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.

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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.

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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.

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At this corner of the mosque compound, the famous Juderia – the ancient Jewish quarter of Cordoba – starts.

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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. 🙂

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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).

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The interior is smallish, with the altar facing Jerusalem. Note the familiar Moorish motifs top right of pic.

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See the distinct Moorish style design. The Hebrew inscription mentions the date of the synagogue’s construction.

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A patch of stucco with plant motifs, another Moorish influence.

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Beautifully decorated wall of the synagogue.

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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.

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An ornately-carved door catches my eye.

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Close-up of the door, a proof that the Islamic culture of a thousand years ago, still influences.

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Past Juderia, we find our way out of old Cordoba, among the beautiful gardens and patios just outside the mighty city walls.

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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.

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3 Comments

  1. Dear Naim,

    I’m Zaila….Abduh’s junior in Sunderland (79-81). Very interested in visiting Spain’s Islamic heritage…did u go on tour group or own itinery? Got to get together with other Sunderlanders one of these days…

    Hj Zaila Omar
    012-2009002

  2. Thanks, Zaila, we always do our trips on our own, independently, for max freedom and leeway. Get 4 ppl to fit into a rental car and off you go exploring wonderful Andalucia! 🙂

  3. Whoo….!!!

    Did not know that Islam spread to as far as SPAIN !!.

    Something learn everyday and more understanding and respect for other cultures and religion. Thanks !!!

    So….. I need to travel more !!!! LOL …..

    Much appreciated.

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