The Cordoba headquarTers
asa Árabe is a consortium formed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation and the Spanish Agency
for International Development, the autonomous
asa Árabe’s headquarters in Cordoba is known as the Casa Mudéjar building, which comprises five different houses
linked by galleries, passages and stairways,
communities of Madrid and Andalusia and the
with three courtyards and a tower. The original
town councils of Madrid and Cordoba. It is run by
building dates from the 14th century, although
a Governing Board and a General Directorship.
most of the present structures belong to the
Its High Board of Trustees is presided over by
15th and 16th centuries. It is located in the
Their Majesties the King and Queen of Spain.
southern area of Cordoba’s historic centre, near
The main goals of Casa Árabe, with headquarters in Madrid and Cordoba, are to strengthen bilateral and multilateral policies, to promote economical, cultural and educational
the Mosque-Cathedral, within the area declared a World Heritage Site. National Heritage has handed over this historic building to Casa Árabe as its headquarters
relations, as well as supporting the develop-
in Cordoba and the restoration and adaptation
ment of training and knowledge on the Arab
works of the Casa Mudéjar to host Casa Árabe
and Muslim world. Casa Árabe wants to be a
have been awarded the “World Heritage Cities
place of mutual knowledge and shared reflec-
Award” 2011 by the Ministry of Culture.
tion: a meeting point. The logo of Casa Árabe, which evokes the c of “casa-home” is also a stylized version of the Arabic letter ayn, the initial of the word arabi, “Arab”.
1. Meeting rooM 2. Patio with Mudéjar arcade 3. exhibition rooM and Plasterwork of the late 14th century 4. auditoriuM 5. Media library
serViCes and WebsiTe
edia Library. It is a multimedia centre specialised in contemporary Arab cinema and culture, as well as in re-
sources related to the Arab world’s politics and society. Open to the public, it has a bibliogra-
Patios. The headquarter comprises three courtyards for outdoor activities. Cafeteria. It is located in the old stables of the House with self-service machines. Premises to be hired. The different spaces
phic collection of reference works, in addition to
within Casa Árabe can be hired to organize
sound and video archives.
meetings, workshops, cultural events and so on.
Auditorium and Cinema. With capacity for 100 people, this is a dual-use space adaptable
Website. www.casaarabe.es Casa Árabe’s website offers detailed information on the whole range of activities which are
for conferences and film shows. Exhibition room. It is an area designed to show exhibitions and artistic installations. Meeting rooms. Multipurpose spaces for
organized and announced by the institution. It is also a reference site of different resources available online, on economics and business, on Arabic language and on Arab countries’ contem-
seminars, forums and small courses.
porary culture and socio-political latest news.
The Casa mudéjar
ertain cities have a soul, are homes
domestic and feudal architecture, the abode
to memories, mythical places in the
of important families in Cordoba, such as the
collective imagination. These cities
Venegas and Córdoba families.
have their own paradigms that permeate into
Its courtyards are a reflection of the plaza,
world consciousness. Cordoba is one of these
meeting points that are the transition between
places, a living organism shaped over centuries
public and private space, and one of Cordoba’s
by different spaces that intertwine to create an
identity of meeting points. One of these spaces is this house, an
Beyond its Baroque facade, with its stone support for mounting horses, we delve into a
impression that survives time, opening its front
covered stone passageway that takes you into
door to take us into a complex world of large
the first patio, where the stables and coach
rooms and split-level patios, interlinked by pas-
houses are found. Here, a triple Mudéjar arcade
sageways, covered balconies and stairwells.
with octagonal pillars overlooks a renaissance
Half hidden at the back of the ancient Calle
fountain with a figurehead. The next patio,
del Tesorero (today Calle Samuel de los Santos
connected to the previous by the landing of
Gener), and close to the Aljama Mosque, this
the main stairway, is the most important and
house is the result of the joining of five houses
preserves the oldest remnants of the past; in
and four courtyards built between the 14th and
the centre there is a tiled fountain and a well in
15 centuries. Its original structure and layout is
front of the house’s main room, accessed from
still intact, important remnants of Mudéjar
a portico with semi-circular arches held by Ca-
liph shafts and capitals that pre-date the house
with a series of painted murals from the end of
due to the reused materials they are made
the 15th century, which are the work of Pedro
from. In this area the ceilings catch the eye: in
Romana and Pedro Fernández and one of the
the covered balcony the ceiling is made from
finest displays of the scant remains of painting
plaster that imitates wood, and the one that
from this time period found in the city. Among
covers the main room is decorated with organic
the geometric decor and tracery the coat of
and geometric features and has arches with
arms of the Córdoba and Carrillo families are
the coat of arms of the Venegas and Córdoba
visible alongside the human figures identified
families. This part of the house, based on Cal-
as a representation of virtues (Faith, Charity,
iph palace constructions, reflects the influence
Strength, Prudence, and Justice).
of Islamic architecture in this period and what
Thus the house maintains a large part of
really makes it unique is the plasterwork on the
its original architectural structures despite its
front door (late quarter of the 14th century).
different uses throughout the centuries: palace,
Through a covered balcony there is another
living quarters, the home of the Archaeological
interior courtyard with a trough, accessed from
Museum of Cordoba between 1923 and 1959
the main courtyard, with an intriguing kitchen
and the project for ethnological museum in the
on the upper floor equipped with a stove and
Eighties as well as being used as administrative
a tiled bell-shaped chimney. On the upper
and cultural offices in the Nineties.
floor there is also another of the house’s large rooms (probably a bedchamber) decorated
Today, converted into the home of Casa Árabe, with three courtyards, an exhibition
space, assembly room, meeting rooms, seminar rooms and offices, the house is still a vibrant space inhabited by memory, and from within its four walls it will continue to work to project this memory into the future. With the mix of remains from the 13th century, Mudéjar, Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque... this unique space is a simple reflection of the city of Cordoba: a mix of races, diversity, multiculturalism and meeting points. Our past and heritage is not a hollow stage, but a living organism that continues to make history and project these values out into the world from places such as the Casa Mudéjar.
M.ª Dolores Baena Alcántara director of the archaeological MuseuM of cordoba
1. Patio of the fountain 2. alfarje 3. stables 4. Patio of the trough 5, 6 & 7 Mudéjar Paintings of the 15th century
+ 34 957 498 413 www.casaarabe.es C/ Samuel de los Santos Gener, 9 · 14003 Córdoba
Casa Árabe is a ConsorTium Comprising:
Depósito Legal CO-975-2012
Casa Árabe’s headquarters in Cordoba is known as the Casa Mudéjar building, which comprises five different houses linked by galleries, passa...