Spain > Cordoba
CORDOBA, 22 May 2009
At the northwestern corner of the Mosque Cathedral compound, we exit by passing through an arched doorway next to the sole minaret.
Outside the northern wall of the mosque, there’s another lane lined with souvenir shops and restaurants. It’s a hot mid-day, and folks are indoors shopping or doing lunch or having their siesta.
A notice at the wall of the Mosque Cathedral tells of a some major restoration work worth €3.5mil, probably funded by the EU, which has pumped a lot of money into the economy since Spain’s membership in 1986. The new motorways were subsidised this way.
At this corner of the mosque compound, the famous Juderia – the ancient Jewish quarter of Cordoba – starts.
The statue of Rabbi Moses Maimonides (Moshe ben Maimon) is a major landmark. A famed Torah scholar among others, he was born in Cordoba in 1135, and ended up a physician in the court of Saladdin in Damascus. Also a contemporary of another Cordoba Muslim intellect – Averroes (Ibn Rushd). They say, when at his statue, touch and rub the shoes, and good luck will come.
A short distance from the rabbi, we come to La Sinagoga – built 1315, the only preserved synagogue in Andalucia after the Jews were expelled in 1492 (the same year the Spanish Muslims were finally defeated by the Christians in Granada).
The interior is smallish, with the altar facing Jerusalem. Note the familiar Moorish motifs top right of pic.
See the distinct Moorish style design. The Hebrew inscription mentions the date of the synagogue’s construction.
A patch of stucco with plant motifs, another Moorish influence.
Beautifully decorated wall of the synagogue.
Averroes (1126-1198) is another towering personality of intellectual Islamic Cordoba, but all I could find of him is just this dead-end lane, close to the synagogue.
An ornately-carved door catches my eye.
Close-up of the door, a proof that the Islamic culture of a thousand years ago, still influences.
Past Juderia, we find our way out of old Cordoba, among the beautiful gardens and patios just outside the mighty city walls.
A beautiful hot day, and an ‘art’ tour group members take a breather, dipping their feet in the cool water while sketching the serene scenery.