The establishment of the Jewish community in Hispania can be dated back to the second century AD. Following the destruction of the temple of Jersualem by the Roman Emperor Titus, first century AD, there was a diaspora, an exodus of the Hebrew community. Some Jews reached Roman Hispania, verified by steles (grave markers) that have been found and epitaphs written in the Hebrew alphabet.
When it comes to Cordoba’s Synagogue, we have to go back to the 14th century: 1315 in the Christian Gregorian calendar and the Jewish year 5075.
This means we are looking at the Mudejar style, Islamic art produced during the Christian period.
It is the best conserved of the three medieval synagogues that are preserved in Spain, because its basic architectural structure was never affected by alterations, and it is the only medieval synagogue preserved in Andalusia. The two other synagogues in the Mudejar style are the “Santa María la Blanca” and the “Sinagoga del Tránsito”, both in Toledo.
After the expulsion of the Jews in 1492, the Synagogue was converted into a hospital “Santa Quiteria” for people suffering with rabies, and dedicated to Saint Quiteria.
In 1558, it became the building for the guild of shoemakers under the patronage of Saint Crispin and Saint Crispiniano.
On the 24th of January 1885, it was declared a Building of Cultural Interest (in the monument category).
Access to the Synagogue is from a small courtyard. To the right of the vestibule, a staircase allowed women and children under the age of 13 to go up to a higher platform, from which they could view the religious services.
The Synagogue of Cordoba, together with the Toledo synagogues, and others that are now disguised as Christian temples, is a good example of the Mudejar style and how the three religions coexisted.