maimonides. Up to that time the Jews had tended towards Neo-Platonism as is the case of Ibn Gabirol.

As far as his life was concerned, we know that, like many Jews — including Maimonides and his family—, he fled from the city after the invasion by the intolerant Almohads in 1148 and took refuge in Toledo. Whilst there he wrote his philosophical work Al-Akidah al-Rafiyah (The sublime faith) in Arab in 1160 which was subsequently translated into Hebrew, and in around 1161 his most famous work, Sefer ha-Kabbalah (Book of tradition), a detailed list of the generations of Jewish spiritual leaders, from Moses to the contemporary Rabbis.

He died in Toledo in 1180. In 2010 the ninth centenary of his birth was celebrated.

Judá Leví Square

Judá Leví Square
Туристический маршрут по Кордове: евреи в Кордове, описания и карта маршрута, еврейская история Кордовы, Еврейский квартал, иудейская Кордова

Square dedicated to one of the most prestigious Hispano-Hebrew poets of the Golden Age of Spanish Judaism, Yehudá ben Samuel ha-Levi (1070-1141), born in Tudela. This poet spent a large part of his life in Christian Spain. Driven by his desire to learn, he came to Al-Ándalus and spent some time in Córdoba, already renowned as a precocious poet. This square was originally an open space in the confluence of Albucasis street (previously Portería de San Pedro Alcántara street) Manríquez street, extended in 1958 with the construction of the Municipal Tourism Office building, now the Police Station. Tucked away in a nook of the square is the Andalusian Government Youth Hostel.

Yehudah ha-Leví

Yehuda Ha Leví (1070-1141) is the prince of Hebrew-Al-Andalus poets according to a phrase by Menéndez Pidal. He was adept at all kinds of poetic genres: panegyrics, poems of friendship and love, nuptial poetry, moaxajas, elegies etc. His friendly nature would bring him the friendship of the most illustrious men of letters of Jewish-Span9sh society with whom he exchanged letter poems. Abraham ibn Ezrá could have been his co-father-in-law.

His poetry features his Messianic hopes and the idea that the redemption of the Jewish people involved their return to the promised land:

My heart is in the East whilst I live
in the far West.


With the passage of time his work tended towards philosophy and the apology of Judaism. The Kuzari is regarded as a vital work. Written in the form of a dialogue in Arab, it was translated into Hebrew and in the 17th century to Castilian Spanish. From theKabbalist circles and anti-rationalists it becomes the reference work for the national consciousness of the Jewish people in exile.

In 1141, nearing seventy, after living in Córdoba for a few years, he died on the way to Alexandria and we are unaware whether he managed to reach Jerusalem.

Арабские бани Санта-Мария

Arab Baths of St. Mary´s. Cold room
Туристический маршрут по Кордове: евреи в Кордове, описания и карта маршрута, еврейская история Кордовы, Еврейский квартал, иудейская Кордова

The Arab Baths of St. Mary´s, often frequented by Cordoban Jews, constitute one of the few examples conserved of this kind of buildings which were very popular and abounded in the Córdoba of the Caliph and even persisting after the Christian conquest. They were built during the time of the Caliph and reconstructed in the 14th century by Mudejarmaster builders and they are situated between Velázquez Bosco street (the former Comedias street) and Céspedes street (which was Baño Bajo street).

The monument includes a rainwater tank and three vaulted rooms corresponding to the frigidarium (cold baths), the tepidarium(warm baths) and the caldarium(hot baths). The first room, containing the cold baths, covered by a half-barrel vault and compartmentalised into several rooms, has remained integrated in the current dwelling at number 10 Velázquez Bosco Street which is open to visitors. Today, thetepidarium room is a square courtyard which is 7.5 metres long each side with galleries whose weight is borne by eight columns which support horseshoe arches and semi-circular domes perforated by truncated pyramid-shaped chandeliers. Finally, thecaldarium, is a rectangular room which measures 10.3 by 3.1 metres with brick and stone ashlar walls covered by a stone barrel vault and three series of skylights which are currently covered. On the western side of the room two horseshoe arches open out which originally were the setting for several swimming pools and, between both, a narrow vaulted gallery providing a connection with the rainwater tank.

Еврейский дом

Rear façade of Casa del Judío
Туристический маршрут по Кордове: евреи в Кордове, описания и карта маршрута, еврейская история Кордовы, Еврейский квартал, иудейская Кордова

Opposite the Archaeological Museum with its façade on Horno del Cristo street is the so-called Casa del Judío, a manor house restored by the architects Félix Hernández and Rafael Manzano, in actual fact, the result of the fusion of the Medinaceli manor house with the Casas Altas manor house joined by beautiful courtyards.

This house is one of the most beautiful mansions in the city and it has two façades of different sizes: the main one gives out onto Rey Heredia street; the second forms part of Jerónimo Páez square opposite the Páez de Castillejo Palace which today accommodates the Archaeological Museum.

The house is commonly known as the Casa del Judío (House of the Jew)as its last owner was the French Jewish businessman, of Sephardic origin, Elie J. Nahmias, who, from when he arrived in the town to when he died loved the city passionately. Córdoba City Council named the square behind the house — at the end of the Cuesta de Pero Mato street, opposite Jerónimo Páez square — after him.

Археологический музей Кордовы

Archaeological Museum Entrance
Туристический маршрут по Кордове: евреи в Кордове, описания и карта маршрута, еврейская история Кордовы, Еврейский квартал, иудейская Кордова

The Archaeological Museum is situated at Jerónimo Páez Square, right in the heart of the city’s old town, very near the Mosque-Cathedral and it occupies a palace from the Renaissance which belonged to the Páez de Castillejo family. Despite the fact that the building conserves some structures from the Late Middle Ages as it was a Mudejar house, it was totally remodelled in the 16th century. It was bought in 1496 by the Páez de Castillejo and it is the latter who undertook the Renaissance remodelling, highlighting the main stairs and the doorway.

Subsequently, between 1944 and 1959, after being used for various purposes, the palace was adapted by Félix Hernández to accommodate the Archaeological Museum which was set up therein in 1960. The museum was extended in 2011 with a new building housing offices, laboratories and a permanent exhibition.


Мемориальный камень в церкви св. Михаила

Memorial stone at St. Michaelʼs Church / Plaza de St Miguel
Туристический маршрут по Кордове: евреи в Кордове, описания и карта маршрута, еврейская история Кордовы, Еврейский квартал, иудейская Кордова

Alongside the puerta de Osario (Ossuary gate), called Bab al-Yahud(Jews’ Gate) before the Christian conquest, there lies St. Michaelʼs church inside which there is a Hebrew inscription. The inscription is a memorial stone from the now disappeared Jewish cemetery of Córdoba from the times of the Emir and the Caliph, reused to build the temple and situated in the central apse, that of the presbytery on the Evangelist nave side.

Although it is hard to read owing to the deterioration of the piece, according to the expert Jordi Casanovas, the inscription, a mere three lines, says:

Meir son of Rabbi G… rest his soul in the beam of the ever-living ones.


The memorial stone inscription shares the final content of the Zumbacón headstone; descanse su alma en el haz de los vivientes. This content, the simplest and oldest, had only appeared up to that point in a further two Jewish inscriptions of the peninsula; thetrilingual headstone of Tortosa (6th century) and the Calatayud headstone (circa 919).

The appearance of the Zumbacón headstone with the same content and probably deriving from the same cemetery, closed in 845, perhaps serves to date the memorial stone between the 9th and 10th centuries. In any case, the chronology of both pieces makes it unlikely that any of them belonged to the Jewish cemetery of the Huerta del Rey (the King’s Garden) associated with the Jewish occupation of the Jewish quarter we know today of which we only have a record in the Late Middle Ages Christian period and they must in all likelihood have been placed in the Jewish cemetery from the time of the Emir and the Caliphate which has now disappeared.


Еврейское кладбище Los Santos Pintados

Aerial view of the excavated area of the Santos Pintados maqbara
Туристический маршрут по Кордове: евреи в Кордове, описания и карта маршрута, еврейская история Кордовы, Еврейский квартал, иудейская Кордова

In January 1953 Samuel Santos Gener, the director of the Córdoba Archaeological Museum, echoed there are some Jewish sepulchres in the immediate vicinity of Santos Pintados. An array of:

Sepulcros formados por seis grandes losas de piedra caliza acuñadas verticalmente, a tres por banda en forma rectangular y cerrados por una sola losa para la cabeza y otra para los pies. Su altura es aproximadamente de 0’50 m y la longitud de 2 m. Lo más curioso de estos sepulcros es la forma de tapar con losas escalonadas que permiten que el agua de la lluvia penetre en el interior.


The cemetery, given an affiliation which may be Mozarab, follows a pattern which is virtually identical to that of the maqbara, or Islamic cemetery found in Zumbacón: position of the individuals in supine position with variations in their orientation, though burials with the head to the East and feet to the West predominate. Burials in cist abound whose grave is sometimes lined in calcarenite ashlars with or without a cover, with the latter formed, where applicable, by three or four well-edged limestone slabs.

The graves can be rectangular or trapezoidal based; there are none which are anthropomorphically based. Neither is there any record of trousseaus. Worthy of special note is the poor condition of the majority of the funereal structures, particularly the bone remains and the latter are frequently absent under some of the localised structures.


The cemetery was located outside the walls at a certain distance from the Jewish district. The chosen site:

  • Must be on virgin soil
  • Must be on a slope
  • Be oriented towards Jerusalem


The Jewish quarter had to have a direct access to the cemetery to prevent the burials from having to pass through the interior of the city.

After 1492 the monarchs authorised (in Barcelona in 1391) the reuse of stones from Jewish cemeteriesas construction material. It is thus not unusual to find fragments of Hebrew inscriptions in several subsequent constructions.

Despite the pillaging they suffered from the late 14th century, the memory of these cemeteries has remained in the name in certain places, for instance, Montjuïc in Barcelona or Girona. We are aware of the existence of more than twenty medieval Jewish cemeteries. Others are only known of thanks to the documentation or the headstones conserved. The one in Barcelona at Montjuïc was excavated in 1945 and 2000, the one in Seville in 2004, the one in Toledo in 2009 and the one in Ávila in 2012.


Надгробие Yehudah Bar Akon

Headstone of Yehudah Bar Akon found in Zumbacón
Туристический маршрут по Кордове: евреи в Кордове, описания и карта маршрута, еврейская история Кордовы, Еврейский квартал, иудейская Кордова

The Archaeological Museum conserves the only Jewish funeral headstone found until now in the city of Córdoba relating to the Jew Yehudah bar Akon, undoubtedly an important figure who died in Córdoba in the mid-11th century.

Having appeared in the Zumbacón district during the course of an emergency excavation and closed in 845, this piece is extremely important as it is the only material remains known until now which documents the Cordoban Jewish aljama during the governance of the Omeya emirs. It is also the oldest Jewish headstone found in Spain along with the trilingual headstone of Tortosa. The piece is complete and its text, written in Hebrew, bears the name of the deceased, the year of death and a prayer on a white-yellowish marble base which is 21 cm high, 32 cm wide and 2.5 cm thick.

The headstone is carried out on a reused piece. It was originally a Parietal RomanArchitrave as it conserves the remains of frames on the back. The text, written in Hebrew, is produced in relief, using the same technique as was used for Arab kufic inscriptions. Thanks to José Ramón Ayaso Martínez we have access to its translation:

This is the tomb of Yeyudah
son of Rabí Akon, of blessed memory,
His spirit is with the righteous.
He died on Friday three
of Kislev of the year [4]606 (November 6th, 845 AD).
Rest his soul in the beam of the ever-living ones


After discovering this important piece, Isabel Larrea and Enrique Hiedra undertook an investigation published in the Anejos de Anales de Arqueología Cordobesa (Annexes of the Annals of Cordoban Archaeology) (2010) in which they relate the Zumbacón headstone with the Jewish necropolis found in the immediate vicinity of Santos Pintados (the current Glorieta de Los Almogávares).

Площадь Corredera

Detail of the arches of the square
Туристический маршрут по Кордове: евреи в Кордове, описания и карта маршрута, еврейская история Кордовы, Еврейский квартал, иудейская Кордова

La Corredera square is situated in the centre of the city down to Rodríguez Marín or Espartería street, opposite the Roman Temple. It consists of a very ample rectangle with a porticoed lower gallery. The semi-circular arches on pillars serve to support three stories, with rectangular, symmetric holes and prolonged iron balconies. At this square stone, lime and brick combine in an amazing harmony.

La Corredera square was raised in the 15th century on what had previously been a simple area of level ground outside the walls of the Medina; it owes its name to the bullfights which were held there. This enclave owes its current appearance to the works commissioned in 1687 by the Chief Magistrate Francisco Ronquillo Briceño, following the Baroque model of the main Castilian squares and acquiring, like the latter, its rectangular shape and its current architecture. All that remains of the previous age were the Houses of doña Ana Jacinto from the 16th century which take up the space to the southwest of the square.

The La Corredera square was originally designed as a space to celebrate the major public acts of the time: bullfights, jousting with canes, military victories, religious acts, autos de fe and even executions. The current remodelling, carried out in 2001, has given it back its original purpose as an entertainment and meeting place on whose terraces the sun and beauty of the environs can be enjoyed. The style of this square is unique in Andalusia and it may form a trilogy with the main square in and Madrid and that of Salamanca. La Corredera square bore testimony for centuries to one of the darkest chapters in the history of Spain: theHoly Inquisition.

This place was the stage for the autos de fe organised by the Holy Office to atone for the sins of heretics: Jews including converted families – moriscos –converted Moslems–, witches, protestants and even masons and apologists of the ideas of the Enlightenment and the French Revolution in the 18th century. autos de fe were ceremonies which lasted all day long, from morning to night. They were public shows which started off with a pompous procession of the civil and ecclesiastical authorities followed by the condemned dressed in sanbenitos and hoods. The sentences were read and those condemned to death were handed over to the civil office where the executioner burned them at the stake in plain view of everyone. The Court of the Holy Office was created in 1478 during the reign of the Catholic Monarchs and was not abolished in Spain until 1812.

Court of the Holy Office of the Inquisition

Created by the Catholic Monarchs in 1478 and directly answerable to the Crown, the Court of the Holy Office of the Inquisitionsaw to the upholding of Catholic orthodoxy in its kingdoms and operated in Spain until its final abolition in 1834 during the reign of Isabel II.

The Inquisition, as an ecclesiastical court, only had jurisdiction over baptized Christians. For the majority of its history though, as where was no freedom of worship in Spain and its dependent territories, its jurisdiction extended to virtually all the subjects of the King of Spain.

The Inquisition was created by means of the papal bullAd abolendam, issued in 1184 by Pope Lucius III after the synod of Verona as a tool for combatting the Albigensian heresy in the south of France. As well as in France and Spain, there were pontifical Inquisition courts in several European Christian kingdoms during the Middle Ages.In the Crown of Aragon a pontifical Inquisition Court operated according to a ruling Excommunicamus by Pope Gregory IX in 1232 during the time of Albigensian heresy; its main representative was Raimundo de Peñafort. Over time its importance gradually became diluted and in the mid-15th century it was an almost forgotten institution, even though it was legally in force.

No consensus has been reached about the reasons why the Catholic Monarchs decided to implement the inquisitorial machinery in Spain. Researchers have come up with various hypotheses:

  • To establish religious unity. In view of the fact that aim of the Catholic Monarchs was to create efficient State machinery, one of its priorities was to achieve religious unity. Furthermore, the Inquisition allowed the monarchy to play an active part in religious matters without the intermediation of the Pope.
  • To weaken the local political opposition to the Catholic Monarchs. Undoubtedly, many of those in the Crown of Aragon who were against the setting up of the Inquisition did so invoking their own jurisdiction.
  • To put paid to the powerful Judeoconvert minority. In the kingdom of Aragón members of influential families were brought to trial including Santa Fe, Santángel, Caballería and Sánchez. However, this contradicts the fact that Fernando himself still relied on many converts in his administration.


La Cruz del Rastro (Track or Market Cross)

La Cruz del Rastro (Track or Market Cross)
Туристический маршрут по Кордове: евреи в Кордове, описания и карта маршрута, еврейская история Кордовы, Еврейский квартал, иудейская Кордова

The Cruz del Rastro commemorates the attack on the Jewish quarter of Córdoba occurred in 1473 based on an incident which occurred during Easter Week alongside the Rastro where a market was located. It was the Charity Brotherhood which provoked the incidents as it decided to place a cross at this site to commemorate the slaughter of Jews and converts.

Legend has it that the blood of the victims formed a short path of the ground, creating a small stream which left a track, and the latter reached a small plain at the riverside and it was here that the first of the crosses was placed, replaced in 1814, with the next one remaining until 1852 when it was demolished by dint of the works on the wall. The current cross was placed in 1927. Although popular legend attributes the name Cruz (cross) to the track of blood left by the slaughters, in actual fact it was calledRastro because of a rake which existed in this area until 1568 when it was moved to the Roman Bridge at Campo de la Verdad.

The Attack on the Jewish quarter of 1473

During Easter Week of 1473 an incident occurred which ended up bringing about an attack on the Jewish quarter of Córdoba.

It is recounted that when the procession of the Brotherhood of Charity reached Herrería street –which now forms part of Cardenal González street – a woman threw water from the house of a convert which fell onto the image of the Virgin and the rumour spread that they were faecal waters hurled out of disrespect for the Catholic faith.

The Brothers of Charity, believing that the Sephardis had instigated the woman to commit this sacrilege, attacked the Jewish quarter, commanded by Alonso Rodríguez, the blacksmith of the San Lorenzo district. During the attack they murdered anyone they ran into and set fire to their homes. The knight Alonso de Aguilar, the brother of the Great Captain, arrived at Rastro leading some of his men and ordered Alonso Rodríguez to stop the slaughter. Far from obeying, the blacksmith insulted Alonso de Aguilar who attacked and killed him.

The death of Alonso Rodríguez exacerbated the situation and the riot lasted for four days until Alonso de Aguilar, who had taken refuge in the Citadel, came out onto the street and offered the Jews forgiveness for the crimes. The Brotherhood of Charity, realising that they had encouraged the conflict promoted by the blacksmith Alonso Rodríguez, agreed to perpetuate the memory of Alonso de Aguilar by placing a Cross at the Rastro.




  • Aljama, l. heb: Specific institution of the Medieval Hispanic kingdoms which dealt with the governance and internal administration of the Jewish community.
  • Gaonato: Term used to designate the activity and age of the Gueonim, the chairmen of the Jewish academies of Babylonia from (circa) 589 to 1040.
  • Jewish Quarter: Traditional name given to the Jewish district or part of a city where the Jews´ homes were concentrated. In some cases it was determined by law as an exclusive place of residence of the members of this community. By extension, the term applies to any area known to be inhabited by families of Jewish culture.
  • Justice: institutions In the Kingdom of Aragon local justice institutions were at the head of the municipalities after the lord in the manor houses.
  • Mudejar: Moslems who continued living in the territory reconquered by the Christians. They were allowed to keep practising the Islamic religion, use their language and maintain their customs.
  • Musalla, l. ar: From the Arab al-musallā, an open space outside a mosque used for praying.
  • Rabbi, l. heb: A man instructed and ordained in the law who can spiritually lead a community. It literally means ‘master´.
  • Sefarad, l. heb: Name given by Jews to the Moslem and Christian kingdoms of the Iberian peninsula. Today it means Spain.
  • Sephardi, l. heb: Jew of Hispanic origin.
  • Talmud, l. heb: Oral law; collates the Rabbinic discussions of the laws, customs…
  • Torah, l. heb: Text of the first five books of the Bible.
  • Cenotaph: A funeral monument erected in honour of someone or a group of people, a symbolic element when it is wished to leave a special memory of someone. It is a symbolic construction. The word derives from the Greek kénosmeaning empty and táphos which means tomb.
  • Collection: self-governing Jewish organisation which brought together several aljamas for economic reasons the distribution, valuation and collection of taxes to be submitted to the king.
  • Congregation: The congregation, the district headed by a parish.
  • Converts Converts: A christened Jew who has converted to Christianity.Jews converted to Christianity who returned to their place of origin after expulsion.
  • Governor: High dignitary who managed or too forward a military and civil legal venture by mandate, behest and under royal command.
  • Maravedis: Tax in force between the 13th and 18th centuries in the kingdoms of Valencia and Majorca by James I under the statute of April 14th 1266 and it consisted of payment of seven royal sueldos of Valencia (one maravedi) every seven years for each dwelling which had property valued at fifteen maravedis or more.
  • Menorah, l. heb: Candelabra or oil lamp with seven branches, one of the ritualistic elements of Judaism and also one of its oldest symbols; it is meat to represent the burning bushes seen by Moses on Mount Sinai (Exodus, 25).
  • Nasi, l. hebLit. Prince; by extension, a character of prestige.
  • Synagogue, l. gr: Gathering place for faithful Jews and the place of worship and studies. The term comes from the Greeksynagogē which means place of congregation.
  • Wall-Walk: Path around a city wall or parallel to it. In medieval Islamic cities it is the cul-de-sac which leads to private homes and which is closed at its entrance.

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