Yesterday I returned to La Juderia to get a sense of the other voices here in Cordoba. I started at the Alcazar de Los Reyes Christianos, a palace along the river where, I am told, Ferdinand and Isabella planned the explor/exploitation of the Americas.
Lots of postcard views of a lovely garden, full of lemon, lime, and orange trees. The palace itself dates to the thirteenth century, but it was built on Roman and Arabic ruins. You know what they say about castles: location, location, location.
So, the castle was home to the Spanish Inquisition (which no one, of course, expects), and nearby there is a torture museum, which I took a pass on. I hung out at the castle for a while, checked out the remains of the hammam (Arab baths- more on that later) and generally gaped at the pieces of antiquity. This is the hammam ceiling:
Up the street to one of only a few synagogues left in Spain from the medieval era, and it is tiny. I paid my respects to the philosopher Maimonides, and tipped the quite excellent guitarist who was ignored by two enormous tour groups.
I also stopped at two small house museums, the museum of Sephardic life and a lovely if a bit tacky Casa Andulais. I’m intrigued by the hand icon that appears in both Jewish and Islamic art. This seems to be a shared symbol, but I’ll write about that more as well in its own post.
More later. Food calls.