Jewish Heritage in Spain and Portugal

Cordoba (S, SP)

cordobaConquered in 711 by the Moors, by the 10th century Cordoba was one of the most advanced cities in the world, as well as a great cultural, political and economic center. Under the religious tolerance of the Caliphate, it had also become the world seat of Jewish learning and culture, taking the place of the Babylonian School.  Jews were prominent in the fields of medicine, science and philosophy for three hundred years, and important figures in the Caliphs’ courts.  Two of Cordoba’s most renowned Jewish sons of that period were Hasday ben Shaprut, the governor of the Jewish community, an influential minister to the first Caliph, and the philosopher and physician Maimonides.

Cordoba’s magnificent Mosque was once the second largest in the Muslim world, and its Synagogue, built in 1315, is one of only three originals left in Spain.


The historic center of Córdoba was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1984 and on December 6, 2012, its Fiesta of the Patios (celebrated every year in May) was added to UNESCO's List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.  




Jewish Cordoba