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History of "La Judería" (the Jewish Quarter)

"La Judería" (the Jewish Quarter) - 14001 Córdoba

When “Fernando III el Santo” (Fernando III the Saint) entered in Cordoba, the city was divided into two principal walled sections, the enclosure of the Medina, on the upper part, which was named “recinto de la Villa” under the dominion of the new owners, and the “Ajerquía” enclosure, bigger, lower and flatter compared with the previous one. This two enclosures were separated by the eastern curtain wall of the Medina, and they were communicated through three doors and two back doors, existing a large esplanade along this curtain wall.

During the mediaeval centuries, the city was expanded to the west and southwest, linking with the “San Bartolomé” district, the “Alcázar de los Reyes Cristianos” (the Palace of the Christian Kings), the enclosures called “Castillo de la Judería” (the Jewish Castle) and the “Alcázar Viejo” (the old “Alcazar”) and numerous orchards (amongst them the ones of the “Alcázar de los Reyes Cristianos” (the Palace of the Christian Kings) and some monasteries). Therefore, in the 14th century, the walled enclosure of Cordoba, built during the “Almorávide” (Moslem Empire) period (12th and 13th centuries) re-using part of the primitive Roman walls, was expanded to the west. Firstly creating a compound known as “Castillo de la Judería” (the Jewish Castle), and later with the enclosure of the new district of the “Alcázar Viejo” (the old “Alcazar”). The western wall of the “Castillo de la Judería” (the Jewish Castle) enclosure, was used as a base for the wall that would protect the new district of the “Alcázar Viejo” (the old “Alcazar”).

Since then, the urban structure of the city stayed inside the walls, suffering few variations since the mediaeval period. In the first years of the 16th century, a new door with access to the city was opened, and a new communication link between the districts of the “Villa” and the “Ajerquía” was established. From that century, the walls of Cordoba started a period of progressive deterioration.

The “Castillo de la Judería” (the Jewish Castle) was an old military construction used by the Jews that arrived in Cordoba by permission of the successive Spanish kings since 1236. The “Judería”, which gives this district its name, disappeared after the assault and destruction in the most important anti-Semite revolt occurred in the mediaeval Cordoba, in June of 1431.

The actual state of this building is not very good, since there are only a few curtains of the wall and the towers, shared with the enclosures next to it.

Cordoba has been declared World Heritage under the protection of the Generic Declaration of the Decree April 22nd 1949 and the Law 16/1985 about Historical Spanish Heritage. In 1993 the “Junta de Andalucía” gave a special recognition to the castles of the “Comunidad Autónoma de Andalucía” (Andalucía Autonomic Community).


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