Las Casas de la Judería, a boutique hotel in history
Las Casas de la Judería de Córdoba ****, is the emblematic hotel of Córdoba, full of history and tradition. Boasting an ideal location in the old town, the hotel’s doors open out to the Jewish Quarter, just in front of the Alcázar de los Reyes Cristianos, the Royal Stables and the Caliphal Baths. Cordoba’s Mosque-Cathedral and the Conference Centre are just 200 metres away. For most of its long history it has been a stately home, having belonged to noble families including the Fernández de Córdoba, Sigler de Espinosa, Aguilar, Góngora and Argote. Its repurposing as hotel was completed by its owners Don Pedro Fernández-Salvador Fernández de Heredia and his wife, the Cordovan writer, Doña María Martínez-Sagrera Martín, rigorously preserve these noble houses and their centuries-old history with utmost care. Crossing the threshold, the traveller is immersed in surroundings of great beauty, where peace and calm can be enjoyed alongside the services offered by a high-quality hotel. Here, the small details make all the difference. In its 64 rooms you may find original and authentic period materials in the furniture, decoration and artwork, especially the “Cordobán” - tanned leather adorned with handcrafted reliefs and painted imagery. In Las Casas de la Judería de Cordoba no two bedrooms are alike. Each one is special, providing its own unique experience. The traveller discovers that you don’t even need to leave the hotel to become immersed in the city’s past; entering the room is itself part of the ongoing experience of discovering a new and special place. Stepping through our doors is like entering a miniature Córdoba; a journey into the visual past that still retains all the amenities expected of a modern hotel. The rooms are spread across winding and labyrinthine corridors and courtyards which lead to Roman ruins, intimate alcoves and whispering fountains. IN THE HEART OF THE OLD JEWISH QUARTER The hotel is itself a joining of several historic houses, mainly La Casa Palacio de las Pavas. It contains Mudejar and Renaissance style patios, and a garden with a pool-swimming pool and large terraces with views over the Mosque, including some reserved for private use in the most exclusive rooms. At the end of the sixteenth century it underwent major renovations in the Renaissance style, which resulted in the patio del Crucero and the current Renaissance patio. ITS HISTORY Las Casas de la Judería is located in the heart of Cordoba’s historic quarter. The documented archaeological remains found in the house during recent works, some of which can be visited, date back to the High Roman Empire, when in the 1st century A.D. the city grew towards the Guadalquivir River. These ruins tell us that the house once had a high-ranking owner, probably General Metilio, Governor of the Roman Andalusia, who would have made it not only his Roman home but also a seat of government. Entering the Muslim era, the hotel’s strategic location, surrounded by the most important buildings in the capital of Omeya, marked it out as a distinguished building, being just a short distance from the Mosque, the most important monument of the city and Andalusian architecture along with the Alhambra in Granada. The Caliphate is by its side, as well as the caliphal baths and endless architecture from that period. In the 13th century, when the Christians were in power, our hotel still remained in an outstanding place within the city. Just in front of the present hotel, the Alcazar was built on top of Muslim remains, including the Caliphate. The new palace covered an area of several city blocks with many buildings still recognisable to this day: the old Episcopal Palace, the Alcazar, the Royal Stables, the Seminary of San Pelagio, the Provincial Library, Tomás Conde Street (where the hotel is located) and Campo Santo de los Mártires. The plot on which the hotel is now located was probably directly linked to the Alcázar during the Christian period, as many wall structures have emerged during renovations. The current main house is known to the citizens of Córdoba as “Casa-Palacio de las Pavas” (“Palatial House of the Turkeys”), as the Sigler de Espinosa coat of arms which presides over the façade is supported by the legs of two turkeys, symbolic of triumph and immortality. The original plot was bigger as it had orchards and gardens bordering the city wall. The different houses were distributed around several Mudejar patios, gardens and orchards irrigated by a system of canals. In the aforementioned archaeological excavations brick floor and glass “olambrillas” were discovered, as well as a hydraulic structure to carry the rainwater from a great cistern to the pools that water the orchards. There were also octagonal columns, bases and pillars, typical of Mudejar art. In the basement you may find two silos used to store grain. All these archaeological remains have been recovered to be enjoyed by the hotel guests. The current construction dates back to the 14th Century, when Henry II repopulated this area of the city where the nobles built their palatial homes in the Hispanic-Muslim style. The area around la Casa de las Pavas was also affected by a series of municipal policies which consisted in assigning certain places such as narrow streets, corners, dunghills…to the clergy. The canonised Juan Sigler de Espinosa benefited from this decree and he became the owner of la Casa de las Pavas. In 1597 he spent part of his fortune on a sizeable reform with a Renaissance style. The most notable innovation was to build the aforementioned façade, the patio del crucero and the current Renaissance patio. Francisco de Argote, distributor of rations in the Cathedral of Cordoba, later became owner of the house. He lived there with his sister who, on 11 July 1561, gave birth to Luis de Góngora y Argote, marking out hotel as the birthplace of the great poet and playwright of the Golden Age of Spanish Literature. In short, we ensure that even the smallest details in the decoration are cared for in order to fully embrace history of Cordoba, even before you have time to drop your bags. If it wasn’t for the presence of the best modern amenities like spacious and comfortable beds, whirlpool baths, the year-round swimming pool and gym, you could think that stepping into the hotel was stepping back in history to Roman or Muslim times. Las Casas de la Judería hotel is the best place to come to visit Cordoba, due not only to its comfort and functionality, but also its unique history and beauty.