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History of Synagogue of Cordoba

Synagogue of Cordoba - C/ Judíos Cordoba 14001

At the prayer room, the Ark was located, where the “Torá” rolls (Jewish social and religious codes that have the character of a law) were carefully kept, rolled up in linen cloths and inside a box. The “Torá” was rolled up around two sticks or wood cylinders, known as the “Life Tree”. The ark was covered and hidden to the eyes of the faithful with the “paroket”, and in front of it the “bimah” was located. Some synagogues had stone benches placed along the walls where the faithful sat, although they usually sat on the floor and on mats. The older ones and the most important members of the community, sat in the first rows and the younger ones behind.

On the north wall, we find again the same type of decoration, framing blind arches, two semi-circular arches and a central straight arch. On the upper part there are five semi-circular arches that provide light to the interior of the building. On the middle of the west wall there is a pointed and lobed arch on top of which the decoration consists of rhomboidal plasterworks. This arch frames a niche where the “bimah” was placed. Finally, on the south wall there are three big windows also decorated with plasterworks and inscriptions that communicate with the women’s gallery. Over the inscriptions, there are five more semi-circular arches through of which the light comes in.

After the expulsion of the Jews (1492), the Synagogue was transformed into a Hospital, (“Santa Quiteria” Hospital), used to cure hydrophobia. Again, in 1588, it was transformed into an Hermitage, under the name of “San Crispín” and “San Crispiniano”, patrons of the shoemakers guild. In the 19th century, it became a school for small children, discovering its artistic value in 1884, when it was declared National Monument.

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