El Zoco

Market in Córdoba

El Zoco or The Souk is the Municipal Souk of Córdoba, in Spain. It is also known as Mercado de la Artesanía. It is located within the historic center of Cordoba in the Jewish Quarter, very close to the Mosque and the Synagogue. It was the first craft market that was created in Spain, and local artisans offer you for your enjoyment leather, ceramic and silver goods.

The Entrance to El Zoco

The entrances to El Zoco can be hard to find. It has two entrances: one from Calle Averroes street and another one for the from Calle Judios, this one a little narrower than the first one. The easiest way to find them is to start from the Plaza Maimónides facing the Museo Taurino de Córdoba. Essentially you next to get behind the Museum either to the left down Calle Judios or right onto Calle Averroes.

History of El Zoco

This has been a market in various forms for centuries and was originally part of Córdoba’s expansive souk, where expensive perfumes were sold alongside the finest fabrics and spices from north Africa.

In the middle of last century the mayor Antonio Cruz Conde wanted to promote the popular crafts of Cordoba. The created a Museum of Crafts and Cordovan Arts, which aimed to promote local crafts and bullfighting incipient tourism. The building, was a 16th-century manor house known as the Casa de las Bulas, where citizens were going to request papal bulls; this use was maintained until the end of the 19th century. The gardens of the palace became the municipal souk in 1956 with the help of the architect José Rebollo Dicenta. The word souk comes from the moorrish suq, which means “market”.

Twenty years later the museum began to decline and many items on loan the museum were taken back. A new dedicated Bullfighting Museum was created in 1983, and since then, the building has been split between the Bullfighting Museum and the Municipal Souk.

What you can find in the Municipal Souk

The courtyard on which the souk is configured is rectangular and is distributed on two floors. The ground floor has arcaded galleries on three of its sides, with the access stairway to the second floor in the room. For its part, the upper part has only two galleries, since the third corresponds to one of the rooms of the Bullfighting Museum. The decoration is simple, in exposed brick. Several archeological pieces found in the area complete the decoration. The original building is built in Mudejar style, while the rest of the building shows a typical Cordovan courtyard.

In the Municipal Souk you can observe the workshops of the artisans, typical working by hand,  especially notable is the silverware, the technique of the filigree,  you can also buy ceramics, sculptures in paper marche, jewelry, leathers, wooden puppets, showing the magnificent of the works of these popular Cordoba artists. you will also meet first-hand the well-known Filigrea in Cordoba.

Normally there is usually a guitarist who animates the atmosphere of the venue, while flamenco songs are still performed, especially in the month of May.

Tour of the Souk and the Jewish Quarter

There are a number of walking tours to take you through the Jewish Quarter. Here are our recommended tours:

 

Visiting El Zoco

Hours:

Everyday 10.00 – 20.00


Address: Zoco Municipal de la Artesanía Calle Judíos, s/n 14004 Córdoba Spain
Duration: 20 minutes

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