Located in the heart of Córdoba's Jewish Quarter, and just blocks away from the Mezquita, sits one of Spain's most unique connections to the past: the Synagogue of Córdoba.
Constructed in the 14th century, Córdoba's synagogue is the Judería's (Jewish Quarter's) main attraction and is one-of-a-kind in the Andalucía region. This is because, while the Jewish community once played a very key role on the Iberian Peninsula -- especially during the Moorish Caliphate -- much of Jewish culture was eradicated and expelled in 1492 during the Spanish Inquisition. As a result, Córdoba's synagogue and two others in the city of Toledo remain as the only lasting structures of their kind from pre-Inquisition Spain.
The small Córdoba synagogue houses a courtyard, prayer room and women's gallery. With a humble brick exterior, the small interior features walls with intricate Hebrew inscriptions, scalloped archways and Mudéjar plasterwork, reminiscent of the ivory-colored carvings you might see in the Alcázar of Seville or even the textured facades of the Alhambra Palace.
After serving as a place of worship (which ended, of course, with the Spanish Inquisition), the once-synagogue had various functions: from that of a hospital to a chapel and even a school. Now, it is open to the public as a museum, providing a rare look into the Jewish culture's presence in Spanish history.