Discover one of the most fascinating
sites of medieval Cordoba

Know its history

La Casa de las Cabezas (House of Heads)

Found in the oldest part of Cordoba, the so-called House of Heads (Casa de las Cabezas) invites its visitor to a journey back to the Middle Ages. The property has four different areas that show how an aristocratic family used to live at that time.

The visitation begins in the cellar vault which harbors a water basin from Roman time, and then goes through four patios to the various rooms and kitchen of the house. Casa de las Cabezas is notable for a resting place then exclusively dedicated to women. Covered with richly adorned damask carpets and other classy fabrics, these pedestals were places where women used to rest until the 18th century, while men used to use chairs and stools. The resting place here at Casa de las Cabezas is one of only a few still to exist.

Adjacent to the house, there is a small lane overstretched by seven arches. This lane, as well as the house itself, is the scene of one of Cordoba’s most hair-raising myths: the legende of the seven infantes of Lara. Legend has it that the mansion was a stronghold of Almanzor who held nobleman Gonzalo Gustioz captive here. His seven sonsbrave knights, known as the seven infantes of Lara, were killed in an ambush while trying to free him. Their heads were speared in the lane - one head per arch. To date the lane is named hereafter Calle Cabezas (Lane of Heads).

Legend of Seven Infants of Lara

As all epic poems, this tale is an array of exaggerated facts taking place in one of the Spanish Kingdoms of that period, Castile. These facts have a clear background of truth and another one of imagination. It is probable the existence of the Seven Infants of Lara and his master, Muño Salido. They were sons of Gonzalo Gustioz, Lord of Salas, a lordship located in Northern Spain, Burgos, nowadays known as “Salas de los Infantes” after the epic poem.

The Seven Infants were trained in cavalry arts by Muño Sabido. Seven infants and their master reache eight, a magical number in occultism. All of them took active part in the Reconquest, that period of seven centuries during which Christians and Muslims were in continuous war. In the 10th century, when this story took place, Reconquest was at its height.

The aim of revenge is present throughout the story that starts up with an accident. During a wedding, one of infants killed a Doña Lambra’s relative. Ruy Velázquez, husband of Doña Lambra, is persuaded by her to revenge this offence. Gonzalo Gustioz and his sons would be victims of a double treachery. Gonzalo is sent by Ruy Velázquez to Cordoba, at that time capital of Independent Caliphate, carrying a letter written in Arabic addressed to Almanzor, one of the more important and powerful characters in the Caliphate.

Father and sons did not share the same fate. Almanzor, did not murder Gonzalo Gustioz, but he was imprisoned in Cordoba. Seven Infants and their master were beheaded. Their heads were taken to Cordoba in order to be displayed in public. Almanzor shows the heads to Gonzalo, who recognizes them, weeping with emotion. Almanzor pitied him and asks his sister to console the christian prisoner.

Almanzor’s sister and Gonzalo had a son, named Mudarra. Gonzalo is released and returns to Salas. Mudarra is brought up in Cordoba, but years later he met his father, in Salas. This bastard son ended up revenging the death of his brothers, killing Ruy Velazquez.


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Calle Cabezas, 18 - 14003 Cordoba (SPAIN)
Phone: (+34) 857 806 236 / (+34) 628 238 565