The remains of the synagogue at Pla dels Jueus
The Besalú synagogue, of which only part of the wall and the doors of the prayer rooms for men and women
remain, emerges as from the Royal privilege of Jaime I the Conqueror so that the aljama has in the city its schola judeorum in 1264. This 13th century building was raised alongside the wall in an area with
a special Jewish settlement as the call did not exist as such until the segregation of 1415; until that time the houses of
Jews were spread around different parts of the city.
It also forms part of the recovered Plaza dels Jueus and for centuries it lay abandoned.
At present, after the consolidation of the remains, it has been transformed into a
new space used as a Call interpretation centre.
Different medieval documents between the 13th and 15th centuries mention various donations to this synagogue as it had already fallen into disuse before the departure in 1436 of the last remaining
Jews in Besalú.
According to Jewish tradition, Moses received the five books of the Pentateuch going to make up the Torah or Law from the hand of God at Mount Sinai and from this time its study not only
became the duty of every Jew, with more than an intellectual exercise, it was a truly
religious experience. The Jews read the Torah at the synagogue at least four times a week: every Saturday (shabbat) in the morning and afternoon and on Monday and Thursday mornings - it was also read
intensely during fasting or at the feasts of Hanukkah, Purim and Yom Kippur.
In the square alongside the Besalú synagogue with amazing views over the river and the Romanesque bridge a plaque, placed in 1992,
recalls the work carried out to recover the Jewish past in the city by Doctor Manuel
Grau i Montserrat.