The Municipal Souk is a craft market located in the heart of the historic centre of Cordoba, halfway between the Mosque and the Puerta de Almodovar. It is located next to the Plaza de Maimónides in the streets Hudíos and Averroes.
It was the first craft market created in Spain, a legacy left by the Muslims in the past. It has been declared an Asset of Cultural Interest in the General Plan.
It is the perfect place to discover the local products of Cordoba, as well as to enjoy how they are made, as the artisans’ workshops are located here.
You can find silver, leather and ceramic products. The Cordobanes and guadamecíes are the most popular, of great quality and tradition.
Undoubtedly one of the essential visits in Cordoba that you cannot miss.
The building that today forms the souk was formerly a 16th century manor house, known as the Casa de las Bulas (House of the Bulls), where the people of Cordoba went to request papal bulls.
It remained in use until the end of the 19th century. In 1953, Cordoba City Council acquired the building, which was restored in 1954 by the architect José Rebollo Dicenta, for the creation of the Municipal Museum of Crafts and Arts of Cordoba.
The museum was inaugurated on 28 May 1954 during the Cordoba Fair. However, the Zoco Municipal was not inaugurated until 1956, being the first craft market in Spain.
In 1970 the market and the museum went into decline, and the belongings began to be removed, but a few years later the mayor Julio Anguita avoided this situation and inaugurated a new museum in 1983; the well known Bullfighting Museum. From this moment on the building was divided into the museum and the Zoco Municipal. The Zoco was established in the gardens of the original house and became the headquarters of the Asociación Cordobesa de Artesanos, due to the fact that the workshops of local craftsmen were installed.
The market is built in the gardens of a Mudejar house. It has two entrances, one on Calle Averroes and the other on Calle Judíos. The courtyard on which the souk is located is laid out on two rectangular floors, one of which is in the Mudejar style, while the other has a typical Cordovan courtyard.
In terms of architecture, the courtyard has a gallery covered with Arabic ceramic tiles. It is finished in brick with a cobblestone floor. Finally, the vegetation characterises the building as both an Andalusian and Arabic ensemble.
In the market you can find all kinds of handicraft products, which are made in the present workshops, in front of the visitors. In addition, sometimes every year you can enjoy concerts and special activities.
The souk is a direct inheritance of the Muslim culture, for them the souks were a vital centre in the culture of the city.
The Municipal Souk of Cordoba is open every day from 10:00h to 20:00h. The artisan workshops are open from Monday to Friday from 10:00h to 14:00h and from 17:00h to 20:00h.
Several times a year there are live performances by famous artists. On spring and summer evenings, the courtyard of the souk becomes a stage for singers and dancers. Especially during the month of May.
The price is free for all citizens who wish to visit.
The Zoco is located between Judios Street and Averroes Street, as it has two entrances to the building. It is located in the Jewish Quarter of Cordoba, in the heart of the historic centre, so it is very easy to get to the market. The best option is to take a stroll through the Jewish quarter and enjoy the views.
Another option is by car, where I recommend you park along the Paseo de la Victoria. There you will also find an underground car park. Avenida de Cádiz is another good place to park.
You can also go by bus. There are several bus lines that can get you there, almost all of which usually pass through the centre. Among them are 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9 and 16. The nearest stops are República Argentina, Glorieta Cruz Roja, Diario Córdoba, Claudio Marcelo or San Pablo.
This building with so many centuries of history hides some secrets that will make your visit even more special. Some of them are:
The Zoco Municipal has a privileged location in the historic centre of Cordoba. It also has all the essence of the time of the guilds, a sample of the essence of the city, where art was passed on from master to apprentice.
To get to know this period in depth, stroll through the souk and observe and learn how the craftsmen present exercise their mastery live. A stroll through the historic centre also allows you to come face to face with the centuries of Cordoba’s history and learn all the details of it.
What are you waiting for to explore Cordoba?
On the other hand you can check the best guided tours in Cordoba in the link, in it you will find our best guided tours like for example:
And much more…