andalucía: córdoba’s jewish synagogue, st. bartholomew chapel & lunch at the bodega mesquita

Wednesday, July 10:  After visiting the Alcazar, we wander through the Juderia visiting the old Jewish Market & the Synagogue.

Jews were once prominent citizens of Islamic Cordoba.  The medieval Juderia is a winding maze of streets with whitewashed buildings and pretty flower boxes.

We stop to rub the feet of a statue that is said to give good luck.

People rub the feet of this statue for good luck
People rub the feet of this statue for good luck

The synagogue was built in Mudejar style and consists of a courtyard, accessed from the street, which leads to a hallway, followed by the prayer room. On the eastern side of the hall is a staircase that leads to the women’s gallery. The gallery overlooks the prayer room through three decorative arches.

the 14th century Sinagoga
the 14th century Sinagoga

The synagogue, built in 1315, is one of only three surviving medieval synagogues in Spain and the only one in Andalucía after the Jews were expelled in 1492.

Sinagoga
Sinagoga

In 1492, it was used as the St. Quiteria hermitage and the house as a hospital for hydrophobic people (people with an irrational fear of water, usually as a result of rabies).  A priest discovered its plasterwork on the walls in 1884, when part of the mortar walls fell down.

Sinagoga
Sinagoga
the ladies' prayer hall is on the second level
the ladies’ prayer hall is on the second level

We wander through another pretty little courtyard.

Cordoba courtyard
Cordoba courtyard
another Cordoba courtyard
another Cordoba courtyard

We then walk into the stunning St. Bartholomew Chapel, a historical and artistic monument dating from 1391.  It acquired the rank of parish very soon after it was built until the 17th century.

Saint Bartholomew Chapel
Saint Bartholomew Chapel
Saint Bartholomew Chapel
Saint Bartholomew Chapel
Saint Bartholomew Chapel
Saint Bartholomew Chapel
Saint Bartholomew Chapel
Saint Bartholomew Chapel
Saint Bartholomew Chapel
Saint Bartholomew Chapel
Saint Bartholomew Chapel
Saint Bartholomew Chapel

Then we head to the Bodega Mezquita for a fabulous tapas lunch. I love the posters on the walls of the restaurant.

Bodegas Mezquita
Bodegas Mezquita
Scottish Barry and Carole and Barry
Scottish Barry and Carole and Barry

We share Salmorejo: cold smooth tomato-based cream with emulsified olive oil, Iberian ham and boiled egg garnish.

Salmorejo
Salmorejo

We also share: Mozarabic meatballs in almond and saffron sauce; homemade oxtail croquettes; Al-Andalus chicken tagine with vegetarian couscous and nuts; and baby broad beans and Serrano ham sauteed with egg and oil with a touch of mint.  I don’t share the stewed pork cheeks with sauce, but the others seem to enjoy.

Mozarabic meatballs
Mozarabic meatballs
oxtail croquettes
oxtail croquettes
Al-Andalus chicken tagine
Al-Andalus chicken tagine
baby broad beans
baby broad beans
stewed pork cheeks
stewed pork cheeks

The food is so delicious!!!  I savor every little morsel.  I especially love the meatballs and the baby broad beans. I wish I could eat like this all the time.🙂

Before we leave the restaurant, I make a stop in the ladies’ room.

the ladies' room door in Bodegas Mezquita
the ladies’ room door in Bodegas Mezquita

Finally, after lunch we head to the famous Mezquita, but on the way we stop to admire some pretty flower-lined alleys.

flower-lined alleys of Cordoba
flower-lined alleys of Cordoba
courtyard in Cordoba
courtyard in Cordoba
Geckos!
Geckos!
flower-lined alleyways in Cordoba
flower-lined alleyways in Cordoba
flower bedecked walls
flower bedecked walls
an old fountain
an old fountain

Then on to Cordoba’s stunning Mezquita, probably my favorite historical place on my whole trip.🙂

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8 thoughts on “andalucía: córdoba’s jewish synagogue, st. bartholomew chapel & lunch at the bodega mesquita

    1. It is really awesome, Cee. This is what I love about travel, seeing these places that have so much history to them; everything in the USA is so new, relatively speaking. That being said, I’m looking forward to coming home.🙂

  1. It’s so beautiful there, and so full of history. The colors are stunning. I want that painting on my bathroom door. Any reason you didn’t try the pork cheeks?

    1. Yes, Robin, it is really beautiful here in Spain and Portugal and there is so much history. I love it! I’m not a big meat eater in general and I had tried beef cheeks the day before and found it rather fatty. So I passed this dish over for the broad beans. I’m mostly vegetarian and a fish eater, and these are definitely some meat-eating countries!🙂

  2. Fabulous photos! I love Córdoba. The synagogue was closed the day we were there. I can see that I will have to go back now🙂 I have a picture of me with that statue but I didn’t know to rub his feet. All these things I’m learning🙂

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