Part of our tour to the Mesquita/Cathedral was a walk around the Córdoba Jewish Quarter where we are actually staying. Our hotel is a converted tradition home with a patio (courtyard) in the middle and rooms surrounding it. There are lots of patios in this building, so this would have been many homes joined together to make this huge hotel.
Our first stop was to the old Synagogue… Apparently there were plenty of Synagogues around the city back in the day, but now this is the only one and they only found this one by accident. Dating back to 1315, it was converted to a church in the 16th and then held the Guild of Shoemakers – ‘blessed are the shoemakers’ until it was rediscovered in the 19th when a chunk of plaster fell off the wall revealing some Hebrew inscriptions on the wall prompting them to do a bit more digging and low and behold…. they found Moorish decorations, Jewish writing and a Christian cross on the wall underneath all the plaster – so over the centuries, everybody used it for one reason or another and the fact that all the religious symbols were hidden was probably the only reason it was saved.
This is Ben Maimon – he did a bit of everything. He was a doctor/healer, a philosopher and an astronomer. He spoke all the local languages of the day – Arabic, Latin, Hebrew and probably Spanish if that was a thing back then… he was Jewish, however the sculptor made him look Arabic to show how the two cultures/religions worked in harmony at times throughout history and also he lived his life in Cordoba, Morocco and Egypt, where he died. He was very influential in his day and it is said that if you rub his foot his knowledge will be passed on to you. I gave it a little rub, but Me Jenny didn’t want or need to… she’s smart enough already.
There are only small touches like this iron work in the window that tell you that you’re in the Jewish quarter…
There is a street marked on the map of the old town called the ‘Street of the Flowers’… which was lovely and when you get to the end you turn around have a lovely glimpse of the tower…. As we approached the courtyard at the end, there were these two very safety conscious men doing a spot of grinding or welding… I’m not sure, when I saw the sparks flying, I looked away (obvs. not before snapping a pic!)
After our tour, we visited the Mercado Victoria where foods of the world are on offer. We stopped to watch a chap making triangular empanadas, he was quite masterful the way he scooped out the filling with his bare hands and then in one fluid motion folded the pastry into a need package before turning his head only slightly to sneeze over the whole counter that he was working on. He turned back to us to explain something, but we had already spun on our heels. Ew.
Seen in a souvenir shop – find the English sign… lol
Bless this man. He was walking and just stopped right there to play. He sounded like he was tuning up his violin, but also he didn’t have a hat or is case down to collect money – maybe he just liked to play?
To our left we have the old walled city and to the right the modern world. Back in the day the Jewish people weren’t allowed to live in the city, so they lived unprotected outside the walls, but then when the Christians took over they very graciously said that they could move into the Jewish quarter – but that was it!
We had a little wander over the old Roman pedestrian bridge….
Then caught the sunset on our way back over….. if you look closely you can see Mary Poppins has also joined us.
Then time for a bit of nosh… We’ve been loving the olives and a sangria in the evening and in the day time we usually go for una cortada (which is a short mach) and a small beer chaser (una caña – pronounced: ‘canya’, like Tanya)
Jenny’s Córdoba highlights:
- The Jewish Quarter
- The little streets, cobblestones and old town walls
- The gardens – it’s a lovely green city
- The lovely orange trees
- The Mosque/Cathedral
- The bridge and the river
- It’s a nice, friendly town with no hills!
- The nice terraces, plenty of places to sit and people watch with a caña.
I couldn’t agree more.
One more thing that Jenny loved, although we didn’t buy any…… Bread – with the crusts cut off!
And so it will be Adios Córdoba….. We have our last night tonight and then tomorrow we catch our first train to Salamanca!
Love this… apart from my “language” interest in Spain… Judaism follows a very close second… I’m in awe of their strength, loyalty and work ethic after all the sh…t the world has thrown at them… and continue to do so…they never give up and never give in… love ’em…what a beautiful place is this Jewish Quarter you’ve shown us… good job Shell…enjoy the train to Salamanca.. love xx