HISTORY OF CASA DE LAS CABEZAS
Flanked by the depth of its very narrow Muslim alley, the House not only offers us one of the most emblematic corners of Cordoba, but also immerses us in an atmosphere in which history and legend are intertwined; and takes us to that wounded Spain of contradictions, in which, despite coming out of the Middle Ages, the Mudejar style still permeated courtyards and rooms. In fact, the airs of modernity introduced by the Renaissance in the 16th century are not able to displace the Cordoban tradition, whose reminiscences still endure and fuel historical imagination. . In this sense, the continuation of Andalusian culture is evident.
This medieval residence is loaded with history and aromas of legend, as it was a fortress of Almanzor -others say that of his sister Fatima-, which served as a prison for the unfortunate Gonzalo Gustioz, father of the Seven Infants of Lara, constituting his rooms the setting where the most tragic events of that old Castilian Cantar de Gesta took place.
With the restoration of the house, a kind of bathtub or pilon emerged on the basement floor that, taking advantage of the structure of a Roman era pool or impluvium, could have served a very different purpose since the Middle Ages, as the hypothesis is raised that it could have been a "Miqvé" related to the existence of a synagogue inside this house. With this name it is known a underground space existing in synagogues, equipped with a bathtub or pilon in which the Jewish ritual bath was performed. In addition to being underground, the "Miqvé" had to meet other requirements, among them, having a certain number of steps, the precise water capacity- which consisted of about 40 saha-, and that it was not stagnant, but came directly from a source or spring.
The chronicler Ambrosio de Morales in 1580 writes about the Casa de las Cabezas, indicating that it was the prison where the father of the Seven Infantes de Lara, Gonzalo Gustioz, Lord of Salas, was imprisoned, and his alley, the place where, hanging from his arches, the heads of the unfortunate Infants were exposed. The chronicler collected that popular knowledge that placed in this location an Alcázar of the great leader Almanzor, echo that reaches the Christians as soon as Cordoba is conquered in 1236, because from shortly after, the documentation attests how this way is already named "de las Cabezas".
After the expulsion of the Jews, which occurred in 1492, and even before, many were forced to embrace the Catholic faith. However, inside, they continued to practice the Jewish religion. This seems to have happened with the wealthy Jewish merchant called Juan de Cordoba de las Cabezas, whom the fearsome Inquisitor Lucero accuses at the beginning of 1500 of having a synagogue in his house, a place where his nephew, Bachiller Menbreque, goes to preach and where many people gather to listen to his Jewish sermons.
As a result of the above accusation, more than two hundred people end up in the bonfire, the most terrible auto de fe being celebrated on December 22, 1504, when 107 people burn for the narrated reason.
The "synagogue" was ordered to be destroyed by Lucero, as the municipal records of 1513 attest, and until now, the accusations made by the Inquisition were considered false. However, in light of these discoveries, the hypothesis is raised that perhaps they were not just slanders.