circa -45
Tortosa

Dertosa (Tortosa) is founded

It was the Romans who founded the settlement of Dertosa in around the middle of I B.C., with the setting up of a contingent of legionnaires in this territory who obtained their deeds of ownership after Julius Caesar´s victory in Ilerda (Lleida). Tortosa, the Roman Dertosa, was always a main enclave in the lower reaches of the River Ebro and the city grew on the hillside.

circa 50
Calahorra

El Sequeral Tower

Base of the powerful tower which closed off the former Calagurris Iulia to the southeast. It was a large angular tower with thick ashlar blocks, located at the vertex formed by the wall when turning its trajectory sharply to the west

The El Sequeral tower closed off the Late Imperial Roman wall to the southeast (1st century AD). It's well worth going down a few metres to the same tower base and taking a closer look at the complex series of walls and defences which existed in this part of the city where the tower must have made a major visual impact on those arriving at the former Calagurris Iulia on the Roman road from Gracchurris (Alfaro) or from Caesaraugusta (Saragossa). A milestone where the mark of the Jews of Calahorra with that of their Roman forefathers converge, some of them as illustrious as Marcus Fabius Quintilianus or the poet Aurelius Prudentius.

306
Avila

The legend of the Jew

Although documents have told us about the arrival of a first contingent of Jews in the late 11th century as participants in the venture to resettle the city by Count Raymond of Burgundy, after a long period as no man´s land on the border between Christians and Moslems, theories abound satting that there were Jews in Ávila well before this historic time, undoubtedly back in Roman times. This possibility is further backed up by the very legend of the foundation of Ávila as a Christian city in the 4th century in which at the same place where the first martyrial church dedicated to the saints Vincent, Sabina and Cristeta, a Jew builds, after having miraculously saved after a deadly snake bite which surprised him whilst laughing about the martyrdom of the brothers at the hands of Roman soldiers. This is recounted in every gory detail on the expressive vignettes surrounding the magnificent tomb of the martyrs at the Basilica of San Vicente, one of the great gems of the Castilian Romanesque.

The brothers Vincent, Sabina and Cristeta were captured and martyrized in Ávila in 306. In the times of Diocletian, the governor of Hispania, they had refused to sign a document acknowledging they had offered sacrifices to the Roman gods. A Jew was collaboration in the martyrdom when a snake curled round his neck. He promised God that if he got free, he would convert to Christianity and provide the martyr brothers with a tomb; at this same place the first church would be erected where, according to tradition, he was buried.

circa 500
Tortosa

The Visigoths settle in Tortosa

The extensive Romanisation of the city allowed the Visigoths, who arrived in the 6th century, to respect the language and organization of the former colony until the Moslem conquest.

circa 500
Tortosa

Trilingual Headstone

Trilingual Headstone

One of the most important jewels of the cathedral of Tortosa is undoubtedly the famous trilingual headstone from the 6th century, engraved in Hebrew, Greek and Latin and belonging to the tomb of a young Jewess called Meliosa, the daughter of Judá and María, bearing testimony to the presence of the Jews in Tortosa at the time of the Visigoths. On a wall of the cloister of the cathedral there is a copy of this headstone which, in addition to the inscription, reveals two five-pointed stars and a highly stylised candelabrum, belonging to the tomb of Meliosa or Eulalia, a young Jewess:

Meliosa, bat Judah, Meliosa, hija de Judá y de María, de dolorosa memoria.

This is not the only tombstone found in Tortosa. The original is conserved at the Cathedral Museum.

circa 500
Tortosa

The first traces of a Jewish presence in Tortosa

One of the most important jewels of the cathedral of Tortosa is undoubtedly the famous trilingual headstone from the 6th century, engraved in Hebrew, Greek and Latin and belonging to the tomb of a young Jewess called Meliosa, the daughter of Judá and María, bearing testimony to the presence of the Jews in Tortosa at the time of the Visigoths.

circa 713 - 1492
Tarazona

Old Jewish quarter

Alta Street at the height of Mata square

The name Old Jewish Quarter was coined in the 15th century in contrast to the New. During the Late Middle Ages, from the end of the wars between Castile and Aragón (1357-1369) until the time of the expulsion, the Jewish community of Tarazona occupied an urban area near the Zuda fortress, the prime symbol of Moslem power and then of Christian power. In the last three decades of the 14th century the district was extended between the exterior of the city barbacan, the Selcos irrigation ditch and the Zuda. This area can be specified more precisely thanks to two documents: the purchase agreement carried out in 1376 by Fernando Pérez Calvillo pertaining to the several properties owned by Jordán Pérez de Urries, including twenty one censos on properties in the Jewish quarter and the donation made by said clergyman and his brother Bishop Pedro, in favour of the city for a slightly greater figure. Both texts record the limits of the Jewish quarter between the city barbacan, the Selcos irrigation ditch, the crag of the Zuda, the market and the gate of the city. This solace corresponds to the streets currently called Juderia, Alta street, Aires street, Baja street and Arcedianos square.

The enclosure of this Old Jewish quarter, closed off at the Selcos irrigation ditch, can be accessed by several gates. There is documentary evidence for those located at Nueva Square (the current España square) at the intersection of the Juderia and Aires streets with España square and the so-called Porticiella on the road between the Zuda and the Selcos irrigation ditch known as Baja street, on the lower stretch occupied until recently by a tower of the wall which enclosed the so-called Cubo mill. Under the Zuda, on Alta street, opposite the Tarazona Study Centre, there was a third gate.

The northern limit is marked out by the barbacan which is situated on Conde street at the rear of which there are a series of overhanging constructions called (Hanging Houses) and occupied by the lower nobility and lineages like the los López de Gurrea, Señores de Torrellas, los Fayos and Santa Cruz.

The southern boundary follows the course of the Selcos irrigation ditch on whose left bank was a brick wall or adobe wall coinciding with the rear of the alignment of houses on Baja street. It was accessed from here thanks to a ponticiello or bridge of boards as the irrigation ditch was not covered. The blinded arches of the building which has a façade both on Baja street as well as on Arcedianos square demonstrates that the street level was considerably lower than the current one.

713 - 718
Tortosa

The Sarecens conquer Tortosa

The Saracens conquered the city between 713 and 718. We don´t know whether the Saracens obtained help from the Jews in the interior to ease this conquest, but this may have been the case as there was clear Jewish discontentment with the Visigoth policy. Already at that time there were Jews organised around the port, involved in overseas´ commercial ventures.

circa 800
Barcelona

Main Synagogue

The Sinagoga Mayor, the oldest of the existing ones in Barcelona, dates back to the 9th century despite the fact there are no documentary references to its existence until the 13th century. It is located at number 7, Sant Domènec del Call street, inside the block lying between the streets Sant Domènec, Marlet and Arc de Sant Ramon del Call and the current Manuel Ribé square. It had tree access doors: via Marlet street, via an alley which has since disappeared which left number 8 of Arc de Sant Ramon del Call street and the entrance at number 9 of Sant Domènec street. At the start of the street there was the entrance portal, the doorkeeper´s house and the Jewish butcher's which, although not an institution, it was the place where kosher meat was sold.

circa 800
Jaén

Arab baths of Villardompardo palace

Villardompardo Palace

Also known as plaza del Pato (Duck square) because of the swan adorning the fountain situated here, here is the splendid Villardompardo palace whose inners conserve one of the greatest treasures of Jaén: its wonderful Arab baths from the 11th century.

The palace, which belonged to Fernando Torres de Portugal, the viceroy of Peru, and count of Villardompardo, is a huge Renaissance building which symbolises Jaén´s position as regards the conquest of America and, at present, it is a spacious cultural complex includes not only the baths and outbuildings of the palace itself but also the Museum of Popular Arts and Customs and the Naïf International Art Museum.

The recovery of the Arab baths, which won the award Europa Nostra for restoration in 1984, allowed the discovery of the outbuildings of the old baths of Alí which, along with the aforementioned Naranjo and Ibn Ishaq, formed part of a group of four mentioned in the chronicles of Al-Himyari, all dependent on the flow from the Magdalena fountain. The Alí baths, bearing the name of the Moslem King who had them built in the 11th century, served this purpose until 1246 when Fernando III the Saint conquered the city for the Christians. From this point on, its rooms were used to tan and dyehides until the late 16th century when the viceroy don Fernando had them filled with earth and debris to erect his palace on them.

The baths were rediscovered partly by Enrique Romero de Torres who in 1913 was committed to drawing up the monumental catalogue of Jaén.

Whilst visiting the baths you can pass through its various constituent spaces: the hallway, formed by a large 14 metre wide room covered by a vault with 18 lucernas in star shape, the square-shaped warm room and the hot room which is almost 16 metres long situated alongside the boilers and also covered by stars, allowing the sunlight to form an environment rife with magic inside the baths which were used both by Moslems as well as by Jews and Christians, by men and by women in alternate timetables. All going to make up a display of wisdom and good living.

circa 802 - 1170
Tudela

Old Jewish quarter

On the southern limit of the Old Jewish quarter the gate of the cathedral known as Portal or Peones. It was built in the early 12th century in Romanesque style

From San Jaime square neighbouring the cathedral, part of Merced street which leads to the Old Jewish quarter or Vétula Jewish quarter. The Jewish district occupied the south-eastern section of the walled site, in other words, the space falling between the plot which would later be occupied by the cathedral and the River Queiles with an exit to the south via the Zaragoza Gate. Its site would be furrowed by Rúa Mayor (main street) from which various winding alleys would depart. José Luis Lacave identified it in 1992 with the current San Julián street; and the surrounding streets would be: Verjas, Tornamiras, Horno de la Higuera, Merced, Hortelanos, Arbollones and Fuente del Obispo. Recent studies have shifted the site of the Vetula Jewish quarter to the environs of the current Juderia square in Miguel Servet, Huerto del Rey and Magallón streets.

An original building endowed with ceramic plates incorporated in its whitewashed façade, at the crossing with Tornamiras street it marks the start of the Jewish district which already existed at the time of the Moslem domination and whose limits were more clearly stipulated after the conquest of the city in 1119 by Alfonso I the Battler. The Aragonese King, who entered Tudela under an agreement, signed with the Moslems the Charter of Sobrarbe and with the Jews the Charter of Nájera, recognising its rights and properties and establishing the limits of the districts. The care and the didactic sense in naming the streets with beautiful tiling which illustrates the meaning of each name, allows the route to be followed via a sector which is notably medieval in nature, marked out by inns and restaurants and with a certain Bohemian atmosphere. On Merced street the Ezquerra Palace, dated 1690, has a magnificent coat-of-arms on its façade, finished at its base with the shell of the Way of St. James.

Recent studies situate the Vetula Jewish quarter in the environs of the current Juderia square on Miguel Servet, Huerto del Rey and Magallón streets.

circa 820
Toledo

New Castle of the Jews

The fortifications of the New Castle of the Jews alongside San Martín bridge

The New Castle was a complementary defence of the new San Martín bridge, part of the exterior wall of the Jewish quarter, in the current Paseo de Recaredo which rises up to the Cambrón gate, built by the Arab governor from Toledo Muhachir ibn Al-Qatil in 820.

845
Córdoba

Headstone of Yehudah Bar Akon

Headstone of Yehudah Bar Akon found in Zumbacón

The Archaeological Museum conserves the only Jewish funeral headstone found until now in the city of Córdoba relating to the Jew Yehudah bar Akon, undoubtedly an important figure who died in Córdoba in the mid-11th century.

Having appeared in the Zumbacón district during the course of an emergency excavation and closed in 845, this piece is extremely important as it is the only material remains known until now which documents the Cordoban Jewish aljama during the governance of the Omeya emirs. It is also the oldest Jewish headstone found in Spain along with the trilingual headstone of Tortosa. The piece is complete and its text, written in Hebrew, bears the name of the deceased, the year of death and a prayer on a white-yellowish marble base which is 21 cm high, 32 cm wide and 2.5 cm thick.

The headstone is carried out on a reused piece. It was originally a Parietal RomanArchitrave as it conserves the remains of frames on the back. The text, written in Hebrew, is produced in relief, using the same technique as was used for Arab kufic inscriptions. Thanks to José Ramón Ayaso Martínez we have access to its translation:

This is the tomb of Yeyudah
son of Rabí Akon, of blessed memory,
His spirit is with the righteous.
He died on Friday three
of Kislev of the year [4]606 (November 6th, 845 AD).
Rest his soul in the beam of the ever-living ones

After discovering this important piece, Isabel Larrea and Enrique Hiedra undertook an investigation published in the Anejos de Anales de Arqueología Cordobesa (Annexes of the Annals of Cordoban Archaeology) (2010) in which they relate the Zumbacón headstone with the Jewish necropolis found in the immediate vicinity of Santos Pintados (the current Glorieta de Los Almogávares).

856
León

Ordoño I conquers Leon

circa 888
Girona

First Girona synagogue

Ancient location of the first synagogue, near the cathedral and the Episcopal Palace

The first synagogue of Girona was located alongside the Cathedral between the latter and the Episcopal Palace. If its dating in the 9th century is confirmed by historians, it would be the oldest synagogue in Catalonia.

It must have been a small building, perhaps a house or small old construction reused by the Jews. It was abandoned by the Jews at the time when the latter moved to the medieval call.

circa 890
Córdoba

Memorial stone at St. Michaelʼs Church

Memorial stone at St. Michaelʼs Church

Alongside the puerta de Osario (Ossuary gate), called Bab al-Yahud (Jews' Gate) before the Christian conquest, there lies St. Michaelʼs church inside which there is a Hebrew inscription. The inscription is a memorial stone from the now disappeared Jewish cemetery of Córdoba from the times of the Emir and the Caliph, reused to build the temple and situated in the central apse, that of the presbytery on the Evangelist nave side.

Although it is hard to read owing to the deterioration of the piece, according to the expert Jordi Casanovas, the inscription, a mere three lines, says:

Meir son of Rabbi G... rest his soul in the beam of the ever-living ones.

The memorial stone inscription shares the final content of the Zumbacón headstone; descanse su alma en el haz de los vivientes. This content, the simplest and oldest, had only appeared up to that point in a further two Jewish inscriptions of the peninsula; the trilingual headstone of Tortosa (6th century) and the Calatayud headstone (circa 919).

The appearance of the Zumbacón headstone with the same content and probably deriving from the same cemetery, closed in 845, perhaps serves to date the memorial stone between the 9th and 10th centuries. In any case, the chronology of both pieces makes it unlikely that any of them belonged to the Jewish cemetery of the Huerta del Rey (the King's Garden) associated with the Jewish occupation of the Jewish quarter we know today of which we only have a record in the Late Middle Ages Christian period and they must in all likelihood have been placed in the Jewish cemetery from the time of the Emir and the Caliphate which has now disappeared.

circa 900
Jaén

Hammam ibn Isaac, Isaac Baths

View of the archaeological excavation where it is believed the baths of Isaac were located

The Arab bath or Moslem hammam was public and had a series of «shifts» for men and women, but also for the different religious beliefs living in the Hispano-Moslem cities. The Jewish population used them on Fridays, the day of worship for Islam and prior to the Hebrew Shabbat.

There are records of another Arab bath in Jaén from the same era as that of Villardompardo whose owner was Jewish. This Bath was called Hammam ibn Isaac, in other words, Bath of the Son of Isaac. It has not been ruled out that his may have been owned by the family of the famous courtier Hasday ibn Shaprut, the son of Isaac ibn Shaprut, a powerful local Jew. The latest research would suggest that this hammam was located inside the Jewish quarter on the plot excavated to the south of Martínez Molina street and near the present-day St. Andrew´s Church.

circa 900 - July 27th, 1196
León

The Jewish quarter of Puente Castro

The Jewish quarter of Puente Castro seen from the bridge. © León City Council

The Jewish quarter of Puente Castro was the oldest and most important in the city of León. Known by the place name of Castrum Iudeorum, its first Jewish inhabitants must have settled here in the 10th century and the maximum expansion of the Jewish quarter must have been between the late 11th century and the early 12th century. Although León and Puente Castro were separated by a certain distance and by the River Torío, they formed a complementary unit. Self-evidently, the city of León was the capital of the kingdom of the same name whilst Castrum Iudeorum was of all the Jewish quarters of this territory.

The settlement was on the south slope of the Mota hill and it ended in a hill-fort with a fort; a small, defensive fortification. This medieval hill-fort was built in another Roman one which, in turn, must almost certainly have been erected on one of Asturian origin.

The excavations in the La Candamia area in the Jewish enclave of the Hill-fort in the heights of the Mota have allowed the reconstruction of the layout of the two-metre wide clay and adobe wall which surrounded the settlement before 1196. On July 23rd the Jews were attacked by the followers of Alfonso VIII of Castile and Pedro II of Aragón and they put up brave resistance until 25th when the fortress was taken and the Jewish quarter was sacked. On July 27th those Jews who hadn´t taken flight ort died were enslaved.

Once the aljama of Puente Castro had been destroyed, the Jewish population settled in León in the district inside the walls of Santa Ana. And in the city of León the Jews prospered between the 13th and 15th centuries in the fields of commerce, craftsmanship and even agriculture until the late 13th century, but their population never became as large or important again. The destruction of Castro de los Judios was so complete that it was virtually uninhabited until the 15th century.

The archaeological site allows us to find out some aspects of how the Jewish communities lived from the 11th to the 12th centuries. These aspects would be hard to document anywhere else in the Iberian Peninsula. What´s more, it is a settlement which can easily be excavated in its entirety as it is almost wholly free of more modern houses or other obstacles. Castro Iudeorum, in this regard, can be classed as unicum as regards its integrity and study possibilities.

circa 900
Toledo

Jewish cemetery

Archaeological work in Cerro de la Horca in 2009

Situated at Cerro de la Horca (Hill of the Gallows), its perimeter and slightly beyond is today occupied by a Secondary Education Institute.

Sources mention two burial places for the Jewish community outside the walls of the city: The Pradillo de San Bartolomé (around the Roman circus) and the Cerro de La Horca. The full extent and exact location of these two necropolises is not known, although we do have material record of its existence from the collection of monolithic headstones with inscriptions, spread throughout the city either in museums or forming part of the foundations of some Gothic monuments. This indicates at least two burial areas for the Jewish community which can perhaps be put down to the increase in population which occurred as from 1085 and, in particular, from the mid-12th century and during the 13th century with the Jews from Al-Andalus fleeing Almohad persecution.

Excavations were carried out in 1887 and some tombs were removed which are to be found today at the Sephardi Museum and the National Archaeological Museum of Madrid.In 1979 the contractor intentionally destroyed part of the necropolis during the construction of the Secondary Education Institute.During 2008 and 2009 new archaeological excavations were carried out in a sector of the necropolis which made clear that the burial patterns at Cerro de La Horca do not correspond to anything known up to that date in Toledo during the Middle Ages, leading us to think that this may actually be the site of one of the Jewish necropolises of Toledo.

circa 900
Tortosa

Suda Castle

Suda Castle

Strategically located at the highest point of the city, Suda castle, where the Jews of Tortosa had to take refuge after the attack on the Jewish quarter in 1391, is a splendid vantage point to behold the wonderful views of the city, including its two calls, and to gain some idea, from this spot, of its prime strategic position as the capital of the Baix Ebre.

Reconverted into a State-run Tourist Hotel, the old castle majestically dominates this two-thousand year old city which extends on both sides of the Ebro, crossed by the bridges that join each part of their urban fabric. This castle is settled on the natural platform used in Roman times as an acropolis and transformed into a fortress by Abderramán III; the base and layout of the Moslem walls are still conserved. It later became prison and, in the time of Jaime I, a royal residence. It suffered major transformations in the 15th century and deteriorated greatly by dint of the civil war of 1936-1939.

Catalogued as one of the most important aljamas of Sefarad, essentially owing to the intense commercial and financial activity of some of its most important members, the Jewish quarter of Tortosa went through a special period of splendour in the 12th and 14th centuries, after which the hostilities which broke out against the Jews throughout the kingdoms of Castile and Aragón ended up leading to the attacks of 1391, an episode which did not have the same destructive force here as in other neighbouring aljamas such as those of Barcelona or Girona, but which forced the royal authority to deploy its forces to protect a collective which constituted one of the main financial guarantees of its military campaigns. The impregnable nature of the Suda allowed the Jews of Tortosa to save their lives, though it did not prevent them, after a long, painful process, from facing the dilemma of conversion or expulsion.

circa 910 - 975

Hasday ibn Shaprut

Hasday ibn Shaprut was one of the most unique figures in the court of Abderramán III, a doctor and right-hand man of the Caliph, born in Jaén in 910 and appointed by him the nasir or chief of Jewish communities of Al-Ándalus, a post he held with others such as the minister or head of protocol. A diplomat, writer, a wealthy man and true patron of poets, philosophers, grammaticians and scientists, Ibn Shaprut acted as a true minister of foreign affairs of the Caliphate and was one of the major driving forces in the golden age of Al-Ándalus Jewish culture. He died in Córdoba in around 975.

circa 920 - 970

Menahem ben Saruk

Menahem ben Saruq was a poet, lexicographer and grammarian of the Hebrew language, born in Tortosa in the 10th century. When he was young he travelled to Córdoba and lived there under the patronage of Ishaq ibn Šaprut and his son Hasday, a famous Jewish doctor and politician, to whom Menahem ben Saruq was secretary. He was dedicated to grammar studies and he wrote the Mahberet, the first lexicon written in biblical Hebrew, considered the first work of the Hebrew language in the Iberian Peninsula.

circa 1000 - August 7th, 1391
Barcelona

Main Call

Main call

Just because the call was a closed space this does not necessarily mean the Jews lived isolated. In Montjuïc, the mount of the Jews, as well as the cemetery they possessed farmland and some houses and towers. On the Barcelona plain they owned a lot of land, in the main vineyards, gardens, farmland and fruit trees; some of this land they cultivated themselves and others loan collateral. The plain area where they had the most properties were, inter alia, Magòria, Bederrida, Les Corts, at Collserola, the outskirts of Rec Comtal... They also had houses and workshops in Sant Jaume square and stalls at the Plaza del Blat market. Around Miracle (the current space of Paradís Street where the Roman temple used to be) was the abode in the 11th century of the Jewish money-changers Bonhom, Enees and David in a space which recalled a residential area and which later was left outside the Main call area.

Main call occupied the north-eastern quadrant of the Roman city. Some remains of the wall can still been found from the Roman urbanisation inside the houses situated between the Bany Nous and Arc de Sant Ramon del Call streets. The Roman streets conserved are those of Sant Domènec and Sant Honorat, former decumani minori; Volta street, the current Sant Sever street and Bajada de Santa Eulàlia; a former cardo minimus and Call street, the former cardo maximus which stretched to the Roman gate and which was diverted at some point and adopted the shape it still has today. Traces can still be found of another cardo minimus, which has now disappeared, and other medieval cul-de-sacs. The limits of Main call were Call street and Castell Nou street to the south; Sant Honorat street, to be precise the line of houses between Sant Honorat and Bisbe street, to the east; Sant Sever street and Bajada de Santa Eulàlia as far as the Roman wall to the north and a dividing line between the streets of Arc de Sant Ramon del Call and Banys Nous to the west. However, in the mid-13th century the King authorised doors and windows to be opened in the Roman wall and the limits were expanded with the urbanisation of Avinyó and Banys Nous streets.

The Jews of Barcelona grouped together in Main call between the 12th and 14th centuries, though in stricter fashion as from the 13th century. In 1275 King Jaime I received a reminder from Pope Gregory X of the need to delimit the Jewish districts which was apparently not being fully complied with in Barcelona.

circa 1000
Besalú

Romanesque bridge

Romanesque bridge

Dated in the 11th century, with constant restorations over the centuries, the Romanesque bridge of Besalú constitutes real reception to the city with ample parking space at its beginning, a reception centre and the possibility of walking inside a nucleus which amazingly still retains its main medieval features.

In order to pass the bridge it was necessary to pay the price of passage or toll to the other side of the tower marking the angle of the bridge and controlling the entry to the city.

The bridge has seven spans forming an angle according to the support possibilities by the large river stones.

A symbol of the city, during the Spanish civil war it was blown up with dynamite and later rebuilt by the architect Pons Sorolla.

circa 1000
León

Church of St. Martín

Church of St. Martín. Exterior. © León City Council

Alongside the Old Town Hall is Plegaria Street leading to Church of St. Martín whose current image is the upshot of different remodelling work in the 12th, 14th and, in particular, 18th centuries, on the original Romanesque temple from the 11th century. Worthy of note in its structure are the Gothic apse and the odd chapel of the Ánimas, backing onto the temple. Following the rout via Platerías, Cardiles and La Paloma, the medieval layout of narrow streets in the old town opens up onto the spacious Ancha street, one of the prime, oldest thoroughfares in the city which leads between guards and all kinds of businesses to the cathedral square.

1003
Besalú

Church and Prat de Sant Pere

Medieval Feast at Prat de Sant Pere with the Sant Pere Church in the background

In an area already falling outside the scope of Jewish influence there lies the former Benedictine hospital of Sant Julià from the 12th century with a beautiful Romanesque gateway, now reconverted into a cultural centre and, in particular, the splendid Sant Pere Church which formed part of the former Benedictine monastery founded in 977 by the count-bishop Miró.

Consecrated in 1003 by Bernat I, the church is a real gem which is essentially Romanesque with its ambulatory, its abbey graves from the 16th to the 18th centuries and its Baroque belt-tower, watched over by two wonderful lions, a symbol of the fortitude of the Church above its main door.

On the same Prat de Sant Pere square is the Cornellà house, a beautiful civil Romanesque building from the end of the 12th century which conserves the stables and outbuildings of the service on the ground floor and on the main floor around a magnificent gallery with half-pointed arches, the house the Cornellàs which later belonged to the Llaudes family and is currently owned by the Solà-Morales.

1013 - 1103

Isaac Al-Fasi

Al-Fasi was born and lived for nearly 40 years in Al Qalʼa of Beni Hammad, near Fes. In 1088, aged seventy-five, two informers denounced him to the government upon some unknown charge. He left Fes for Cordoba, eventually becoming head of the yeshiva in Lucena in 1089.

Sefer ha-Halachot extracts all the pertinent legal decisions from the three Talmudic orders Moed, Nashim and Nezikin as well as the tractates of Berachot and Chulin - 24 tractates in all. Al Fasi transcribed the Talmudʼs halakhic conclusions verbatim, without the surrounding deliberations. Maimonides wrote that Al-Fasi's work

Has superseded all the geonic codes… for it contains all the decisions and laws which we need in our day….

Alfasi brought the geonic period to a close, the last of the Babylonian geonim, Rav Hai Gaon, died when Alfasi was 25 years old. Al-Fasi himself was called Gaon by several early halachic authorities. When Alfasi was himself on the point of death, he recommended as his successor in the Lucena rabbinate, not his own son, but his pupil Rabbi Joseph ibn Migash.

1015
Girona

The construction of Girona cathedral begins

Girona's Cathedral. © J. M. Oliveras

St. Mary's cathedral in Girona is situated above a pre-Romanesque and another previous Visigoth temple and it dominates the city skyline. On the previous Romanesque building , whereof the beautiful cloister and Charlemagne tower have been conserved, the new 14th century cathedral has replaced the three original naves with a single, monumental vault.

1035
Tortosa

Tortosa becomes a kingdom of Taifa

Compared with other Catalan cities that had barely been influenced by Moslem domination, Tortosa or Turtuxa, as the Arabs called it, depended for several centuries on the Caliphate of Córdoba until, after its break up, it formed its own kingdom or taifa in 1035.

circa 1050
Girona

Jewish characters on the Tapestry of Creation

Jewish figures on a red background in the Creation Tapestry. © J. M. Oliveras

One of the many treasures held by the Cathedral is the magnificent Creation Tapestry from the 11th to the 12th century; on one part of the tapestry are two individuals with the word iudei (Jews) identifying them: a splendid, early iconographic portrayal in the city which has become the symbol of the Jewish History Museum.

The proximity of the Jewish quarter to the cathedral constituted a permanent source of conflicts between the Jews and Christians of Girona. Already since the late 13th century there have been numerous attacks on the callowing to Easter Week or at other times of extreme religious fervour. In 1436 the King had to prohibit the custom of the stoning of Jews by students and the clergy from the cathedral.

circa 1064
Ribadavia

The first Jews arrive in Ribadavia

When King García I chose Ribadavia as the capital of the Kingdom of Galicia (1063-1065), the first Jews must have arrived in Ribadavia though we can say that the Jewish quarter formed around the 12th and 13th centuries, encouraged to do so both by the settlement of Jews since the 10th century in the neighbouring area of Celanova as by the presence of a powerful group of merchants in Ribadavia since the granting of the Royal Charter by Fernando II in 1164.

1070 - 1141

Yehudah ha-Leví

Yehuda Ha Leví (1070-1141) is the prince of Hebrew-Al-Andalus poets according to a phrase by Menéndez Pidal. He was adept at all kinds of poetic genres: panegyrics, poems of friendship and love, nuptial poetry, moaxajas, elegies etc. His friendly nature would bring him the friendship of the most illustrious men of letters of Jewish-Span9sh society with whom he exchanged letter poems. Abraham ibn Ezrá could have been his co-father-in-law.

His poetry features his Messianic hopes and the idea that the redemption of the Jewish people involved their return to the promised land:

My heart is in the East whilst I live
in the far West.

With the passage of time his work tended towards philosophy and the apology of Judaism. The Kuzari is regarded as a vital work. Written in the form of a dialogue in Arab, it was translated into Hebrew and in the 17th century to Castilian Spanish. From the Kabbalist circles and anti-rationalists it becomes the reference work for the national consciousness of the Jewish people in exile.

In 1141, nearing seventy, after living in Córdoba for a few years, he died on the way to Alexandria and we are unaware whether he managed to reach Jerusalem.

1077 - 1141

Yosef Ibn Meir Ha-Levi Ibn Megas

Yosef Ibn Meir Ha-Levi Ibn Megas (1077-1141) nació en Sevilla (hay quien dice que en Granada) y se trasladó a Lucena a la edad de 12 años para estudiar bajo la dirección del renombrado talmudista Isaac Al-Fasi durante catorce años. La antigua escuela talmúdica de Eliossana estuvo a su cargo a principios del siglo XII, y entre los acontecimientos que le tocó vivir destaca el pago que tuvo que realizar como rescate de la comunidad hebraica ante la presión de los almorávides en el 1106. Es autor de unas doscientas Responsa, (She'elot uTeshuvot Ri Migash), originalmente en árabe, muchas de las cuales son citadas en la obra de Bezalel Ashkenazi Shittah Mekubetzet.

Sobre la personalidad se conocen escasos datos, pero se sabe que contó con discípulos, entre ellos el padre de Maimónides, Maymun. El propio Maimónides en uno de sus capítulos de sus Ketubot y en comentario en el tratado de erobin, habla de la gran sabiduría e inteligencia de Ibn Megas.

Su labor en la academia lucentina terminó 1141 y sus descendientes fueron testigos del final de la comunidad judía lucentina, ya que en el 1148 los almohades expulsaron a dicha comunidad.

circa 1089 - 1167

Abraham ibn Ezrá

Abraham Ibn Ezrá (c. 1089-1167) spent his youth in al-Andalus (in Córdoba, Seville and Lucena) where he trained in Jewish culture in Arab.

In around 1140 he decided to abandon Sefarad to travel around the North of Africa, probably in the company of Yehudá ha-Leví, and Europe. He thus became a wandering wise man, well received for the knowledge he transmitted to the communities he visited: those of Beziers and Narbonne in France, Rome, England etc.

We are unaware whether he returned to Sepharad or whether he died in a European country. Howver, his multifaceted figure has left a deep mark on the whole intellectual life of the Jews of Europe. His biblical comments are some of the most highly appreciated in the Jewish world; his grammars are a common summary of the philological knowledge of Al-Andalus 11th century which it had not been possible to access up to then without knowing Arab and he introduced into the West the mathematical concepts of fractions and decimals.

He died in around 1167 according to some historians in Calahorra. His fame was so extensive that one of the craters on the moon, 42 kilometres in diameter, currently bears his name: Abenezrah.

circa 1090
Avila

Cathedral

The cathedral from the city wall

Looking over San Segundo street there emerges the imposing defensive «Cimorro» (large tower) of Ávila cathedral. A symbol of the city represented on its coat-of-arms materialises two of the main characteristics of Ávila, bringing together religiosity, very prevalent in its streets with its sound stone defences.

Started in the 11th century in late Romanesque style, it was completed in the 16th century with the features of the first Gothic cathedral in Spain. In its exterior architecture the details of a fortress prevail over religious aspects, revealing the medieval marrying of the cross and the sword. Inside worthy of note are the Plateresque retrochoir by Lucas Giraldo and Juan Rodríguez, the spectacular ambulatory built from the bleeding stone of La Colilla, the sculpture of the sepulchre of El Tostado, a work by Vasco de la Zarza. Also outstanding is the series of altarpieces of the main altar by Pedro Berruguete, Santa Cruz and Juan de Borgoña set in a sumptuous frame by Vasco de la Zarza, and which form one of the richest sets of Spanish painting of the 15th and 16th centuries. The Museo Catedralicio (Cathedral Museum) has been remodelled and has pieces of great artistic worth such as a Custodia de Juan de Arfe (custody of Juan de Arfe).

Ávila Cathedral was declared a National Artistic Monument in 1914.

circa 1090 - 1135
Estella-Lizarra

Elgacena District

Aerial view of the Elgacena district area with the St. Dominic´s convent in the foreground

Elgacena street recalls the name of the original Jewish district of Estella. Although the first document which mentions the OlgacenaJewish quarter stems from 1135, the Charter of 1090, inspired by that of Jaca and granted by Sancho V, already refers to Moslems and Jews being settled in the area. At that time, the Jewish quarter was only linked to the San Pedro nucleus and the castles' defences as the districts on the other side of the river did not merge with the latter into a single municipality until 1266.

That first settlement of Jews was increased in the second half of the 12th century with the arrival in Estella of new residents essentially dedicated to commerce and in the service of receiving the pilgrims who were going from France to Santiago, boosting the growth of the city in which the Jewish collective started to gain increasing importance. And until the 13th century it was regarded as enjoying the greatest prosperity both of Estella and its Jewish quarter.

Historic documentation tells us that in 1135 the Jewish quarterhad already been abandoned and the space it had previously occupied was donated to the barons of Estella by the King of Navarre García Ramírez the Restorer and in 1145 the crown donated the former synagogue to the bishop of Pamplona so he could build a church devoted to St. Mary and All Saints (today Jus del Castillo).

circa 1090 - 1145
Estella-Lizarra

Ancient synagogue

The Santa María Jus del Castillo church built on the former synagogue

The old synagogue of the Elgacena district was located where the church of Santa María Jus del Castillo is situated today. After the abandonment of the Jewish quarter in 1135, King García Rámirez donated the synagogue in 1145 to the Bishop of Pamplona Don Lope de Artajona so he could build a church there and making the synagogue disappears.

During the restoration work on Santa María de Jus del Castillo church, the archaeological intervention provided valuable information about the old synagogue. Thanks to these works it was possible to identify three of the four walls of the old synagogue at the base of the current Santa María Jus del Castillo church opposite what must have been the gate of Santa María on the old medieval wall. We know that the synagogue was built with rough limestone worked and plaster with a mortar layer where traces of forms can be seen. It was around 18 metres long and 10 metres wide. The gable end or eastern façade was knocked down and replaced by a semicircular apse for its conversion into a Christian church after 1145.

To the south of the church the remains of several dwellings have been restored though it was not possible to recover the plans of any of them. They were raised with irregular adobe bricks on a stone plinth and subsequently lined in lime mortar painted with red ochre or lime mortar using the slipform technique and the roof was made of Arabic style roof ceramic tiles.

circa 1090
Lucena

Bust of Al-Fasi

Bust of Al-Fasi. © Thyzzar-Lucena City Council

The Jewish room of the Archeological Museum of Lucena features a bust of another extremely prominent rabbi from the Lucena school. The bust depicts Isaac ben Yaacob Al Fasi, head of the school from 1089 to 1103.

Isaac Al-Fasi, the second gaon of Eliossana, was endowed with political and diplomatic skills, and made a significant contribution to the study of the Talmud in the lands of Al-Andalus.

1097
León

Mar Selomó stele

Funeral stele of Mar Selomó. © Museo de León

Found in 1982, during the works to widen the León-Valladolid highway, the Mar Selomó stele is a rectangular piece with a trapezoidal structure and the inscription side is smooth, comprising 16 lines of text. Its dimensions are 380 mm high, 297/304 mm wide and 40/65 mm thick.

The first letter is 14 mm high. Its writing is square with some characters written in italics, slope of horizontal lines.

However, its elegant, uniform layout has some stuttering in its design. One of its peculiar aspects is the preservation of abundant remains of red coloration in the interior of the letters of four lower lines of the text.

The text mentions Selomó bar David ben Parnaj, who died at the age of forty on Wednesday ab 3rd 4857, corresponding to July 15th 1097.

Esta es la sepultura de mar Selomó bar
mar David ben Parnaj fallecido
a la edad de cuarenta años el miércoles
día 3 del mes de ab, año
cuatro mil ochocientos
cincuenta y siete de la Creación
del mundo según el cómputo de la ciudad de León el Santo
lbendito sea
le levante y le despierte a la vida del mundo
venidero y le otorgue su parte con los justos
y cumpla en él el pasaje bíblico donde está escrito
Revivirán tus muertos, mis cadáveres se levantarán
despertad y exultad, los que yacen en el polvo, pues
rocío de luz es tu rocío y la tierra
muertos parirá, mas tú ve
al fin y descansa y te levantarás para tu suerte
al fin de los días

This stele is regarded as the best epigraphic piece from León discovered to date of the twelve catalogued in León.

circa 1100
Cáceres

An ancient Mikveh?

General view of a possible mikveh. The Jewish baths are always situated under the surface level. It is accessed via steps which lead right to the water

Number 4 Cuesta del Marqués houses the Yusuf al Burch Museum, the translation into Arab of the name of its founder, José de la Torre, who excavated here the rainwater tank and baths on which the house was based, decorated with an abundant collections of artistic objects evoking the Arab past of the city and where you can also visit, in addition to the rainwater tank and the baths, the winery, harem, kitchen, sleeping quarters, the garden and different rooms.

The baths, the remains of a private installation, have been said to have a connection with the mikveh the Jewish ritual , perhaps shared with the Moslems, which are located in a 12th century construction. This is a natural source of water from a spring, rainwater or a well whose left wall bears a piping through which the water from the house well continuously circulated. The well water was kept warm by boilers located under the house's courtyard.

Notwithstanding, as has already been stated, it has not yet been possible to clarify whether it is an Islamic or Jewish construction, in other words, whether it actually is a Mikveh.

circa th, 1100
Tortosa

The Tortosa synagogue is built

The corner of Jerusalén street where the Old Jewish quarter synagogue was located

Jerusalem street is one of the thoroughfares of the old Jewish district and according to the documentary sources it was situated at the corner formed with dʼen Fortó street by the old synagogue of the community in the 12th century which must have been accompanied in annexed outbuildings by the Talmudic school and ritual bath or Mikveh .

Before going back to this same point, we can extend the visit to the Old Jewish quarter by means of a quick trip around Jerusalem street, Travesía de Jerusalem, Travesía del Sol and Sol street on a circuit where the memory of the old Jewish settlers remains intact.

circa 1104 - 1492
Monforte de Lemos

Jews settle in Monforte

The Jewish community was never confined and lived mixed in with the general population. The clearest references we have mention their residing on Zapaterías, Falagueira and Pescaderías streets as well as in España square and neighbouring streets

Monforte was one of the Galician settlements with the largest Jewish populations. As elsewhere, the Jews of Monforte were not obliged to live in a certain district and their presence extended throughout the city. Despite this, they had their communal building situated in the area of Falagueira street, A Rúa Vella (old street), A Zapatería (Cobblers´ street) (today known as Travesía de la Cárcel Vieja – Old Prison crossing), AçougueSquare (Pescadería Square) or Rúa de los Herreros (Blacksmith street – now part of España square), were inhabited by Jewish families until the expulsion of 1492.

1110 - 1180

Abraham ibn Daud

Despite having been surpassed by Maimonides, Abraham ibn Daud (1110-1180) is the real father of Jewish rationalist thought. A philosopher and a historian, he was famous for introducing Aristotelian thought into the knowledge of Judaism and he was the first Jewish thinker who was an apologist of Aristotelian rationalism, before Maimonides. Up to that time the Jews had tended towards Neo-Platonism as is the case of Ibn Gabirol.

As far as his life was concerned, we know that, like many Jews — including Maimonides and his family—, he fled from the city after the invasion by the intolerant Almohads in 1148 and took refuge in Toledo. Whilst there he wrote his philosophical work Al-Akidah al-Rafiyah (The sublime faith) in Arab in 1160 which was subsequently translated into Hebrew, and in around 1161 his most famous work, Sefer ha-Kabbalah (Book of tradition), a detailed list of the generations of Jewish spiritual leaders, from Moses to the contemporary Rabbis.

He died in Toledo in 1180. In 2010 the ninth centenary of his birth was celebrated.

circa 1114 - 1231
Palma

Almudaina dels jueus (The Jewish citadel)

Palacio de la Almudaina (Citadel Palace)

In the space delimiting the steps of Costa de la Seu and Conquistador, Victoria and Palau Reial streets there stands the Almudaina or former Moslem citadel where the first Majorcan Jewish quarter mallorquina undoubtedly stood at the time of the Moslems, protected inside the fortified citadel. The original Jewish quarter would be located around where today the palace and March library would be in Cuesta de n´Adarró, partly adjoining the plot that was granted to the Dominicans in 1231 to build their convent where the Balearic Islands´ Parliament is located today.

According to Liber Maiolichinus de gestis Pisanorum Illustribus, a chronicle of the expedition to Majorca in 1114 by Ramon Berenguer III, on this date all the Jews surrendered, giving us an idea of how important this group was at that time.

In 1230 Jaime I the Conqueror finished the conquest of Majorca and started to reorganise the city under the new Christian structure. The Llibre del Repartiment (Book of Division), a piece of great documental value, recounts the distribution of different assets to judeorum de la Almudaina as a reward for their support during the conquest and this has been partly recorded in Hebrew by the Jewish Solomon, the alfaqui of the monarch.

Of Roman origin, the Palau de lʼAlmudaina (Royal Palace of Almudaina) was the residence of the Moslem governors and after the Christian conquest it was restored and extended by Jaime II who had the Angel tower built, dominated by the figure of the Archangel Gabriel.

1114
Palma

Ramon Berenguer III accepts the surrender of the Jews of Palma

According to Liber Maiolichinus de gestis Pisanorum Illustribus, a chronicle of the expedition to Majorca in 1114 by Ramon Berenguer III, on this date all the Jews surrendered, giving us an idea of how important this group was at that time.

1119
Tudela

The construction of Tudela cathedral begins

Between the uneven, winding alleys of the medieval town, Tudela cathedral emerges majestically

Via Roso street we reach the Tourist Office, the strategically located meeting point alongside one of the cathedral gates. Before entering the Tudela museum where you can make a joint visit to the cathedral and the Romanesque Cloister, the archivolts of the Judgement gate already provide a glimpse of the controversial relations between Jews and Christians over the centuries: if you look carefully amongst the people sentenced after the Final Judgement you will soon find a Jewish couple selling their cloth on a chest, symbolically representing all those of their kind.

Until 1783 Tudela cathedral was the collegiate church of Santa María la Blanca, with the latter having been erected in 1119 on the site of the main mosque of the Moslems from the 9th century. In addition to the Judgement gate, prominent on its exterior are the Santa María gate to the north and the Virgin gate to the south in Romanesque style. Inside, the choir is regarded as one of the greatest works of flamboyant Hispanic-Gothic style in Navarre and the Flemish-style main retable was carried out by Pedro Díaz de Oviedo.

circa 1125
Avila

San Pedro Church

Western Façade of St. Peter's Church

St. Peter's Church is undoubtedly one of the most significant temples of Castile and León. Since its Romanesque origins both the building and its decoration have evolved, the upshot of the prolongation of its construction over time. It was probably started in the second quarter of the 12th century but, for unknown reasons, the works were halted until the end of said century.

On the exterior, the triple header, an apse on each of the naves, brings together an amazing sculptoric repertoire with vegetal, fauna and geometric motifs but also including religious scenes like the history of Cain and Abel or the Temptation of Adam. Altogether this would be the first construction stage.

At the second of these stages the transept walls were built and at the third the lateral naves. As early as the 13th century the pillars of the main nave were raised and the roof would gradually be covered with barrel and ribbed vaults. The passage of time meant that the artistic criteria gradually changed and the arches started to become evident as the preface to the Gothic tendencies which would end up prevailing. Finally, upon completing this Romanesque stage, the dome was raised. The temple has a «Latin cross» ground plan with a central nave whose dimensions are larger than the lateral ones, separated by spacious stone arches.

St. Peter's Church was declared a National Monument in 1914.

An esplanade extends throughout almost the whole perimeter of the temple. This is St. Peter's Atrium. It was here that the Castilian monarchs swore to respect the regional charters of Castile and the Inquisition raised a platform to stage the trials of heretics. This all goes to illustrate the great importance of this church in the period of the greatest political importance in the city of Ávila.

It was at St. Peter's Atrium that the notorious trial took place of those Jews accused in the case of the Holy Child of La Guardia, an event which grabbed the attention of the kingdom at that time and which serves as a perfect illustration of the worsening of relations between Jews and Christians in the late 15th century.

circa November 1127
Estella-Lizarra

Funeral stele of Rabbi Noah

Picture of the stele in 1912 published by Fidel Fita in the Bulletin of the Royal Academy of History

Interesting information about the Jews is provided on a funeral inscription, undoubtedly deriving from the Jewish cemetery found in 1912 alongside the ruins of Belmecher castle. The find can be put down to Mateo Morante who held the post of military Commander of Estella as Commander-in-chief of the garrison.

The stela, inscribed on a hard grained, yellowish stone, has dimensions of 35 cm wide by 30 cm high. The type of writing allows us to date the stele in the 12th century after a comparison with other similar funerary inscriptions found in León and Monzón.

The text of the stele was dedicated to Rabbi Noé, the son of Naamá, son of Noé, born in Novar. Fidel Fita dated his death as between October and November 1127.

Buried in this tomb was Rabbi Noah, son of Naaman, son of Noah from Novar. He died in the month of marheshwán, in the year 4888 from Creation.

circa 1130
Avila

San Vicente Basilica

The Basilica of San Vicente from the city wall

The Basilica of San Vicente dates back to the 12th century but it was built on another prior place of worship which it is hard to define. Although it is a compendium of Romanesque architecture as their construction lasted until the 13th century it also bears traces of late Romanesque, directly preceding Gothic art.

On the exterior the use of cali stone (orange) lends it an amazing array of colours which contrasts with the sober grey granite of its portico.

Inside, it has a «Latin cross» ground plan with three naves which culminate in their attendant apse. Its narrowness lifts our gaze up to the ceilings which are vaulted.

The inclusion of this monument on the Ávila list of cultural heritage related with the Jews can be put down to the extraordinary reliefs which decorate the cenotaph (13th century) or urn where the remains of the martyrs are kept. These saints were the siblings Vicente, Sabina and Cristeta and they suffered martyrdom during the persecution of Diocletian (around 360) by refusing to admit they had carried out pagan rites. Tradition would have it that their bodies were laid out on a rock and the first basilica was built at this site. Its construction was paid for by a Jew who had boasted of his martyrdom: when he was gloating over the torture they were being subject to, a snake wrapped around his body and he felt that if he didn't renounce his faith, it would put paid to him.

Now converted to Christianity the Jew went ahead with the erection of this place of worship where he himself would later be buried. All these events are portrayed in the aforementioned cenotaph reliefs.

At present the martyrs' remains are located in urns arranged at the Main Altar and the cenotaph is admired for its excellent carvings as well as for the canopy which covers it and was added later in 1469.

The Basilica of San Vicente was declared a National Monument in 1882.

1130 - 1284
Toledo

Toledo Translators´ School

The Seminary area (on the right) where the Toledo Translators´ School was situated at the time of Alfonso X the Wise

The Toledo Translators´ School brought together the group of Christian, Jew and Moslem scholars which undertook very important scientific and cultural work in Toledo, particularly in the reign of Alfonso X the Wise (1252-1284) when it attained its greatest splendour.

Its toil allowed the works of ancient Greek culture which covered the fields of geography, astronomy, cartography, philology, philosophy, theology, medicine, arithmetics, astrology or botanics were brought out of oblivion and conveyed to medieval Europe via the Peninsula. This is why the school was the origin and base for the scientific and philosophical Renaissance of Western culture.

The School started in the 12th century, a time when it mainly specialised in philosophical and theological texts (Domingo Gundisalvo interpreted and translated the comments of Aristotle – written in Arab - into Latin which Juan Hispano, a Jewish convert, had previously translated into Spanish). As far back as the first half of the 13th century, during the reign of Fernando III, the Libro de los Doce Sabios (Book of the Twelve Wise Men ) (1237) was written, a summary of classical moral and political wisdom drafted by «oriental» hands.

Its origins can be found in the Jewish emigration en masse from Al-Ándalus to the Christian kingdoms and the cultural renaissance this took with it. Toledo was settled by poets, grammaticians, philosophers, scientists, doctors and other learned men, making the city their main destination. The Archbishop of Toledo don Raimundo de Sauvetat, who later became the Chancellor of Castile with Alfonso VII, wished to take advantage of the climate which allowed Christians, Moslems and Jews to live in harmony, provided his backing to different translation projects requested by all the courts of Christian Europe. The prestige of the School of Translators of Toledo was so great that not even the anti-Jewish stipulations of the Lateran Council in 1215 could stop it from flourishing.

circa 1130 - 1175

Benjamin of Tudela

Benjamín of Tudela (c. 1130-1175) is the most famous of the medieval travellers and along with Abraham ibn Ezrá and Yehudá ha-Leví, he is one of the most famous Jews.

He was cultured, wise man; multilingual (he was fluent in Hebrew in Aramaic and understood Arab and perhaps Greek and Latin), well-versed in the Torah and in the Halakha, he knew classical and medieval history. He was an expert in business and trades which may have been the reason behind his journeys.

His journey started in Tudela in 1160 and ended on his return to Paris. The key parts of the route were Rome, Constantinople, Jerusalem, Baghdad and Cairo. In his Book of Journeys(Sefer Masaot) he provides an accurate description of the situation of the Jewish community in each place, their economy and a political and religious overview. His eye for detail is a main source about the Mediterranean world in the second half of the 12th century; the distances, the number of inhabitants in each city, the climate etc. Worthy of special attention are his notes about Islamic sects and the descriptions about the ruins of the old Babylonia and the antiquities of Rome, Constantinople and Alexandria.

His journey must have lasted for between five and fourteen years. The first edition of the Book of journeys (Sefer Masaot) by Benjamín of Tudela appeared in 1543 in Constantinople. Since that time its editions have appeared in many languages.

1135
Estella-Lizarra

The Elgacena Jewish settlement is abandoned

Historic documentation tells us that in 1135 the Jewish quarterhad already been abandoned and the space it had previously occupied was donated to the barons of Estella by the King of Navarre García Ramírez the Restorer and in 1145 the crown donated the former synagogue to the bishop of Pamplona so he could build a church devoted to St. Mary and All Saints (today Jus del Castillo).

circa 1135 - 1498
Estella-Lizarra

New Jewish Quarter of Estella

Panoramic view of New Jewish quarter from the Firehouse

The Jews abandoned the old Jewish quarter of Elgacena in the first half of the 12th century and settled on the Northern slope of a terrace of the River Ega situated to the south of the city on one of the bends of the river and under the hill where Belmecher castle was to be built in the last quarter of the 13th century.

The New Jewish Quarter occupied an approximate extension of around 35,000 m2. It was delimited by a wall on its East, South and West where it met the walls of Belmecher castle. On the northern side, the Jewish Quarter neighboured the St. Dominic´s convent gardens from which it was separated in 1307 with the constructon of an adobe wall by order of King Luis Hutin.

The Jewish Quarter included, in addition to the dwellings of the settlement, the communal installations common to all the Jewish Quarters: the oven, butcher's, baths, water mill, a dyeing plant and wine press. As with any Jewish community, it must also have had a synagogue and its annexed installations. None of these buildings has been located at present.

Today the buildings which went to make up the new Estella Jewish Quarter are no longer visible and what remains of them may is concealed under the site and crops. The only visible part of the Jewish Quarter is the wall which delimited and defended it. It is a 300 m long stretch built from white limestone. The remains of a tower are conserved, endowed with two defensive walls alongside which a gate opens providing access to the Jewish quarter.

The archaeological excavations in progress recently undertaken inside this district have allowed the recovery of construction testimonies and material culture to be recovered from said aljama. From the latter it would seem that their urban layout was adapted to the slope with the dwellings situated on parallel lines and on terraces.

March 30th, 1135 - December 13rd, 1204

Moses ben Maimón, Maimonides

Moses ben Maimón, better known as Maimonides, or also by his Hebrew initials which form the name of Rambam, was born in Córdoba on March 30th 1135. Maimonides was the son of Rabbi Maión ben Yosef with whom he started studying the Torah; he would later learn maths, astronomy, physics and philosophy. Fleeing from Córdoba because of the pressure of the Almohads, in 1171 he arrived in Cairo where he set up as the doctor of the court of Saladin, subsequently attaining the office of ra'is al-Yahud or head of the Jewish community. Whilst in the Egyptian capital he would write his Regimen of Health. Comments on the aphorisms of Hippocrates, Comments on the Mishneh and Letter to Yemen, as well as his two most famous works: the legal treatise Mishneh Torah (Second Law) and the Moreh Nevukhim (Guide of the perplexed), written in Arab and later translated into Hebrew. He died in Cairo on December 13th 1204.

1145
Estella-Lizarra

The king donates the synagogue to the bishop of Pamplona

The old synagogue of the Elgacena district was located where the church of Santa María Jus del Castillo is situated today. After the abandonment of the Jewish quarter in 1135, King García Rámirez donated the synagogue in 1145 to the Bishop of Pamplona Don Lope de Artajona so he could build a church there and making the synagogue disappears.

circa 1145
Estella-Lizarra

Santa María Jus del Castillo

Church of Santa María Jus del Castillo

Santa María de Jus del Castillo street starts at the confluence of the street with Curtidores street and begins the ascents to Zalatambor castle passing under Fortunato Aguirre street which forms part of the Estella variant. As if it was a time tunnel, the ascent to the fortress is also an incursion into the first Jewish settlement in Estella in a district where the majority of the houses remain concealed under the ground after having suffered centuries of abandonment.

The current church of Santa María de Jus del Castillo is Romanesque, endowed with just one nave and a tambour-shaped apze, though its façade and tower are Baroque. Alongside the church the remains of the walls can be appreciated which fortified the city's castle.

1148
Tortosa

Ramon Berenguer IV conquers Tortosa

The prevalence of Jews in Tortosa was later weakened for two reasons: one occurred in the short-term related with the decadence of the port of Tortosa and hence of its commercial river and maritime dominance. The other factor was in the longer term and was related with the conquest of the city by Ramón Berenguer IV in 1148. Although there is no doubt that the Christian conquest of the powerful Moslem enclave of Tortosa did initially mean the influx of Jews from elsewhere, like Tolosa, the situation and nature of their presence was no longer the same.

1149
Tortosa

Founding of the Call vell in Tortosa

In 1149, Ramón Berenguer IV, under the Carta de franqueses al Jueus de Tortosa, donated the Al-Andalus dockyards to the Jews for the construction of sixty dwellings.

1149 - 1492
Tortosa

Old Call

Esplanada street in Old Call

Inmaculada square situated at the feet of the Suda castle constitutes the entry gate to the Jewish quarter of Tortosa, divided into two parts by Major de Remolins street which runs in a south-north direction and which leaves behind on the left the call vell and on the right the call nou. The Old Jewish quarter emerges after the conquest of the city from the Moslems by count Ramón Berenguer IV in 1148 who donated the former Arab dockyards to the Jews for the construction of sixty houses. During Moslem domination, the border status of Turtuxa vis-à-vis the Christian kingdoms meant that the enjoyed great prosperity in which the Jews played a major role.

The Jews already lived inside the walls of the city during the time of the Islamic occupation of Tortosa, a situation which did not change after the Christian conquest; its enclosure went from the current Tió Noé street to Barranco del Célio street. Of the original Call we only conserve the layout of the streets and the Gate of the Jews. They lived a stone´s throw away from the most commercially active area alongside the port as befitted the so-called transmarini negotiatores or driving forces behind overseas´ trade by means of a major network of Jewish families and interests, the specific infrastructure of its unique diaspora. Commercial activity meant for the Jews of Tortosa a source of wealth, occupation and influence. They not dealt with transactions with distant overseas places, both in the trade of gold and in that of slaves and prisoners of war: it seems that by way of livestock dealers there was a major flow from Tortosa of these unfortunates, a task commissioned to the Jews owing to their medical knowledge, in particular as regards the awarding of eunuchs, slaves converted into the latter by Jewish doctors commissioned to castrate male staff earmarked for harems.

Esplanada streets starts around the Old Jewish quarter which, after leaving behind it on the left Travesía dʼen Fortó, gives out onto Jaume Tió Noé street which sets the southern limit of the district. Where both streets cross, the arch of Esplanada street constitutes one of the traditional entrances into the Jewish district.

circa 1150
Besalú

Mikveh

The Besalú mikveh

Related with the synagogue, the Mikveh is the real jewel in the crown of the city. However, it was found purely by chance: during some well drilling works to collect water here in 1964, a resident of Besalú, Esteve Arboix, found the stone vault and then came across the rest of a construction packed with earth from different river flooding over time.

Studies by Father Nolasc del Molar and the subsequent view of the Rabbis of Paris and Perpinán, advised by that of Marseilles, determined the cataloguing of the mikvehas one of the most important in Europe.

The Mikveh in Besalú is a 12th century Romanesque construction annexed to the synagogue with 36 steps going down from the public square to the running water collection site and its state of repair is excellent thanks to the qualities of the sands from the river which covered it for years; on the third of the access steps to the swimming pool, the hole can still be seen which served to control the water level as the filtration was produced naturally. At different times of the year it is full of water and lit up, lending at even more impressive appearance.

Although the most frequent users of the ritual bath were married women, after the period the also resorted to the purification of the Mikveh the newly enlightened, the very religious men every Friday before celebrating the shabbat, those who had had to get in touch with a dead person during a funeral ceremony or those who wished to convert to Judaism. In some cases immersion in the Mikveh of food-related objects was recommended (some cutlery or crockery) which had been manufactured by a non-Jew and, in general, everything regarded as impure and which it was wished to pass on via the holy water.

circa 1150
Estella-Lizarra

Palace of the Kings of Navarre

Palace of the Kings of Navarre

The Palace of the Monarchs of Navarre in St. Martín´s Square is a building from the second half of the 12th centiry with a beautiful porticoed façade with the added extra of the towers and the brick gallery from the 17th century.

In addition to the grace of its Gothic style windows, the chapters stand out for their curious features: On the left-hand column, Roldán's struggle against the Moslem giant Ferragut; on the right-hand one, portrayals of the haughtiness, avarice and lust, with its donkey, its misers and its lewd woman, doomed to the flames of hell.

Today it houses the Gustavo de Maeztu Museum.

1160 - July 31st, 1492
Girona

The Call

The houses hanging over Onyar River. In the background, the cathedral and the belltower of Sant Feliu church

In the 12th century the Jewish community moved to the lower part of the old city. In 1160 they already lived in the call, a Catalan name for the Jewish districts coming from the Latin callis. In the Middle Ages it meant «set of narrow streets».

During the course of the 13th and 14th centuries these paved, narrow and labyrinthic streets constitute the urban space where the majority of the Jewish population of Girona and its institutions were located and also where Christian workshops and houses were established. It was after the conflicts of the 14th century that the call became a space of confinement. In 1448 a municipal order gave a timeframe of six days to abandon the houses that the Jewish families had outside the site and move to the delimited space of the reduced call.

The call had a fishmonger's, an oven and a butcher's which ensured the faithful had Kosherfood. We know that in the 15th century there was a butcher's annexed to one of the synagogues right in the centre of the callwhere an expert rabbi, the shojet, would carry out the ritual throat-cutting(shejitá) of the animals and the subsequent examination of the meat. There were also institutions characteristic of the aljama: a hospital, an orphanage, a charity house and the synagogue.

Away from the city centre, on the Montjuïc mountain side, the Jews had their own cemetery.

In the latter half of the 15th century, the call gradually became an ever smaller area, turning into a place of confinement and exclusion from the medieval city.

1163
Toledo

Old Castle of the Jews

The old castle of the Jews area from the Tagus

The castle´s purpose was to protect the neighbouring districts and the inhabitants of the Jewish quarter in the event of attack as occurred in 1355. A small number of documents mention it before the 15th century. The «castle of the Jews» features in 1163 in the deed for a loan granted to the Jew Isaac ben Abuyusef which cites as collateral half of his house in the castle of the Jews over the River Tagus. A century later there is mention of a street stretching from the Castillo Viejo gate of the Jewish quarter to the Castillo Nuevo gate. In 1492 further mention is made in a tax acceptance document regarding a house near the castle bordering certain houses and the synagogue of Santa María la Blanca and the «calle real (royal street)».

The «Castillo Viejo (Old Castle)» features on the list of assets of the aljama in Toledo in 1492: the castle adjoined the butcher´s and the slopes which went down to the Tagus; one of its towers stood alongside the butcher´s door and the «public streets». On this date all that was left of it was a plot and a tower. In 1496, seeing that this whole space was todo fecho muladares e syn provecho, the employees who inspected it by order of the monarchs thought que en fasello casas se farya barryo poblado, e quedava calle tan ancha y mas que ninguna de la dicha çibdad. In this way the plot which the castle had previously occupied was divided up into parcels and houses were built on the latter in the first quarter of the 16th century.

circa 1164 - 1492
Ribadavia

The Jewish district

Overview of Ribadavia

The Jewish district of Ribadavia still retains the medieval layout of its long, narrow roads, corners of streets and squares, porticoed by cantilevers and courtyards surrounded by façades where time seems to have stood still.

When King García I chose Ribadavia as the capital of the Kingdom of Galicia (1063-1065), the first Jews must have arrived in Ribadavia though we can say that the Jewish quarter formed around the 12th and 13th centuries, encouraged to do so both by the settlement of Jews since the 10th century in the neighbouring area of Celanova as by the presence of a powerful group of merchants in Ribadavia since the granting of the Royal Charter by Fernando II in 1164. Many Jews took charge of the management of the financial matters of the Manor and subsequently of the Count of Ribadavia, specializing in the administration of properties and rents and in various craft trades. They were also prominent as wine merchants.

The Jewish quarter extended between the main square and the medieval wall. Its centre was situated around Xudería (Jewish quarter) street which joins the main square to Madalena square. An ever present element in this Jewish quarter, continuing through the streets and the colonnades, is stone. The Jewish markets were located on the ground floors of the houses, thereby avoiding the sun from shining in for the convenience of customers and to preserve the foods. The balconies jut out prominently into the street to protect the ground floors from the rain; furthermore, flagstones were placed in front of their own doors to serve as platforms, raised a few centimetres above the street level so the ground humidity does not penetrate their premises.

circa 1167
Calahorra

Abraham ibn Ezrá dies in Calahorra

The economic prosperity of the Jews of Calahorra shows that several historians locate in Qalʼat al Hajar, the Moslem Calahorra, the death of the traveller and scholar from Tudela Abraham ibn Ezrá in around 1167 after having travelled all around Europe.

1170 - 1498
Tudela

New Jewish quarter

Guerreros street. Over time, the initial limits of the New Jewish quarter spill out onto the streets coming down perpendicularly from the current Paseo del Castillo

The creation of the New Jewish quarter of Tudela is linked to the name of Sancho VI the Wise who promoted the development of this new district which cohabited for a while with the previous one as from 1170 under the protection of the castle which dominated the city from the Santa Bárbara hill. The orography characterises the peculiar structure of the district, developed from the two parallel thoroughfares formed by San Miguel and Paseo del Castillo. Via Caldereros street and Guerreros street the route goes into the heart of the New Jewish quarter by means of steps and narrow roads which maintain the layout of the medieval district. Sotarraño street connects to San Miguel street in a popular district where the last spell in the lives of the Jews of Tudela was played out until their expulsion in 1498, six years after the decree of the Catholic Monarchs was signed.

Sancho VI the Wise allowed the Jews in 1170 to sell their houses and set up alongside the Castle in the New Jewish quarter which replaced the Vétula or old Jewish quarter. It is highly likely that said move was made very slowly and that for years until the plots of the new site had been prepared, both sites coexisted. In the middle of 1177 mention is made of the Jewish synagogue at its former plot when mentioning the boundaries of a purchase (aliam albolelcan que se tenet cun illa sinagoga iudeorum que fuit de Jacob Suabi medico). It would seem that in the first few years of the 13th century the move had to be made to the New Jewish quarter inside the citadel; at this time this was the only space of the topography of Tudela referring to where the Jews live as an organized community. This new district soon spilled over the fence of the Wall and extended round the mound until almost reaching the gates of the parish church of San Salvador, to the south, and via the east to the walls of the Moorish quarter in the direction of La Planilla.

Some illustrious families like the Abenpasat gained the privilege of remaining on the original plot of the Old Jewish quarter, now reduced to the immediate vicinity of Huerto del Rey street. Self-evidently, the simultaneous occupation of the two districts demonstrates the high population of this community, perhaps coinciding with the almost permanent presence of the King and his court in the capital of the Ribera.

With the passage of time and in more permissive situations, such as the reigns of the last Evreux (1350-1425), the Jewish quarter, as an inhabited space, gradually began to move towards the plots of Christians situated outside the castle such as the district of Aljuneyna – near the Church of San Miguel – and as far as the outskirts of the parish of San Pedro were houses of Jews are recorded since the early years of the 14th century. The references in the 15th century to the gates of the Jewish quarter could refer to those already in place inside the castle or to new openings in the new enclosure, outside the walls of the fortress. In any case, the limits of the Jewish district were very diffuse and imprecise. The gradual loss of members left many spacious empty which had previously belonged to the Jews and many of them were living amongst the Christians.

1177
Tudela

The location of the new synagogue is mentioned in a purchase and sale agreement

In the middle of 1177 mention is made of the Jewish synagogue at its former plot when mentioning the boundaries of a purchase (aliam albolelcan que se tenet cun illa sinagoga iudeorum que fuit de Jacob Suabi medico).

circa 1180 - 1410
Segovia

Main synagogue-Church of Corpus Christi

Main Synagogue. Façade

The ancient Mainsynagoguewas the religious centre of the Jewish community of Segovia in medieval times. Located between Juderia Vieja street and the wall, it ran parallel to Puerta del Sol street. The current entrance was via Corpus Christi square, crossing a typical Segovian yard which forms part of the Convent of the Order of St. Clare, the owners of the temple.

Due to the absence of documents it is not possible to know the time and conditions in which the Jewish community built the Mayor Synagogue in Segovia. Researchers have analyzed this synagogue architectural and artistically agree in indicating their strong resemblance to the so-called Santa Maria la Blanca in Toledo.

The orientation of the Main synagogue in Segovia suggests, according to some authors, that it could have been erected on a previous mosque. With documentary evidence of its existence going back to 1373, it is known that it served as a Jewish temple until its confiscation en 1410 and that nine years later it had already been consecrated to Christian worship.

Alongside these large horseshoe arches, supported on octagonal pillars which culminate in beautiful chapters decorated by closed circles, the 40 smaller arches of the upper floor and the Mudejar decoration of the coffered ceiling of the current church afford an idea of the dimensions of the old Jewish temple, one of the five synagogues registered in the city, and there could even be anything up to seven.

After terrible fire of 1899 which reduced the building to its structural lines, at the start of the last decade Segovia city council carried out the restoration of all the plasterwork, stained glass and chapters forming the original ornamentation by means of the original photos of the day of the fire in 1889 which were available and the remains conserved of the plasterwork originals.The artists involved were José María García Moro (Sculptor), José Luis Silveira (Restorer), Carlos Muñoz de Pablos (Stained glass designer) and Valero Herrera Ontañón (Municipal Surveyor).

1180
Toledo

Santa María la Blanca Synagogue

Interior. Santa María de Blanca

The Synagogue of Yosef ben Shoshan from the early 13th century was provided by Alfonso VIII, a monarch who was clearly sympathetic towards the Jews. In 1411, after the sermons by Vincent Ferrer, it became a Christian temple and since that time it was known as the church of St.Mary the White. In 1550, after introducing some remodelling work, cardinal Silíceo used the temple to create a beaterium for women who had publicly repented. In the 18th century the building was converted into a military barracks and in the mid-19th century it began to be recovered as an artistic monument.

A large door opening out onto Reyes Católicos street and a simple garden precede the entrance to the synagogue. It is erected on a courtyard surrounded by cypresses where the main door is situated with star-shaped Mudejar latticework under a pentice. In the subsoil there are vaults used for burials since the 16th century and other archaeological remains.

Once again the humble exterior appearance contrasts with the grandiosity of its interior. Five naves separated by horseshoe arches, octagonal columns with chapters adorned by pine cones and volutes, adapt to an asymmetric layout which is more reminiscent of a mosque than a synagogue. On these arcades there are some decorative borders with geometric and vegetal elements which follow a perfectly defined rhythm in the spandrels of the arches. Poly-lobed arches are used to raise the central nave, leaving the side decks lower down with their attendant coffered ceilings. The whole structure is catalogued as an example of Almohad art put to the service of the Jewish community.

In the 16th century Alonso de Covarrubias, at the behest of cardinal Silíceo, remodelled the heads, creating three chapels, the central one lined with a half orange-shaped vault on tubes whilst the sides are a quarter of a circle over Pechinas. The retable is by Nicolás Vergara, the Old Man, carried out in the second half of the XVI.

The synagogue, in the same way as the Tránsito one, has undergone numerous ups and downs during the course of its history. Not waiting for the decree of expulsion by the Catholic Monarchs, it is said that the sermons of Vincent Ferrer from the pulpit of Santiago del Arrabal led to the Christians taking the temple in 1411 and they expelled the Jews from it, turning it into a church dedicated to Santa María la Blanca. An old legend has it that the temple was built from earth brought from Jerusalem.

1184

Pope Lucius III creates the Inquisition

The Inquisition was created by means of the papal bullAd abolendam, issued in 1184 by Pope Lucius III after the synod of Verona as a tool for combatting the Albigensian heresy in the south of France. As well as in France and Spain, there were pontifical Inquisition courts in several European Christian kingdoms during the Middle Ages.

from 1186
Plasencia

Mixed trials are held at the gates of San Nicolás

The church and square of St. Nicholas

Via the narrow street of Santo Domingo el Viejo and Caldereros street you will reach San Nicolás square, a vast space which today is very different from that which existed during the Middle Ages when, in the place the steps and the fountain currently occupy, there stood some of the houses of the old Jewish quarter of La Mota between the 13th and 15th centuries.

St. Nicholas´ church was famous for carrying out at its doors the mixed trials between Christians and Jews at a court of arbitration formed by a Jewish judge and another who was Christian. In this way, the Jews enjoyed legal cover against any possible attacks from Christians. Nevertheless, this legal situation underwent major changes in the late 13th century.

The temple, Romanesque from the 13th century and having undergone major remodelling in the 15th century, is a free-standing building whose civil tower stands out, as well as the Loaisa chapel and the magnificent tomb of the Bishop of Coria don Pedro Carvajal-Girón from the 15th century in the interior.

1186 - 1419
Plasencia

Former Jewish quarter of La Mota

The Jewish quarter area of La Mota, currently occupied by the Mirabel palace and the St. Vincent Ferrer Convent

The Jewish quarter of La Mota is a vast space in the northwest of the walled city occupied by the Jews since the 12th century after the Alfonsine Foundation and subsequently converted into segregation in the 15th century. Of the four aljamas belonging to the diocese (Plasencia, Béjar, Medellín and Trujillo), that of Plasencia was the most powerful. The documents tell us that the Jews frequently outperformed the Christians in the bids for excise rents of the Zúñiga family in the second half of the 15th century as well as the fact that some of them owned land and others rented vineyards to the Chapterhouse.

Although no bloody events were recorded in Plasencia in 1391, the widespread climate of anti-Jewish violence in Spain in the final years of the 14th century and the first of the 5th did lead the Plasencia council – following the guidelines of the laws of Ayllón - to establish in 1412 the segregation of the Jewish community in a closed district to which end a wall was erected from the current San Nicolás square to the Coria gate, closing with a fence the land currently occupied by the Parador, the St. Vincent Ferrer Church and the Mirabel palace, with the exception of the garden.

The fence, called new to differentiate it from the stretch of the old city wall, commenced its trajectory at the pass of La Mota «questá a la parte de la yglesia de la Madalena», near Coria Gate and the old wall. It followed its course round the back of the houses on Coria street whose stretch was occupied by the wall of the Dominican convent. The new fence continued as far as the white wall-walk and the house of the alderman Tel Díaz:

Çerca do se dize que está el pozo de las casas caydas que fueron de rebí Abrahén [de Aloya]
integrating the present Cañón de las Bóvedas del Marqués street in the Jewish quarter area. At the foot of the flight of steps at Vincent Ferrer square was the only gate of access to the Jewish quarter, closed when segregation ended.

The construction of the fence left without rights of way some of the streets within the segregation of La Mota and which ended up being absorbed by the construction of the Dominican convent. In 1451 in the immediate vicinity of La Mota, Esparrillas street, an alley which rises from Berrozana Gate and goes to the steps of the fence above said gate is cut off by the construction of the new fence.On July 23rd 1541 the council gave the Dominican order a street which crossed via the convent yard to Coria street with a view to house making more cells for the community. It could be the final stretch of Esparrillas street which would connect with the flight of steps of St. Vincent Ferrer square and Coria street.

Not all the area near La Mota and the upper part was urbanized in 1412. The Count of Plasencia granted Juan de Pineda a plot in the upper part of Coria street near San Nicolás to build a house. Another plot was granted to Rodrigo de Soria at the same Coria gate. And a third to Pedro Carpintero at Coria gate to build a dwelling in 1464.

The segregation of La Mota would remain in place until 1419 when the Jewish families started leaving the confinement of La Mota to settle on the outskirts of the Main square and Zapatería street. In the second half of the 15th century the Duchess of Arévalo, doña Leonor de Pimentel, the wife of don Álvaro de Zúñiga, the Count of Plasencia, decided to build a convent here dedicated to Saint Vincent Ferrer in thanks for curing his son (Juan de Zúñiga y Pimentel who would later become the grand master of the Order of Alcántara) who had been seriously ill. With this in mind, with the aid of King Enrique IV and Pope Sixtus IV, he expropriated those Jews who were owners and commissioned the new works to Pedro González and his son Francisco, both from Plasencia.

circa 1190 - 1391
Toledo

Sofer synagogue

Sofer square at the former site of the synagogue

SoferSynagogue (Hebrew for Scribe) was probably built in the late 12th century or early 13th century. In 1391 Suleimán Jarada had a house known as the Higuera (fig tree) between the Atahona house and the Sofersynagogue. It would seem that the Sofer synagogue, the Higuera house and the Atahona house formed an architectonic unit between Ángel street and Reyes Católicos street. The Sofersynagogue probably stopped being used for this purpose in 1391 after the unrest and attacks the Jews were subject to and which brought about the departure of don Sulemán. We don´t what happened to it as it not mentioned again after 1480. According to an order by the Catholic Monarchs it could not be put up for sale nor occupied after the expulsion of the Jews. The attendant wall of the synagogue - which still existed in the 16th century opposite the second cloister of San Juan de los Reyes as can be seen in the El Greco plan - disappeared in the second half of the 19th century. It left its mark as a quadrangular square in 1858 in the Coello plan.

Excavated during 2011, the existing archaeological remains are currently visible under Sofer square, inaugurated in 2012.

1194
Girona

Arab Baths

The Arab Baths

The Paseo de la Reina Juana connects to Fernando el Católico street where there are excellent baths, popularly known since the 19th century as the Arab baths whose sumptuous apodyterium or changing room is presided over by a large Star of David. They are dated 1194 and, after being closed in the 15th century, they were occupied in 1617 by a community of Capuchin nuns. In 1929 they started being managed publicly. These excellent baths are also endowed with a frigidarium (cold room), tepidarium (warm room), caldarium (hot room) and an oven.

1194 - 1270

Mossé ben Nahmán, Nahmánides

The most prominent figure within the context of Jewish Girona was the rabbiMoses ben Nahman, also known as Nahmanides or Ramban and, according to some historians, by the Catalan name of Bonastruc ça Porta. This philosopher, exegete, poet and doctor was born in the city in around 1194. He was a wise, pious man who left his mark on the history of Girona and all of Catalonia.

He followed the Kabbalistic postulates and acted wisely as a mediator the confrontation between traditionalists and maimonidists. In 1263 he took part in the controversy known as the Disputation of Barcelona in which he dialectically came up against the convert Pau Cristià (Pablo Christiani) to publicly defend – and at the request of the King – the Jewish religion. Shortly afterwards he set off for the Holy Land; he died at San Juan de Acre in Israel in around 1270.

His memory is alive and well and his work is still a mandatory reference for a knowledge of how people thought and felt in medieval times

1196 - 1492
León

The Jewish quarter of León

The Jewish quarter of León. © León City Council

In 1196 Puente Castro was flattened and its aljama moved to León, delimited by the current Plaza Mayor (Main Square), Santa Ana and Grano. This spot saw the settlement of the majority of the Jewish community during the 13th to the 15th centuries. The densest nucleus was concentrated on the current streets of Juan de Arfe, St. Martín´s Square, Mulhacín, Cuesta Castañón and Santa Cruz. The synagogue was situated in the current Misericordia Street which was the backbone of the district.

The original names of the streets of the Jewish quarter, Cal de Moros, Cal Silvana etc. were replaced centuries ago with Misericordia, Santa Cruz etc. At present, the traces of the Jewish presence in León are being recovered: the remains of medieval constructions in the old aljama, wineries, courtyards and passageways. The Jews of León carried out the most varied professional activities under the protection of the Charter of León (1017-1020) which granted very similar rights to Jews and Christians.

However, as from the 15th century, various ordinances were decreed limiting the rights of the Jewish people. This included the ruling by the Courts of Toledo which in 1480 required the strict separation of the Jewish and Christian communities. This all led to a gradual fall in the Jewish population of León. In 1492 the Catholic Monarchs signed the decree of expulsion of the Jews, bringing to an end centuries of cohabitation. May decided to convert, but for a long time they felt threatened as they were suspected of judaizing.

circa 1200 - August 7th, 1391
Barcelona

Minor Call

Lleona street in Minor call

In medieval Barcelona there were two Jewish districts: Main Call and Minor call, also called Sanahuja or Àngela. The two calls were not connected to each other, but we believe that when the streets of Banys Nous, Boqueria and Avinyó began to be urbanised - in other words, after the opening of the Roman wall - the communication was much more direct. In between the two Jewish quarters was Castell Nou (New Castle). And also equidistant between the two districts was the Banys Nous or New Baths building which were public and not restricted on religious, racial or gender grounds.

Minor call is also known as Call de N´Àngela or Call d´En Sanahuja, names which refer to the plot owners. The district is an urbanisation planned in the 13th century formed by five blocks with a synagogue and a square and situated alongside Castell Nou via its external part, in other words, on the exterior of the Roman wall. Minor call had no direct connection to Mayor. Its limits were the streets of Boqueria, Rauric, Lleona and Avinyó. It had two gates, one near Castell Nou, via the exterior side, and the other on Boqueria street, next to Rauric street which was possibly a gate mentioned in 1255. Boqueria street was the street which led to the quarter. Several alleys came out from the latter as far as Trinitat square (which disappeared when Ferran street was opened). This street was later occupied by converts who set up their businesses there: goldsmiths, veil weavers, tailors, cobblers...

Volta del Remei street, entering via Boqueria, also conserves a medieval tower from the 13th century; it had previously been called Arc d´en Sanahuja street. If observed from Ferran street the rear of the so-called tower-house can be seen, much less reworked than the front.

circa 1200
Girona

Second Girona synagogue

Ancient location of the second synagogue, on 23, Força Street

The main synagoguefrom the 13th century was located in the middle area of the call, on the left of Força street; at the present number 23 and opposite the current Cathedral Steps (or Virgin of the Pear). The complex had wells, baths (Mikveh) and an area for women.

On October 24th 1415 in line with the Popes' orders after the Disputation of Tortosa, the synagogue began to be closed which as finally shut on November 10th 1415. Notwithstanding, it was reopened with the permission of Prince Alfonso on March 5th 1416 and continued to be used for some years.

After the construction of the third and last synagogue, the city jurors asked on May 25th 1442 for a chapel to be built on the plot of the former synagogue, assuring that the Jews had not used it for twenty years as it was far from the area where they live. In the end, the chapel was not built and the estate continued to be the property of the Jewish community. On July 12th 1492 the governors of the aljama sold to Pere Grau Terrades a house which had used to serve as a Jewish school or synagogue. The document states that it was the old synagogue. The selling price was 10 florins.

circa 1200
Palma

Gate of the Jews

Palau Reial street where Puerta de los Judíos was located alongside Victoria street

Situated alongside Polls street, now Victoria street, the Puerta de Judíos de Mallorca (Jews´ gate) from the 13th century and now disappeared was the gate which provided access to the Jewish quarter of the citadel in the Middle Ages.

1200
Girona

The Kabbalah arrives to Girona

The Kabbalistic movement originated in Provence, Languedoc, within the intellectual and religious circle of Moses of Narbonne and in the 12th century leading to the first Kabbalistic book written in Rabbinic Hebrew: the Sefer ha-Bahiror Book of Splendour.

Medieval Kabbalists were regarded as forming part of a very old esoteric tradition which came from Sinai and which was based on the mystic experiences of the Rabbi of the Mishnah Simón bar Yohay, discernible in the Talmud. The Kabbalah was thus a branch of mystic and esoteric philosophy based on a belief in «divineemanations» (sefirot) which go to make up the created universe. The purpose of Kabbalah was to understand, analyse and perceive the world which is beyond rational knowledge; the elements going to make up the Creation and the same divine essence. The Kabbalists aimed to capture the reality of a God understood as an infinite organism of spiritual elements.

Kabbalistic doctrine, based on the biblical exegesis and esoteric knowledge, originating in the 11th century amongst the Jews of Provence, in the circle of Moses of Narbonne, soon spread around the nearby communities.

In around 1200 the Kabbalah reached Girona thanks to some disciples of the wise man of Narbonne Isaac Sagi Nahor (Isaac the Blind) who had disciples in the community of Girona. The study of Kabbalah son developed in the city: Girona began to be regarded as one of the most prominent centres within the framework of esoteric thought and was already known as a Mother of Israel city. In Girona illustrious thinkers developed their theories such as Jacob ben Seshet Gerondí, the poet Meshulam ben Selomó de Piera and the great philosophers Ezra ben Selomó and Azriel de Girona.

1205 - 1302
León

Cathedral

Cathedral façade. © León City Council

Known all around the world for its splendid stained glass, the cathedral of León was built between the 13th and 15th centuries on two previous temples, with the latter in turn, erected on the former royal palace and the Roman spa baths of Legio VII. The episcopate of Fruminio II saw the construction of what was regarded as the first Spanish catedral in the 10th century, erected on the royal palace granted by Ordoño II to the church after his victory in the battle of San Esteban de Gormaz. King Fernando I of Castile, with whom the remains of San Isidoro came to León, promoted the construction of a second catedral on the foundations of the previous one which in the second half of the 11th century was a in a very poor state of repair; the new cathedral was consecrated on November 10th 1073 and remained standing until the end of the subsequent century. The construction of a third cathedral, promoted in this case by the last King of León, Alfonso IX, began in around 1205, having been completed nearly at the end of the 15th century.

The basis for this story, the Pulchra Leonina, regarded in the 15th century as one of the four major Spanish cathedrals (along with Sancta Ovetensis, Dives Toledana and Fortis Salmantina), today represents a prime example of French-influenced Gothic with an imposing main façade, overlooking the square, whose five 13th century archest stand out, the large central rose window and the profusion of pinnacles between the beautiful Gothic towers, 64 and 68 metres high, respectively. Inside, with a layout which proportionally repeats that of the Reims cathedral, we are overawed by the magic illumination of its 1,800 square metres of stained glass. Here you can admire the main retable with a silver chest containing the remains of St. Froilan, the patron saint of the diocese; the magnificent walnut chancel or the doors opening out into the cloister.

June 13rd, 1207
Girona

The Montuïc cemetery is mentioned in an exchange

By dint of an exchange of an estate which bishop Arnau de Creixell owned in Monte de los Judíos or Montjuïcon June 13th 1207, we know that the Jewish cemetery already existed in the 13th century between two streams and which, according to the document, was alodium hebreorum, in other words, Jewish freehold.

1229 - 1478
Cáceres

San Antonio de la Quebrada District

La calleja del Moral (Moral alley)

The Old Jewish Quarters of Cáceres is one of the most beautiful areas in the city within its walls. The urbanistic interventions have been small in scale over the centuries and the current San Antonio de la Quebrada district today conserves a large part of the structure and typicality it must have had when settled by Jews. Its haphazard, steep streets; the simple whiteness of its whitewashed houses; its seasonal flowers on balconies and little gardens and the daily life it houses from a strange contrast with the severe, monumental structures which crown it, the ochre colour of stones bathed in sunlight. Its adaptation to the orography, as it is located in the hilliest area of the walled city, is one of the most string characteristics of the Cáceres Jewish Quarters where the streets and houses form a very varied set packed with nooks and crannies, steps and fanciful spaces which its current residents conserve, adorning them with the flowers of the season and rife with popular flavour.

The streets of the Cáceres Old Jewish Quarter have marked slopes and hills which sometimes have steps as they form that part of Cáceres within the walls which is most difficult to urbanise and this has led to a place containing poor constructions, and its intricate spaces also distance it from the circulation of the major nuclei of the city.

The houses back onto the wall and use it as one of their own and some towers and other spaces as rudimentary gardens or improvised fruit and vegetable patches, combing nature and history with what is popular, something which already occurred back in the 18th century when it was allowed to use the wall for other purposes in view of the fact that it could no longer be used for defensive purposes. They are small houses with one storey or a ground floor and another upper floor, small, haphazard openings and with the majority of the doors lintelled.

1229 - 1470
Cáceres

Former Synagogue (San Antonio Hermitage)

The San Antonio de la Quebrada hermitage where the synagogue was located

The current San Antonio hermitage occupies the plot where the Synagogue of the Old Jewish Quarters had previously stood until 1470 when the aljama, complying with the segregation order, had to grant the temple to Alfonso Golfín, the lord of Torre Arias. The latter decided to knock it down to build a hermitage on its plot under the advocacy of St. Anthony of Padua who would later lend his name to what was the Old Jewish Quarters. Subsequent to these events, a son of Pedro de Carvajal who owned properties annexed to the synagogue after the expulsion, appeared in 1504 as a donator to St. Anthony's Church:

De un solar que yo tengo e me pertenece a la judería vieja que es en la collacion de señor san Mattheos.

The hermitage lent its name to the District and its main street.

The hermitage façade belongs to Barrio de San Antonio street and its rear is supported on the wall. Before its door there is an open space or square which is integrated by a portico which juts out of the hermitage. The portico has three arches, one front one and two side ones which are half-pointed but irregular, it has a sloping roof and a barrel vault with two very rough and whitewashed windows. The door is lintelled and on it there is a tile bearing the image of St. Anthony of Padua. On the pilasters there are whitewashed granite blocks and the rest is simple, whitewashed masonry.

The hermitage was transformed in 1661 and in 1975 it was restored. Between 1993 and 1994 the Municipal Workshop School remodelled its exterior and embellishment and conservation work was carried out throughout the Old Jewish Quarters: electricity and phone cables were concealed; TV cables and air-conditioning appliances were removed; waste paper baskets were installed and a solution was found for refuse collection; cracks, cornices and balconies etc. were repaired and lintels, jambs and threshold were protected.

circa 1230 - 1492
Tortosa

New Call

Gentildones street

In Moslem Turtuxa no reference was made to a Jewish quarter nor an aljama or even a call. The Jews had lived in areas adjoining the port not out of obligation but rather for the sake of comfort and convenience. Now the base for an actual Jewish district as being laid, a situation which, if initially favourable to their interests, was proven to be to their detriment when, owing to pressures unrelated with life in Tortosa, Jews from other cities and regions in Spain sought settlement in Tortosa call in view of the advance of the Almoravides, meaning that its original limits were continuously surpassed. In the early 13th century Pedro I allowed its expansion in the direction of Bassa del Castell, providing a temporary solution to the need for space.

The New Jewish Quarter was a concession made to the Jews by the Temple in the first third of the 13th century by way of a franchise charter granted by Ramón de Montcada and the Friars of the Temple to twenty five Jewish families. It was necessary to organise a New Jewish quarter. Now the Jewish community would acquire a nature as such and would be under the command of an adelantat, a figure who would represent the Jews politically and administratively. This representative figure endowed with executive powers provided help as regards the management of trials or specific dayanim which there may in the Jews´ cases according to Rabbinic law; it would also have treasurers, tax officials, almoners and a notary, all around the council of elders. The synagogue, possibly located at Jerusalem street alongside Benifallet and Jaume Tió streets, was the centre of community life. The Jewish status as serfs of the King or serui regis, made them, at least administratively, an intermediate political-social figure between the free citizen and the serf.

The Main Street right on the heart of the Remolins district used to divide the Old Jewish quarter from the New one. Walking along Travesía Vandellós you will reach one of the only architectonic traces that remains from that distant time: a gateway providing access to the disappeared cemetery and entry to the new Jewish quarter amongst a maze of alleys, squares and zigzagging streets which, as a whole, ends in a curved or broken line with the exception of Vilanova street. The atmosphere recalls the proximity to the river whilst the ochre and yellow tones of the walls of their houses bring to the mind of the passer-by flashes and voices, vague vignettes of legends and stories as you come to La Figuereta or Platger square with their kerbs and wells.

circa th, 1230
Tortosa

Founding of the Call nou in Tortosa

The New Jewish Quarter was a concession made to the Jews by the Temple in the first third of the 13th century by way of a franchise charter granted by Ramón de Montcada and the Friars of the Temple to twenty five Jewish families. It was necessary to organise a New Jewish quarter. Now the Jewish community would acquire a nature as such and would be under the command of an adelantat, a figure who would represent the Jews politically and administratively. This representative figure endowed with executive powers provided help as regards the management of trials or specific dayanim which there may in the Jews´ cases according to Rabbinic law; it would also have treasurers, tax officials, almoners and a notary, all around the council of elders. The synagogue, possibly located at Jerusalem street alongside Benifallet and Jaume Tió streets, was the centre of community life.

circa 1230 - 1305
Avila

The Talmudic school of Ávila

Ávila was the location of one of the most important Talmudic academies of the 13th to the 14th centuries, the focus for tendencies to Messianism as the observance of the Law was stricter. Ávila took in Moses bem Sem Tob de León (Moses de León), a Rabbi and wandering wise man who, after living in Guadalajara, wrote and put the finishing touches here to his Sefer ha-Zohar or Book of Splendour which, along with the Talmud and the Bible, form the trilogy of Kabbalistic mysticism. It was Ávila that the first manuscript of the Zohar was disseminated from the house of Yuçaf de Ávila where he lived, the influential, wealthy tax farmer of the King.

A contemporary of Moses ben Sem Tob of León was another illustrious Jew, Nissim ben Abraham, better known as The Prophet of Ávila, the author of the Libro de las maravillas de la sabiduría (Book of the miracles of wisdom) and the man who caused a wave of conversions to Christianity when, in compliance with a prophecy he announced about an apparition of the Messiah, what finally appeared to the Jews of Àvila was the cross of Christ... The most recent texts present Ávila as a certain hub of intellectual and spiritual life where a major Talmudic school flourished and which, for example, in 1236 the illustrious Jewish philosopher David Quimhí visited.

circa 1230 - 1293

Moses of Portella

Moses of Portella, along with his brother Ismael de Portella, was the typical model of a Jew at the Court with a striking, meteoric career. From being and officer or private advisor of the King, he became an administrator of the Crown´s income under Pedro III who commissioned him to collect, maintain and repair the fortifications with Castile and Navarre. Previously, during the reign of Jaime I the Conqueror, he held the post of baiulus or bailiff of Tarazona in 1273 and in early 1276 he took on the same responsibility for Sagunto, Onda, Peníscola, Morella, Segorbe, Villareal and Vall dʼUxò, later adding the cities of Malón, Santa Cruz, Borja, Luceni and Ejea de los Caballeros. In the last few years of the reign of Jaime I in the three-year period from 1279-1281, he would govern the merindads of Tarazona, Ejea de los Caballeros and Jaca as well as the bailiffs of Sariñena.

His brother Ismael de Portella also played a major role in Aragón. Until 1289, he was, by royal decree, the executor or administrator of the house of Prince Don Pedro, the son of Alfonso III. Jaime II entrusted diplomatic missions to him and granted him the privilege of not paying taxes. He was a rab or Main Rabbi for all the Jewish quarters of Aragón.

Upon the death of Pedro III in 1285, Moses fell from grace. When the Courts demanded his dismissal in 1286, his influence extended throughout Aragón, a position of power in the hands of a Jew which had not gone unnoticed. After his death in suspicious circumstances in 1293, his fortune was confiscated to contribute to the conquest of Menorca, though a subsequent agreement was reached if his family left Tarazona and moved to Borja. The decline of the Portella was concurrent with that of his followers, struck down by the black death of 1348 (with further outbreaks in 1362 and 1389) and a series of poor harvests, partly offset by the contributions made by Jews who had emigrated from France and the attacks suffered in Navarre.

July 1st, 1231 - November 6th, 1319
Palma

Jewish cemetery of Porto Pí gate

Mills in the district of Es Jornet where the Jewish cemetery was located

One of the first references to a Jewish cemetery in Palma de Mallorca was made two years after the island was conquered. On July 1st 1231 a corn exchange was donated used by the Christians in Moslem times to be transformed into a Jewish cemetery. This donation was to be inserted in the block of concessions made by Jaime I to the Jews inhabiting Madina Mayurqa to thank them for their support. In any case, it seems that it was not put down in writing until sometime – around ten years - later. An order by the King dated May 8th 1252, ordered stone and land not to be taken from the Jewish cemetery at Porto Pí Gate.

By dint of the confiscation of 1314 and 1315 of all the assets of the Jews of Palma de Majorca the cemetery fell under royal ownership. This made it possible for King Sancho from Perpiñán on November 6th 1319 to donate the land sot the jurors of the University and Kingdom of Majorca.

Once the cemetery had disappeared, the name Fossar dels jueus remained in the public consciousness for some time afterwards and it was used as a landmark which could not be confused. The former Jewish cemetery was a certain distance away from the wall, alongside the Porto Pí Gate, before which were the church and hospital of Santa Catalina de los Pobres, founded in 1324 by the merchant Ramón de Salelles and which ended up becoming a square. On this basis, constructing mills at the start and then later adding houses, the still existing district of Es Jonquet was born at this site which conserves part of the mills known as Molinar de Ponent.

1231
Tortosa

Jews from Barcelona, Girona and Tortosa help James I to conquer the county of Urgell

When Jaime I needed money to conquer the county of Urgell, the economic requirements were ensured by the Jews of Tortosa along with those of Girona and Barcelona who collected the figure of one hundred and fifteen thousand pounds.

1232
Tarazona

Cathedral of Nuestra Señora de la Huerta

Panoramic view of Tarazona with the cathedral in the 15th century in the centre

The Cathedral, dedicated to Nuestra Señora de la Huerta, brings together a range of different styles from the early Gothic of the 13th century to its latest manifestations in the 15th century, to connect with the Renaissance of the 16th century, fitting in with the architectonic tradition of the Aragonese Mudejar. It was declared a Historic-Artistic Monument in 1931.

The oldest part is the head from the second quarter of the 13th century, designed in line with the Gothic models of Northern France.

The vault of the main chapel is decorated with a cycle of grisaille carried out by Alonso González in 1562-1565, following the example of the Sistine chapel. The main retable in Roman style was put up between 1608-1614.

The dome, implemented by the architect Juan Lucas Botero in 1543-1545, has interior decoration comprising plasterwork by Alonso González in 1546-1549.

The main access to the temple is situated at the Northern arm of the transept. It is presided over by a masonry gateway by the sculptor Bernal del Fuego (1578-1585), protected by a vast Baroque portico built between 1733 and 1735 according to a design by the Carmelite architect Friar José Alberto Pina. The cloister is erected on the southern flank of the church. Put up between 1500 and 1529, it is one of the masterpieces of Aragonese Mudejar architecture at its final stage. The most prominent element is the complex system of plasterwork lining the large windows, largely reworked in the past century.

It is worth noting that its archives hold an interesting collection of parchments found in the covers of codices and manuscripts, mainly biblical, without forgetting a miscellaneous section (a page of the Haggadah, verses of the Moed Katan in the Talmud of Babylon, an annotated Midrash Rabbah and a treatise on medicine in Arab with Hebrew characters).

1232

Aragon creates its own Inquisition

In the Crown of Aragon a pontifical Inquisition Court operated according to a ruling Excommunicamus by Pope Gregory IX in 1232 during the time of Albigensian heresy; its main representative was Raimundo de Peñafort. Over time its importance gradually became diluted and in the mid-15th century it was an almost forgotten institution, even though it was legally in force.

1233
Palma

Minor Call

Detail of Tagamanent square in the Minor Call

In 1233 the advisors of Ramón de Font fray Agén and Astruc the Jew started formalising Jewish establishments in the environment of the minor Call in documents which already mentioned the Jewish street and call which started at the confluence of Sant Bartomeu and Jaime II streets alongside Cort square.

On Sant Bartomeu street the steps of Costa de Can Berga lend an atmosphere of times of yore to an environment where the house of the major converted families as from the 15th century have been located, those known as «chuetas de oreja alta». On Les Monges street there is a house with an amazing Gothic courtyard inhabited until the 20th century by one of these great families who were the descendants of Jews.

No monument has remained in the minor Call nor any exact description. The walls enclosing the call, the gates which protected it, the synagogue, including the Christian church of Sant Bartomeu which cohabited with it or which replaced it, have not left any memory other than their name and a few mentions in documents. We are unaware of the limits and extension of this Jewish district. Its main arteries would seem to be Sant Bartomeu street and Jaime II street, parallel to it, between which the synagogue plot may have been located at a site outside the Moslem walls and under the protection of Count Nuño. It is possible that it had extended as far as the wall at Victoria square and that it had come down on the other side as far as the vicinity of the stream which as diverted in the 17th century to form what today are the Rambla and Borne avenues.

March 12nd, 1234
Palma

The Minor Call Synagogue

The Bank of Spain building on Sant Bartomeu street where the Minor Call synagogue was situated

In the final stretch of Sant Bartomeu street there was traditionally a synagogue, part of which some academics have identified with the foundations of the former Misericordia convent built on the call and on which the current Bank of Spain building stands.

The call had its own place of worship as can be gleaned from a document dated March 21st 1234 in which the procurator Ferrer granted ownership of some houses at the end of calle de los judíos (Jews´ street), to turn them into an oratory and synagogue where they could come to pray (oratorium et sinagogam ad opus iudeorum, que ibi uoluerunt orare). On two sides these houses faced those of Bernardo de Pabía and Mosén Francisco.

The synagogue was actually established because with the death of Bernardo de Pabía in 1239, the heir Nuño Sans transferred the properties of these brothers, who lived in callo nostro iudaico, to his own son Pedro. The houses were in the neighbourhood of said call with Sant Bartomeu street, the hostels of the Jew Bonet and the synagogue of the Jews: in sinagoga iudeorum nostrorum.

1236
Córdoba

The Jews settle in the Alcázar Viejo (Old Citadel)

The Old Citadel district was where the Jews settled after the Christian conquest of the city in 1236.

1236
Palma

The licence to build the Convent of Santo Domingo in the Jewish district is granted

The current Balearic Islands´ Parliament takes up most to what used to be the old St. Dominic´s Convent, settled, in turn, on the set of Jewish houses of Almudaina dels Jueus which the order obtained in 1236 from the hands of Prince Pedro de Portugal, though the first stone would not be laid until sixty years later.

circa 1238 - 1492
Castelló d'Empúries

Old Call. Puig de l´Eramala

Street on the old Call

The surface area occupied by the first Jewish quarter was small and extended via the area known as Puig de l´Eramalato the southeast of the town within the area of the Jews and Sant Francesc streets. In 1238, thanks to a privilege granted by the Counts of Empúries to the Jewish community of Castelló and of the county, it can be asserted that there was already a well-consolidated community around the first synagogue. There is scarcely any documentation regarding this synagogue, though there is data as from its disposal in the late 13th century and its recovery towards the middle of the 15th century. The building was left in disuse with the increase in the aljama population making it necessary to build a new synagogue nearer the nerve centre of the town in Puig Mercadal. In 1442 the old synagogue was reused when the aljama, in an attempt to reorganise and recover from the persecution and economic and religious pressure it had been subjected to, purchased and recovered the building.

At present two of the most emblematic stately homes of Castelló d´Empúries form part of the block where the first synagogue was located. Can Sanllehí and Can Cassanyes are situated to the north and west of the synagogue which may originate in the buildings of two of the most important, richest Jews in the town: Bernat Bussiges, a merchant and Cresques Bonafos Susau. The two buildings underwent much remodelling work in the 18th century. The synagogue building was also rehabilitated recently and little remains of what it was at the time.

to 1240
Lucena

The former Lucena synagogue

The ancient synagogue and subsequent city mosque stood on the site of the church of San Mateo up to 1240, when it was adapted to the new form of worship after the Christian conquest. Two hundred and fifty years later we find documentary evidence of the reuse of the materials used to build the old temple, including possible remains of the synagogue to construct the parish church of Santiago, which clearly evokes the shapes of the basilical synagogues of Toledo and Segovia.

circa 1240 - 1305

Moses of León

Moses ben Sem Tob de León was born in 1240 and died in 1305. He was a rabbi and philosopher and the author of the Book of Splendour, a central work of the Kabbalah.

Since his youth he was interested in philosophy and at the tender age of 24, whilst still following his religious studies, he received a copy of the Guide of the perplexed by Maimonides. From that time he started to get interested in the Kabbalah and devoted several years of his life to getting in touch with Kabbalists from all over the Crown of Castile, even striking up a friendship with a now very old Nahmanides, and spreading the Kabbalist doctrine in view of the increase in the rationalist influence of Judaism.

In Guadalajara, he carries out around twenty four documents about the Kabbalah and in 1286 he had already completed the majority of the Zohar, including a different version of the Midrash. Although to write the Zohar he said he had been guided by old manuscripts by the mystic Simeón Ben Yojai (2nd century), this could never be demonstrated as at that time it was very common between Jewish writers to attribute their books to classical authors.

circa 1246 - 1492
Jaén

The Jewish quarter

The Jewish quarter of Jaén. Caños street

After passing through Audiencia square, Maestra street becomes Martínez Molina Street whose final stretch, as from St. John´s church, becomes one of the limits of the traditional Jewish quarter. The widening of the main street gives rise, from this point onwards, to a tangle of narrow alleys which mainly retain the layout of the medieval Jewish district. Caños street, which appears on the right, commences the route round the Jewish quarter, descending gently as far as Caños square where the Naranjo baths were located in days gone by which some researchers have related with Hammam ibn Ishaq, in other words, the baths of the son of Isaac. The elegant 16th century fountain conserved in this square bears testimony to the abundance of springs there had always been in this area. Opposite the fountain is the old Butcher´s building which was a national school in the not too distant past.

Taking Arroyo de San Pedro street, you reach Santa Clara street, a narrow, L-shaped alley and at its bend there lies the entrance to St. Clare´s convent, a 13th century monastery, the oldest in Jaén, located at one end of the Jewish quarter. The verticality of the cypress and the pillar supporting the patron saint of the convent lend a spiritual tone in a peaceful spot which holds another famous Christ of Jaén, the Misericordias (mercies) or Bamboo Christ which, in Easter Week, is one of the most common festivity. Some authors have related the convent with an old synagogue. Zigzagging round the streets, the route follows a stretch of Huérfanos street, one of the main streets in the Jewish quarter, the descending Real street as far as Huertas street whose route marks the eastern limit of the Jewish district.

circa 1246 - 1391
Jaén

Old synagogue of Santa Cruz

Rear façade of the Royal Monastery of Santa Clara. In the foreground if the wall of the old synagogue of Santa Cruz

At the St. Clare´s Royal Monastery of Jaén, the rear façade giving out onto Santa Cruz street has small segment of wall jutting out and bearing a very irregular cut. This wall has been identified as the only present trace of the old Parish Church of Santa Cruz and the old synagogue in medieval times.

The existence of this synagogue has been demonstrated thanks to a document from 1413 issued by the Cardinal of Montearagón referring to a dispute by the nuns of St. Clare´s with the new Santa Cruz church which is referred to as the old synagogue and which is said to have been located on the other side of the convent refectory.

After the attack of 1391, which in Andalusia was of a particularly violent nature, there is evidence of the transformation of this synagogue into the new parish church of Santa Cruz at which there was only worship every three months, an indication of the distancing of the new converts from the general pace of Christian society.

1248
Sevilla

The Jews from the district of Santa Cruz establish there after the conquest

Juderia street

Santa Cruz is the name currently given to part of the old Jewish quarter. Before 1248 the Jewish quarter of Moslems already occupied the Santa Cruz District as far as Carne Gate. References from the Almohad stage lend their names to the areas extending from Jerez gate to Carne Gate such as Barrio del Alcázar de la Bendición. A wall erected in medieval times granted the Jewish quarter a certain degree of independence. There is no record of said area being occupied by Jews since the Moslem time in the city though there is a tradition which tells us that when the city was conquered by Castile in 1248 the Almohads handed over the key to the city and the Jews the key to the Jewish quarter to King Fernando III. Although it is no more than a legend, the two keys kept in the Treasure of the cathedral do seem to confirm it. What is for sure is that once the city had been conquered, all the mosques were handed over to the church except for three which were granted to the Jews.

The relations between Jews and Christians were not always peaceful. The practice of usury brought about fear and suspicion in the rest of the population. The major attack which took place in 1391 put paid to the Jewish character of the district. The houses seized from the Jews were handed over to the Christians and the synagogues were converted into Christian churches which were given the names of San Bartolomé, Santa María la Blanca and Santa Cruz. The parish church of Santa Cruz where Murillo was buried was knocked down in the 19th century during the short period of French occupation. It was located in the current Santa Cruz square.

1248
Sevilla

San Bartolomé District

San Bartolomé District

An important part of the former Jewish quarter, in the San Bartolomé district you can enjoy suggestive streets packed with attractions. The artistic and sentimental aspects of San Bartolomé can be found in its temples and convents, its intricate labyrinth and its alleys. Time could not escape from this neighbourhood and underlies in every courtyard, gushing forth and emptying out its flow of history.

The fence at the old Jewish quarter commenced at Tintes street, went through Mercedarias square, Conde de Ibarra and Federico Rubio street until attaining Mateos Gago. It took in the two halves of the Jewish quarter which are the district of San Bartolomé and the district of Santa Cruz. To allow transit, the walls opened up at two or three wicket gates which connected with the other districts; at the other end the Perlas Gate looked out onto the fields and the cemetery of the community which may be located at the site of the current market at the Carne Gate.

Santa María la Blanca and San José streets are the backbone of the district which branches out into small alleys rife with charm such as Cano and Cueto, San Clemente, Céspedes or Levíes. The lungs of San Bartolomé are two guild squares which have a lot in common, Curtidores and Zurradores, as well as Mercedarias square. After the conquest Fernando III granted three mosques for synagogue worship. In addition to the one which existed at the plot of Santa Cruz square, in the district of San Bartolomé Santa María la Blanca and San Bartolomé were opened.

circa 1250
Cáceres

Olivar de la Juderia

Olivar de la Juderia (Jewish Quarter Olive Grove)

Through the Mérida Gate, coming out of the Monumental City and leading to Santa Clara Square which takes the name of the 18th century Clarisas Convent, a narrow alley leads to the Mochada Tower, a watchtower from the 13th century, filled with mud, which strengthened the city's defences in times which were still unstable and which today has been consolidated and recovered as part of the medieval city. Going round it via the gardens right alongside, you reach hat is known as the Olivar de la Judería (Jewish Quarter Olive Grove), a recondite garden which belonged to one of the Jewish houses situated at this end of the city.

1250
Toledo

San Martín Bridge

San Martín Bridge from the Tagus

From the other side of the San Martín bridge, alongside the waters of the Tagus, the view of the city, from the heights on that side, provided a better understanding of the complex, difficult and at the same time fascinating history of a Jewish quarter like that of Toledo. A Jewish quarter where the keys of the houses of those who had gone into exile in 1492 had become the greatest symbol of the Sephardi nostalgia.

The Jewish quarter of Degolladero largely coincided with the current Reyes Católicos street and the San Martín bridge and river. It bore this name because this was the site of the Jewish butcher´s where the poultry and cattle were slaughtered. A statue of Isabel the Catholic (1451-1504), the Queen of Castile, was located at Reyes Católicos street, very near the monastery of San Juan de los Reyes. Under the edict of expulsion of 1492 the Catholic Monarchs sent between 170,000 and 180,000 Sephardis into exile.

1252 - 031391
Sevilla

Former synagogue of Santa Cruz

Detail of the Santa Cruz square

From Alfaro square we reach Santa Cruz square. This square is surrounded by a small gardened, tree-lined area and around it there are numerous manor houses including the old house of the architect Juan Talavera, one of the most important figures in the regionalist architecture of Seville.

In the past the parish church of Santa Cruz was in the square which lent its name to the district. The Mudejar style church took advantage of one of the three synagogues which was in the Jewish quarter in Seville and it was converted into a Christian church after the events of 1391. The church was in ruins when it was knocked down in 1811 by the occupying French government which put into a reurbanisation plan for the city. The square occupies the church plot. Three of the columns of the synagogue-church are conserved at La Rábida street, supporting a large screen.

Murillo was buried at this old church and his remains have been buried in the rubble as is borne out by a plaque at la western façade of the square.

In 1921 the Cruz de la Cerrajería (locksmith´s cross) is placed in its centre. This monument dates from 1692 and is the work of the grate maker Sebastián Conde and it was originally situated at the confluence of Sierpes and Cerrajería streets (hence its name). Owing to the disruption it caused to circulation it was dismantled and re-assembled on numerous occasions until finally, in the 19th century, it was taken to the Museum of Fine Arts. In 1921, owing to the urbanistic remodelling of the Santa Cruz district, it was placed permanently presiding over the garden of this square.

1252 - 1391
Sevilla

Former synagogue-Church of Santa María la Blanca

Santa María la Blanca

Built in the 13th century as a synagogue, it was transformed into a Christian temple in 1391 after the slaughters in the Jewish quarter of Seville. King Alfonso X in 1252, after the taking of Seville by his father, granted a synagogue for their use to the Jews inhabiting the San Bartolomé and Santa Cruz area. And so it continued until 1391 when it was converted into a Christian church. The name and dedication of Santa María de las Nieves was imposed on it by the cathedral´s chapterhouse.

The side gateway, which can be accessed from Archeros street, conserves two Roman shafts crowned by several Visgoth chapters which correspond to the old synagogue.

The current church of Santa María la Blanca was built in 1662 in Baroque style and it has a structure divided into three naves which, in turn, is split into red marble columns. The vaults are decorated in plasterwork and attributed to the Borja brothers. Murillo was probably involved in the church decoration Works and it was he who painted the midpoints, plundered by Marshal Soult during the French invasion, subsequently being replaced with copies.

1252 - 1396
Sevilla

Former synagogue-Church of San Bartolomé

Façade of the Church of San Bartolomé

In the Jewish quarter of Seville there were three synagogues; one, in the area of what today is Santa Cruz square which later became the Parish church and disappeared in the early 19th century; the other, in the current temple of Santa María la Blanca and the third would occupy part of what today is the Parish church of San Bartolomé.

On January 9th 1396 King Enrique III confiscated the assets of the Jews and the three synagogues, granting them to his Chief Justice, Don Diego López de Zúñiga and his Butler, Don Juan Hurtado de Mendoza. These concessions were not actually implemented because the Secular Chapterhouse seized them and handed them over to the Cathedral´s chapterhouse, which stipulated that Santa Cruz and Santa María la Blanca should be assigned to the Cathedral of Seville as chapels and that which in the future would become the church of San Bartolomé was the only one which would continue as a synagogue.

The old synagogue must have been erected where the Salesas convent is situated today and which used to be called San Bartolomé El Viejo (The Old). This convent, which already existed before the expulsion at that site, appears in a concord dated September 15th 1410 between the Chapterhouse of the cathedral of Seville and the Incumbents of the Church of San Bartolomé and whose original can be found on the Cathedral Archives.

In around 1470 the former Parish church of San Bartolomé El Viejo, was moved to what was the synagogue of the Jewish quarter, near the wall of Seville and situated between the so-called Carne gate and the Carmona gate. In its conversion to a Christian temple, a series of adaptation and enlargement works were carried out as can be verified in the documents of the time. The remodelled temple was called San Bartolomé El Nuevo (The New) and opened for Christian worship in 1490.

The church was knocked down in 1779. In its stead a new temple was built in 1786 in accordance with plans by José Echamorro which is the one that can be seen today.

1259
Estella-Lizarra

Ancient St. Dominic´s convent

St. Dominic´s convent

Behind Santa María Jus del Castillo church there lies the St. Dominic´s convent, founded by Teobaldo II in 1259, a building packed with historic references (at which Courts were actually celebrated) and closely linked to the royal power; it was a Dominican monastery until 1839 and it currently serves as an old folks' home. In addition to the church, which is Gothic with just one nave, a large part of the monastery has been conserved after major restoration work though it is not open to the public.

Slightly more than a century after the Estella synagogue became Todos los Santos (All Saints) church, King Teobaldo II granted it in 1265 to two brother monks Pero Miguel and Fortunio, as well as a vineyard, so they could turn it into a small convent assigned to the order of Grandmont, providing it with some martyrial relics and becoming a place of pilgrimage for those walking to Santiago. The Order of Grandmont, founded in the 12th century in line with the teachings of the hermit Esteban de Thiers in Limoges, was based on the observance of strict poverty and total isolation from the world.

1260
Córdoba

The Jews settle in different areas of the city

some Jews settled in nearby areas and subsequently at commercial sites within the San Salvador district where the Local Council is now housed and the San Andrés district alongside the parish of San Nicolás de la Axerquía in Ribera and even to the north of the city on the outskirts of the Puerta del Osario (Cemetery Gate), Merced field and the Santa Marina district, revealing that they could move about the city easily.

circa February 13rd, 1261 - 021410
Castelló d'Empúries

Basilica of St. Mary´s

Arial view of the basilica of St. Mary´s. © Santi Font

The pomp and cathedral-like appearance of the basilica of St. Mary´s originates from the wish of the counts of Empúries to restore the former ampuritanian episcopal seat in Castelló, at that time the capital of the county.

The temple was erected on the original Romanesque church consecrated in 1064 of which there remains little trace. The construction of the new temple, under the direction of Ramón de Chartres, started in the mid-13th century and was finished in the early 15th century with the implementation of the majestic entrance of the Apostles.

The basilica conserves a rich artistic heritage. Some of the works preserved are closely linked to the culture and history of the Jewish community of Castelló.

One of the most important sculptural works in the basilica is the alabaster retable of the Main Altar dedicated to the Virgin of the Candelera, the town's patron saint. The retable constitutes one of the best examples of Catalan Gothic sculpture in the second half of the 15th century. The work was designed as a stand-alone block with the same decoration on the front and side parts. The retable itself is made up of base and column, formed by numerous alabaster pieces from the Beuda quarry (Garrotxa, Girona) which serve as a monumental base in which a great vaulted niche is settled with the image of the Virgin of the Candelera. The scenes of the Passion and the Crucifixion portray the figures of two Jewish rabbis alongside other human and heavenly figures.

At one of the altars of the northern nave of the temple a reproduction can be seen of the Saint Michael retable. The original is conserved at the Art Museum of Girona. It is a work carried out in 1448 by Joan Antigó, Honorat Borrassà and Francesc Vergós, commissioned by the provosts of the San Miguel Brotherhood comprising the guild of traders and the guild of notaries and scribes of Castelló d´Empúries.

It is formed by four panels: in the upper left-hand scene the figure of the Archangel Michael is portrayed, preventing Satan from possessing the lifeless body of Moses before the concerned presence of a group of four worthy Jews. The expression and gaze of their faces provides a remarkable psychological penetration by the artists, who illustrate the concern of that time in majestic fashion. Of particular note is the richness and sumptuousness of the attire and the garments of the four Jews in the aforementioned scene.

The Saint Michael retable is a magnificent pictorial example of Flemish-like Gothic and it constitutes one of the best artistic expressions of the Jewish community in the Catalan Middle Ages.

1262
Tortosa

James I appoints Astruc Yacob Xixó bailiff of Tortosa

Jaime I made the Jew Astruc Yacob Xixóbailiff of the city in 1262 and two years later confirmed him in the post for life at a time when the call of Tortosa happened to be the most prosperous of the Crown of Aragon.

1263
Barcelona

Minor Call Synagogue-Sant Jaume Church

The current Sant Jaume church on Ferran Street

At the opening out of Volta del Remei into Ferran street there used to be Trinitat square and this was the site of theCall menor synagogue, later turned into a church by the converts themselves after the Jewish quarter slaughters of 1391.

The Synagogue may have been built in 1263, the year in which Jaime I granted permission to Bonanasc Salamó to do so at this site. In 1394 the Trinidad church arose at this site. It is very different from the neoclassical profile of the current church, dedicated to Sant Jaume, with the architecture of said synagogue or the Trinidad church, but the stones have withstood the lashings of time, maintaining a space for praying right in the heart of the hustle and bustle of this major city.

July 23rd, 1263 - July 27th, 1263

The Disputation of Barcelona

In 1263 King Jaime I, at the behest of the preaching friars, convened and presided over at his Barcelona palace the religious disputation between Moses ben Nahman, the Rabbi of Girona, on the Jewish side, and Friar Pau Cristià, a convert, on the Christian side. In addition to the King, San Raimon de Penyafort and many other personalities were present. The debate about the two religions would last for several days and dealt with various themes such as the coming of the Messiah. Versions of this disputation, which took on a European bearing, are kept in Latin and Hebrew which, elf-evidently, differ in their conclusions. However, the disputation culminated in the censuring and burning of Hebrew books, the obligation to listen to the sermons of the Dominicans and the exiling to Jerusalem of Moses ben Nahman.

October 4th, 1264
Besalú

Remains of the synagogue

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.

circa 1269
Palma

The construction of Palma cathedral begins

Palma Cathedral

Palma cathedral is a spectacular Gothic building located in the interior of the old Roman, Moslem and Christian city at the limit with the space known as the Almudaina (citadel) where the Jewish district was set up at the time of Arab domination.

Alongside its Gothic and Baroque retables, the canopy and presbytery of Gaudí or the capilla del Santísimo (Chapel of the Most Holy), a contemporary work by Miquel Barceló, what stands out at the Majorcan catedral is the wealth of its cathedralic treasure with an excellent collection of goldsmithery including the famous Rimonim of the Torah which were brought from Sicily in the 15th century and which constituted a brilliant testimony of the Jewish presence in the city.

After visiting the cathedral, whose interior contains the remains of the former cardus, you come out into Sant Roc street which coincides with that thoroughfare of the Roman city. Where Sant crosses with Estudi General street, corresponding to decumanus, the old Roman forum is situated of which there are also some remains in the subsoil of the Estudio General Luliano. The curved layout of this street which leads to the area around the citadel allows us to appreciate the adaptation of the Moslem layout to the contour line of the mound on which the old Palma is situated.

circa 1270
Toledo

Ueld Elazri Wall-walks

The Bajada de Santa Ana

A document from 1270 mentions the wall-walks called Ueld Elazri in a street connecting to Assuica, extending as far as the wall-walks of Olivo and, in turn, to:

la calle que era adarve [...] por su fondo comunica la dicha calle con la vía que se dirige de la puerta de nuestro castillo nuevo a la puerta del castillo viejo.

The Jews lived in and owned castles in medieval Spain. Some of these castles were big enough to contain houses within their walls such as the Jewish castle of Toledo as is borne out in a document dated 1163.

At the current Bajada de Santa Ana you can still find part of the walls which surrounded the Jewish quarter and the wall-walks which led to the New Castle of the Jews.

1272 - 1492
Córdoba

The Jewish Quarter

The Jewish quarter. Deanes Street

From an urbanistic perspective, theJewish Quarter district presents the typical Islamic layout with two central intersecting streets and a labyrinth of small roads which sometimes culminated in typical culs-de sac or wall-walks. The limits of the current Jewish quarter stretch from the Almodóvar Gate to the Mosque-Cathedral and the Episcopal Palace (the former Al-Andalus citadel) to the south. Rey Heredia street marked the district frontier to the east, adjoining the wall to the west. These limits thus coincide major features with the streets Judíos, Albucasis, Manríquez, Averroes, Judería, Almanzor, Tomás Conde, Deanes, Romero and the squares Cardenal Salazar, Judá Leví and Maimónides.

The current Jewish quarter district was separated from the rest of the city by a walled site which isolated its inhabitants whilst protecting them from the Christians anger. We know that one of the gates of this site was that of Malburguete located opposite the Mosque-Cathedral at the start of the current Judería street. But not all the Jews lived in this district. Reduced at the beginning to the east, very soon, as from 1260, some Jews settled in nearby areas and subsequently at commercial sites within the San Salvador district where the Local Council is now housed and the San Andrés district alongside the parish of San Nicolás de la Axerquía in Ribera and even to the north of the city on the outskirts of the Puerta del Osario (Cemetery Gate), Merced field and the Santa Marina district, revealing that they could move about the city easily. Over the centuries the Sephardis also lived in other areas of the city. Later, in 1272 Alfonso X the Wise ordered the closing off of the Jewish quarter district, forcing the Jews to live therein and thereby creating the Jewish quarter around the Mosque which we know today.

1272
Córdoba

Alfonso X forces the Jews to live in the Jewish quarter

in 1272 Alfonso X the Wise ordered the closing off of the Jewish quarter district, forcing the Jews to live therein and thereby creating the Jewish quarter around the Mosque which we know today.

1272
Tortosa

Book of Customs of Tortosa

body of work collecting the rules of conduct and cohabitation of a population of multiple origins. The body of provisions and legal stipulations set out in the Llibre made existence in the Jewish quarter complicated and entailed clashes with the Christian population.

1274
Oviedo

The Jews of Oviedo are forced to inhabit the district of Socastiello

The Jewish quarter of Oviedo

After the Ordinances of the Council in 1274, the Jews of Oviedo were required to live in the Socastiello district, alongside the Citadel and the city walls. The Jewish quarter of Oviedo occupied the area from Castillo Gate to the Socastiello New Gate. They could also live outside the walls should they so wish. It should be borne in mind that at that time the houses had already gone beyond the walled area and it is likely that some Jews had settled outside the walls as in the 15th century in the Western area there were still estates with the nickname de los judíos (of the Jews).

The Royal Castle and the Citadel in the 13th century occupied more or less the place where today the Telefónica building is located, alongside Porlier square, the Castillo Gate was on the left of the latter and the Nueva gate of Socastiello could have been either near the former San Juan street or the end of Cimadevilla street, as both gates are called Puerta Nueva (New Gate) in documents from the time. The internal limits of the Jewish quarter inside the city are harder to define.

No material remains of this Jewish quarter have been conserved. Neither have the same, narrow streets shared by Christians and Jews in the old Oviedo for centuries and the historic documentation which enables us to reconstruct and imagine the inhabitants of said Jewish community: Bartolomé Guion, notary; Beneito, moneychanger; Adan Giraldiz, Pedro Giraldiz, moneychangers; Petro Giraldiz, weaver; Petro Michaeliz, furrier; Aben Arsar, Asur Falconis, Bartolomé Alfageme, Don Symon, Annaias Tanoz and many more.

circa 1284 - 1418
Castelló d'Empúries

New synagogue

Façade of the new synagogue: Can Vicenç Comas. © Manel Puig

The first documentary evidence of the second synagogue is on November 18th 1284 when the clergyman Jaspert Ballester, the son and heir of Bernat Ballester de Castelló, sells to Gerald Cocó a house situated at puig del Mercadal which to the south adjoins the synagogue.

Jaspertus Ballistarii, clericus [...] vendo et cum hoc instrumento trado tibi Geraldo Coquoni, de Castilione [...] quoddam hospitium meum integriter quod habeo et teneo in villa Castilionis in podio de Mercatallo: ab oriente in domibus Aster Ravayle et in intrata dicti hospicii; a meridie, in sinagoga judeorum.

Other purchase and sale documents from the 14th century and the early 15th century also refer to the location of the synagogue in similar fashion.

The clearest testimony of the synagogue's location is on January 2nd 1415 on the eve of the disposal of the synagogue: Juan Roger, de Ullastret, a resident in Castelló dʼEmpúries, rents for two years to Bernat Ricart, the town furrier, a house at Puig Mercadal situated at the fishmonger's with all the duties and emoluments of said fishmonger's which to the east partly adjoins the synagogue and partly the public street, to the south and west public streets and to the north the synagogue. As we can see, it is the Peixateries Velles, the building that forms a corner between Neu street and Peixateries Velles street, converging at the square of the same name.

When the Jews acquired the property on the Mercadal hill which they used as a synagogue, it was probably an old building as it has been recorded that prior to 1320-1321 it was in ruins for fortuitous reasons.

The state of the synagogue forces the Jews to ask for authorisation to rebuild the synagogue. This request was accepted and granted by Pere de Rocabertí, the bishop of Girona between 1318 and 1324. The license of bishop Rocabertí allowed the Castelló Jews to extend the synagogue to the south and east, with the courtyard and portico used for praying being located in the east. The license also recognised the need to open an access gate via the part which to the east faced the edge of the house of Bernat Moner and that of Bernat Janer.

On July 25th Count Malgaulí granted the relevant license to the Jews so they could extend the synagogue in accordance with the measurements stated in the episcopal license of July 9th which, furthermore, states that they are wholly satisfactory for an appropriate construction.

In the early 15th century with a view to extending certain outbuildings which were too small, they added a neighbouring house, but this time without authorisation. With a view to closing the synagogue, the vicar general Guillermo Mariner ordered an investigation in situ which took place on September 29th 1415. The resolution had the wisdom of Solomon: On the one hand, the Jews could continue to worship at the synagogue and on the other the decree would be complied with by closing the latest, lavish part of the building.

Three years later, on August 12th 1420 it is recorded that the Puig del Mercadal synagogue was in the possession of Guillem Riera, a fabrics merchant from Castelló who used it as his private residence. Five years later, on June 22nd 1425 the owner, a certain Jaume Riera, turned it into a boarding house, probably taking advantage of its strange structure.

At present the property, touched up on many occasion over the centuries as borne out by the testimony dated 1781 inscribed on the façade, is owned by the widow and heirs of Vicenç Comas whose father had, in turn, inherited it from his uncle Vicenç Forns.

November 18th, 1284
Castelló d'Empúries

First news of the synagogue in Castelló

The first documentary evidence of the second synagogue is on November 18th 1284 when the clergyman Jaspert Ballester, the son and heir of Bernat Ballester de Castelló, sells to Gerald Cocó a house situated at puig del Mercadal which to the south adjoins the synagogue.

Jaspertus Ballistarii, clericus [...] vendo et cum hoc instrumento trado tibi Geraldo Coquoni, de Castilione [...] quoddam hospitium meum integriter quod habeo et teneo in villa Castilionis in podio de Mercatallo: ab oriente in domibus Aster Ravayle et in intrata dicti hospicii; a meridie, in sinagoga judeorum.

1287
Segovia

A Jewish butcher's on calle Almuzara

New Jewish Quarter Street and Almuzara Street, where the small Jewish yard is situated

Almuzara street goes right into the heart of the Jewish quarter of Segovia from Merced square. The small yard at number 3 of this street is one of the few testimonies to the architecture of the Jewish district located in an area which underwent major remodelling work over the centuries. Another Jewish butcher´s was situated on this street according to a document from 1287.

1287
Segovia

The Jewish butcher's of La Almuzara is mentioned for the first time

In 1287, in a book of notarial records of the catedral the carneçería de los judíos (Jewish butcher´s) is named for the first timesituated in the Almuzara. This document is also the first testimony in which it states that the Jews of Segovia were already totally settled and endowed with their own institutions.

1287 - 1305
Tudela

Tudela's Taqqanot

The internal life of the communities is regulated by the agreements of each assembly, set out in the famous taqqanot or ordinances of each Jewish quarter. Only those of Tudela and Puente la Reina are known and through these it is known that all aspects of the life of the aljama were regulated with detail and precision. Observance of the religious feasts (Passover, Yom Kippur, the Feast of Palms and Sukkot); marriages held outside the kingdom; the administration of justice; the rules for commercial practice etc. There were severe measures against the denouncers or malshins.

The ordinances of the aljama of Tudela from 1287 and 1305 are one of the most important to reach us. By contrast to the taqqanot of Valladolid in 1432, which are of a general nature for all Jewish quarters in Castile-León, these only affect the aljama of Tudela.

To draw up its rules the interpretation of Maimonides was followed, except for two exceptions which are stipulated in the introduction:

No verdict will be issued in any trial , whatever its subject, if it fails to follow the opinion of our master Maimonides, whose memory be blessed, as regards any matters in which his opinion can be sought, except for these two in which the aljama agreed that they must be resolved in jurisdictional terms according to its opinion, to wit: the forgiving of the debts on the sabbatical year and the reduction of the debt owing to the pledging of the houses by dint of the use of said houses granted by the debtor to the creditor.

Tudela had a large Jewish quarter which, since the 12th century, stood out not only as it was the most populated in Navarre, but also for its own prestige and organisation.

circa 1290 - 1492
Castelló d'Empúries

New Call. Puig Mercadal

Neu street

At the end of the 13th century the Jewish community endeavoured to come closer to the area which then constituted the nerve centre of the town, the so-called Puig Mercadal where, as its name suggests, brought together crafts and commerce. In all likelihood, this shift from the outskirts to the interior was driven on by the Jews' wish to be located closer to the count's palace with a view to his protection and the money-lending business, making the most of a time of great tolerance.

This new call, which, in reality, was no more than a prolongment of the original one, spread to the east side of Puig Mercadal in the area currently limited by Sant Pere Baix street and Peixeteries velles street which converged at the old Plaça del Peix.

The new call had a new synagogue. It has been possible to confirm its location on Peixeteries Velles street thanks to the notarial documentation conserved where the property's boundaries are defined. The oldest document attesting to the existence of the old synagogue dates back to 1281. Its surface area and environment have remained under the same conditions and the two adjoining courtyards have not been built on. One is situated to the east with an access gate to Peixeteries Velles street and the other, situated to the north, in the centre of the block.

There is a record of a street with colonnades which was added later to an adjoining villa located to the north of the synagogue via which there was access to this courtyard. At present, the building has been restored and converted into Hotel de la Moneda.

The synagogue was expanded and restored in 1321. In 1420 it was sold and converted into a boarding house. The building is still conserved today, having been converted into a private home known as can Vicenç Comas.

circa 1292
Barcelona

Main Synagogue

The faithful at the synagogue. Barcelona Haggadah

The Sinagoga Mayor, the oldest of the existing ones in Barcelona, dates back to the 9th century despite the fact there are no documentary references to its existence until the 13th century. It is located at number 7, Sant Domènec del Call street, inside the block lying between the streets Sant Domènec, Marlet and Arc de Sant Ramon del Call and the current Manuel Ribé square. It had tree access doors: via Marlet street, via an alley which has since disappeared which left number 8 of Arc de Sant Ramon del Call street and the entrance at number 9 of Sant Domènec street. At the start of the street there was the entrance portal, the doorkeeper´s house and the Jewish butcher's which, although not an institution, it was the place where kosher meat was sold..

circa 1296 - September 14th, 1495
León

Former synagogue

The faithful at the synagogue. The Haggadah of Barcelona

The synagogue of León had been situated in Santa Cruz street and some have said it was located in Fernández Cadórniga street. Justiniano Rodríguez Fernández in his work The Jewish quarter in the city of León rebuffed these opinions and demonstrated that in 1344 (and perhaps seventy year before) the Jewish Synagogue adjoined houses which looked out onto the street which went from Cal de Moros (the present Misericordia street) to Misteo.The Chapter Acts of the cathedral of León prove that in January 1423 the Chapterhouse was managing the exchange of its houses with other which the scribe Alonso Fernández owned in Cal de Moros where the Jews had the synagogue.

The Jewish synagogue was situated at Cal de Moros and it remained there on October 27th 1375 according to a document with this date which mentions the Jewish house of prayer which is near the Puerta de Cal de Moros (Moor Street Gate).

After the expulsion, the synagogue was donated by way of a document dated September 14th 1495 by the Catholic Monarchs to the monastery of Sant Esidro and its abbey and must have been converted into the Santo Cristo hermitage.

1296
Palma

Construction of the Convent of Santo Domingo begins

Balearic Islands´ Parliament where the former St. Dominic´s Convent was located, built on the first Jewish quarter in Palma

The current Balearic Islands´ Parliament takes up most to what used to be the old St. Dominic´s Convent, settled, in turn, on the set of Jewish houses of Almudaina dels Jueus which the order obtained in 1236 from the hands of Prince Pedro de Portugal, though the first stone would not be laid until sixty years later.

The Dominican convent where the sanbenitos of the converts sentenced by the Inquisition were placed, served this purpose for five centuries until this was ended by the Disentailment, going into the hands of the Círculo Mallorquín after a few years.

During the almost forty years it took to build the convent, the Jews who lived at the Citadel site, around it and at other places in the city, as stated in an order by Jaime II (qui consueuerit morari et suas domos et habitaciones habere intus Almudaynam et in altris locis ciuitatis Maioricarum) during the course of their various activities must have settled and spread around various sites in the new Christian city, sometimes leaving and sometimes being turfed out of their stronghold at the Citadel.

circa 1299 - 1435
Palma

Main Call

Main Call

From Santa Eulàlia square, Call square constituted the point of access to Call Mayor whose entry gate was situated at the angle formed by Sol and Montesión streets. Call Mayor or Call Nuevo de Palma emerged around 1299. Although it did not initially accommodate all the Jews in the city, from 1303 onwards residence on the Main Call would be compulsory for all Jews even if they had permission to run their business outside the district. A list from 1339 recounts that there were 259 heads of household sentenced to a tax fine to the King which would suggest that the Jewish quarter at that time could have comprised over one thousand people, five percent of the population, though some scholars mention a figure five times higher.

1300 - 1342
Besalú

Besalu incorporated into the Girona tax system

The Jewish community of Besalú was bound between 1300 and 1342 to the Girona collect.

circa 1300
Monforte de Lemos

Homage Tower

At the Torre del Homenaje (Monumental Unit of St. Vicente del Pino) there are many headstone signs. The one repeated most is the star of five tips or the Seal of Solomon

The majestic Homage tower, the main element of the medieval castle crowned by the St. Vincent mountain for over seven hundred years, is one of the symbols most identified with the people of Monforte and the monte fuerte (strong mountain) which lends it name to the city. From the top of this magnificent bastion from the 13th to the 14th centuries you can see the true dimensions of Monforte and its environment, but also establish an interesting starting point in the world of the converted Jews, seeking to resolve the enigma of the meaning of the stars of Solomon (the five tips representing the five books of the Pentateuch, a symbol also known for centuries in Galicia as the Goblin cross) which are located amongst the headstone signs and stonemason marks of their ashlar.

These stonemason marks are located in the oldest part of the Homage Tower from the 14th century. On the east face, we can see headstone signs and stonemasons´ marks. These marks were the assurance of quality of the work and they identified the engraver or school of engravers who have worked on the ashlar. The most common is the star of five tips or the Seal of Solomon.

circa 1300 - 1435
Palma

Jewish cemetery of Camp Gate

Camp Square, where the Jewish cemetery was located

As use of the Porto Pí Gate cemetery was los as from 1319 and as it was impossible to recover it, it must be supposed that the aljama sought, requested and obtained another burial space. This site was near Porta del Camp (Camp Gate). It seems that this cemetery cohabited with that of Porto Pí Gate for around two decades, starting its activity in around 1300. Various references tell us that this cemetery was still working in 1410 without the partial conversion of the Jewish community having held it back.

The new cemetery met the new requirements arising from the creation of the main Call and its settlement. With the new location of the Call, the Porto Pí gate cemetery was too far away and meant crossing virtually the whole breadth of the urban centre and going round by the maritime façade was not feasible. With the new cemetery initially passing by a church could be excused. It didn´t last for long que as in 1324 the Holy Faith Chapel was put up in the so-called Huerto d´en Cassà right on the way to the Jewish cemetery.

August 18th, 1300
Tudela

Ketubah of Selomó and Soli

establishes the marriage of Selomó, the son of Yom-Tob Alparga (or Alfarga) and Soli, the daughter of Hayim ben Kelaf, signed on Thursday the second of Elulof year 5060 since the Creation of the world (August 18th 1300). The document sets out the habitual formula for the groom to ask for the hand of his promised one:

Sé mi esposa según la Ley de Moisés e Israel, y yo te serviré, honraré mantendré y sustentaré a la manera de los varones judíos que sirven, honran, mantienen y sostienen a sus mujeres fielmente...
It is the oldestKetubah conserved. The text is framed by a coloured band in red ink and, on each side, there is the figure of a small bird and this is the only Ketubah preserving its zoomorphic ornamentation. The form of decorating this manuscript can be related to that defended by Rabbi Simeón ben Zerah Durán de Mallorca (1361-1444) who recommended the decoration of all the blank spaces in a document to avoid the manipulation of the clauses and hence the alteration of the marriage. .

1306
Barcelona

French Synagogue

The location of the French Synagogue alongside the Call Interpretation Centre

Escuela de los Franceses street or Banys Freds (Cold Baths) street, the former name of Arc de Sant Ramón street, earned its name from the synagogue for Jews of French origin taking refuge in Barcelona who in 1306 received royal permission to build it. The name Banys Freds - in contrast to Banys Nous built in 1160 which was also located on the street - perhaps refers to the existence of a Mikveh in the area.

1306 - 1492
Castelló d'Empúries

Jewish cemetery

The Els Aspres area alongside Rec del Molí where the old Jewish cemetery was located

The Jewish community had its own cemetery situated outside the wall in a high area known as Els Aspres. The fossar or former Jewish cemetery was located in the northeast of the town and limited to the east by the irrigation ditches of the water mills (Rec del Molí). It was used until the early years of the 14th century. At present, it is a privately owned estate.

As from 1306 the new cemetery is documented for the first time. The Jewish community acquired a very extensive strip of land adjoining the former cemetery. It was located in the area called Rotacàs in the lower part of Els Aspres in relation to Rec del Molí which it faced to the west. At present there is privately owned farm for agricultural purposes and cattle rearing.

With the implementation of the edict expelling the Jews from the country enacted by the Catholic Monarchs in 1492, the Jewish cemetery lost its purpose as such. Count Enrique II, known as Infante Fortuna (Prince Lucky), assigned the management of the Graveyard to Ausiàs de Contreras who at that time held the post of veguer in the county with the right to dispose of it by sale or donation and he duly did so. On October 20th of this same year of the expulsion a strip of land called Lo Fossar de judío (The Jewish Graveyard) was sold, carried out by said veguer to the discreet Bernat Andreu, the notary of Castelló.

The Jewish procession left the city via the en Benesset Gate, also known as the Puerta de los Judíos (Jews' Gate) (próxima Portale vocatum pueden Beneset dicte ville, alias vocatum dels Juheus) and which, after their exile, was called the Sant Jordi Gate. Having gone through the gate, the cortege continued northwards between the walls and the Valles de la Condesa, leaving the San Francisco gate on the left and at Molí del Mig moving along the path bordering Rec del Molí, passing by the Gallarda Gate, Molí de Dalt and Merced Bridge. There, instead of continuing on the route following Rec dels Molins, they turned right on the path which led to the Jewish Cemetery and Clot dels Ollers.

1312
Jaén

Ferdinand IV's wake is held in the Arco de San Lorenzo chapel

it was here that vigil was kept over the corpse of King Fernando IV the Summoned in 1312.

1315 - 1492
Córdoba

Synagogue

Interior of the synagogue

Situated at number 20 on Judíos street, the synagogue is undoubtedly the most important building of the Cordoban Jewish quarter. Closed in 5075 in the Jewish calendar, in other words 1315 of the Christian era, the temple was built under the reign of Alfonso VI as thanks by the latter to the Jews for their collaboration in the victory at the Battle of Salado against the Moslems. The work was completed by Isaac Moheb as stated in the foundation inscription.

A small courtyard precedes the entrance to the hall from which access is gained to the prayer room and the steps which lead to the women's tribune on the upper floor. In the first, a spacious stone souk precedes the precious decoration of arabesque on the four walls; on the eastern wall, the central space stands out, presided over by a menorah which occupies the place where the rabbi conducting the ceremony would stand, and on his right a brick cabinet has been conserved used for keeping the Aron Kodesh or holy ark inside which the Torahscrolls were kept; at the southern wall the tribune opens up by way of three magnificent windows.

After the expulsion of the Jews, the synagogue complex, which included the annexed Talmudic study centre, became a hydrophobic hospital and the prayer room was transformed into the Chapel of Santa Quiteria.In 1588 the property was acquired by the brotherhood of cobbles, a guild which included a major part of New Christians of Jewish origin and in the 19th century the roof was replaced by a barrel vault and the plasterwork was lined in stucco.. In 1884 the chaplain Mariano Párraga, along with the academic Rafael Romero Barros (father of the painter Julio Romero de Torres), discovered the original plasterwork and in 1885, after it was declared a National Monument, a careful recovery process began which has allowed much of its original splendour to be restored.

1317
Castelló d'Empúries

Sant Domènec Convent

Gothic room of Sant Domènec convent

The convent of Dominican friars was founded outside the wall in 1317. The current building was constructed in the 17th-18th centuries on the remains of the Count's palace (14th century). The building today serves as the local councilʼs head offices and it is made up of the Baroque style church and a cloister and the convent outbuilding. On the first floor is the Gothic Room formed by diaphragm brick arches.

November 6th, 1319
Palma

Sancho I donates the Jewish cemetery

By dint of the confiscation of 1314 and 1315 of all the assets of the Jews of Palma de Majorca the cemetery fell under royal ownership. This made it possible for King Sancho from Perpiñán on November 6th 1319 to donate the land sot the jurors of the University and Kingdom of Majorca.

from 1320

It is believed the Jews are poisoning the water

In around 1320 the belief began to gain credence throughout the Hispanic kingdoms that the Jews were poisoning the water and profaning hosts, accusations which started to become relevant during the years of the Black death which swept through Europe between 1328 and 1350. These rumours started to fragment the already unstable cohabitation between Jews and Christians in kingdoms like those of León and Castile where there were popular attacks against the Jewish quarters. .

circa 1320 - 1361

Samuel Ha-Leví

Samuel Ha-Levi Abulafia, a public employee, a High Court Judge and Royal Treasurer with Pedro I of Castile, was a member of an influential family who acted as a fully empowered administrator for the Portuguese knight Juan Alfonso de Alburquerque before coming under the orders of King Pedro I to reorganise Castile´s finances.

A refined man with a knowledge of astrology and divination, he held different posts in the Court and played a decisive role in the establishment of Pedro I the Cruel against his bastard brothers Trastámara.

The notable influence and rapid growth of wealth meant that the treasurer obtained the King´s permission to build another synagogue despite papal prohibition.

His greatest recompense was the returning to the Jews of assets they had lost after the sacking of the Jewish quarter of 1355 by the supporters of the Trastámara and, in particular, the construction of the splendid synagogue which bore his name. However, this powerful magnate barely lived three years to enjoy his achievements as, accused of swindling the royal treasury, he didn´t survive the torture he had to endure in 1361.

July 9th, 1321
Castelló d'Empúries

The bishop of Girona grants a licence to expand the synagogue

The state of the synagogue forces the Jews to ask for authorisation to rebuild the synagogue. This request was accepted and granted by Pere de Rocabertí, the bishop of Girona between 1318 and 1324. The license of bishop Rocabertí allowed the Castelló Jews to extend the synagogue to the south and east, with the courtyard and portico used for praying being located in the east. The license also recognised the need to open an access gate via the part which to the east faced the edge of the house of Bernat Moner and that of Bernat Janer.

July 25th, 1321
Castelló d'Empúries

The count grants a licence to expand the synagogue

On July 25th Count Malgaulí granted the relevant license to the Jews so they could extend the synagogue in accordance with the measurements stated in the episcopal license of July 9th which, furthermore, states that they are wholly satisfactory for an appropriate construction.

1323
Tortosa

Jews from Tortosa arm two ships for the capture of Sardinia

When the son and successor of Jaime II, Prince Alfonso, armed a fleet in 1323 to conquer Sardinia, the Jewish community of Tortosa contributed by arming two ships at its expense, a service which led to the community being exempted from royal taxes for two years.

1327
Córdoba

Citadel of the Catholic Monarchs

Citadel of the Catholic Monarchs

The Citadel of the Christian Monarchs was built by Alfonso XI the Justice maker in 1327 on part of the former Caliph's Al-Andalus palace, being intended to serve as the royal residence and bestowing upon it the castle features which have survived until today. The Inquisition headquarters was set up at the Citadel in 1492 alongside the castle of the Jews, one of the traditional sites of the Jewish collective after King Fernando III the Saint arrived in the city in 1236.

The citadel was the royal residence during the 14th and 15th centuries and as from 1482 it became the headquarters for the Catholic Monarchs' army to conquer the kingdom of Granada. It was here that Isabel and Fernando received Christopher Columbus and here they were remained until the taking of Granada when they handed the citadel over to the Inquisition. The Court of the Holy Office - which turned a large part of the palace rooms into dungeons - remained at this headquarters until 1812 when the Courts of Cádiz abolished it.

1331 - 1391
Palma

Construction of the new synagogue begins

The Seminari Vell which backed onto the new synagogue

In 1331, once sixteen years had gone by without any public synagogue, the Jews started building a new temple, but son ran up against opposition in the form of officers of the bishop who appealed to Pope Gregory IX´s decree that forbade the erection of any new synagogues. King Jaime III was inclined to agree with the Jews but by replacing the term new erection with repair or reconstruction of the old one and changing the word synagogue to school or house of prayer.

The new synagogue was located behind the current Conciliary Seminar and was closed after the attack of 1391, experiencing a second spell of activity between 1419 and 1435 with the final conversion of the Majorcan Jews. After the attack of 1391, all the common assets of the aljama (synagogue, cemetery, butcher´s, baths, hospital etc.) were subject to the royal treasury. A commissioner was sent specifically to Majorca to take possession of everything and thanks to the notarial act drawn up at the time a description of the synagogue´s situation has been preserved:

En primer lugar, la sinagoga mayor del dicho Call, con multitud de casas que son de su propiedad y contiguas a ella, y que confronta por una parte con la calle donde está la fuente del dicho Call, de otra parte con la calle que va a la Calatrava, por otra parte con la casa de Cijan, y de otra parte con la casa de Natan d´Osca y con cierta calle o pasaje en las casas de Axata.

Two years later, after the seizure of the synagogue, the premises of said new synagogue were bought from the royal treasury by the notary Joan Martí the right to use water from the royal stream which ran through the interior of its site.

1336 - 1492
Calahorra

The Calahorra Jewish quarter

Houses in the Jewish quarter

The Jews of Calahorra occupied the highest sector of the town which was situated in the vicinity of the castle and the Salvador church, today dedicated to San Francisco.

In the 14th century the Jews of Calahorra consolidated their location in this urban sector to such an extent that in 1336 they acquired form the chapterhouse by way of an exchange the space known as El Castellar or Villanueva, the Cantonera Tower and half of the Torre Mayor (Main Tower), all situated in the vicinity of the current Rasillo de San Francisco, extending as far as the Eras de Abajo wicket gate to the south of the town.

The Jewish quarter was totally surrounded by a wall in which at least one gate was opened as is stated in various documents from the 15th century in which reference is made to the so-called Jewish Quarter Gate which connected the Jewish quarter with the other of the city. Hence, in the exchange document dated 1336 the Jews were authorised to:

Alçar el adarve dentro de la iuderia quanto quisieren, porque sea más firme e fuerte la iuderia.

The Calahorra Jewish quarter thus constituted a true citadel within the city itself. It occupied the site of the former acropolis of Roman Calagurris and was located near the medieval castle. However, in the Lower Middle Ages this urban space had already lost its former strategic value for the defence of the city as narrated by Pero López de Ayala in the Chronic of Pedro I: in 1366 Enrique de Trastámara find it easy to gain access to Calahorra because this city:

Was not strong and those within did not dare defend it.

circa 1336
Castelló d'Empúries

Cúria-Presó Medieval History Museum

The court-prison. The medieval prison

Curia-Presó is a civil Gothic style building constructed in around 1336 which served a dual purpose: the court (cúria) and prison (presó), and it was one of the most prominent administrative centres of the capital of county of Empúries.

The building currently houses the municipal Tourist office which is located on the ground floor of the building and the Cúria-Presó Medieval History Museum which occupies the rest of the building. The museum is a collection which is open to the public and which is dedicated to local medieval history and we would highlight the room dedicated to the Jewish past of Castelló d´Empúries. In this room you can visit one of the largest collections of Jewish funeral headstones in Catalonia.

It is a set of nine headstones from the former Jewish cemetery of Castelló d´Empúries which have been granted by private individuals to the Local Council. Along with these pieces you can see a Mezuzah, a scale model of the town in the 14th century and an audio-visual providing a historical approach to the municipality.

1339
Girona

Bonjudá Cresques and Saltell Gracià donate 17,000 salaries to the jurors

In 1339 the rich silversmith Bonjudá Cresques, along with his son-in-law Saltell Gracià, lent the jurors 17,000 sueldos to carry out different works in the city.

circa 1340 - 1410

Shem-Tob ben Isaac Shaprut

Shem-Tob ben Isaac Shaprut, a Jewish-Spanish philosopher, doctor and polemicist was born in Tudela in the mid-14th century and he is frequently confused with the doctor Shem-Tob ben Isaac of Tortosa who lived one hundred and fifty years later.

Whilst still a young man he was forced to debate at the Disputation of Pamplona on December 26th 1375 about original sin and redemption with Cardinal Pedro de Luna who would later become Pope Benedict XIII, in the presence of bishops and theologians. Later, owing to the devastating war which persisted in Navarre between the Castilians and the English, he was forced to flee the country with his family. He settled in Tarazona where he practised as a doctor amongst Jews and Christians.

Whilst in Tarazona he completed his Eben Bojan (May 1380 or 1385), a controversial work against christened Jews (mumarim). The work comprises fourteen chapters or gates and is written in the form of a dialogue, taking as its reference the Milhamot Adonai of Jacob ben Reuben, wrongly attributed to David Quimhi.

1342 - 1391
Besalú

The heyday of the Besalu Call

After becoming an independent collect thanks to the privilege of King Pedro IV, the Jewish quarter of Besalú experienced its most successful period between 1342 and 1391 when it formed its own collect along with Banyoles, Figueres, Camprodón, Olot and Sant Llorenç de la Muga.

1344
León

First mention of the Leon synagogue in calle Misericordia

Justiniano Rodríguez Fernández in his work The Jewish quarter in the city of León rebuffed these opinions and demonstrated that in 1344 (and perhaps seventy year before) the Jewish Synagogue adjoined houses which looked out onto the street which went from Cal de Moros (the present Misericordia street) to Misteo.

1345
Sevilla

Rabbi Salomón dies

The 14th century saw Rabbi Salomón shine, a doctor, astronomer and exegete of great worth, born in Seville where he also died in 1345. His funeraral stele, engraved on a fragment of Roman column, was discovered in 1580 in the Jewish cemetery at Carne Gate.

1347 - 1353

The Black Death

1348
Palma

Peter IV assigns the sinagoga mayor building to build a bakery

In 1348 King Pedro IV the Ceremonious granted the building or part of it to Bernat de Vallflor and gave him permission to build a baker´s, though the property would later go back into Jewish hands.

? 1350
Sevilla

Former synagogue-Church of the Convent of Dominican nuns

Convent of the Dominican Nuns

A fourth synagogue was the Church of the Convent of Dominican nuns at the bottom of San José street. It was compared with the Transit synagogue of Toledo and some even say it was actually Samuel Ha-Levi who ordered its construction, the treasurer of Pedro I and builder of the Toledan synagogue. The convent was founded in 1447 but it was not occupied until forty years later. As regards the old structure of the synagogue, the Mudejar reinforcements of the coffered ceilingcan still be recognised.

circa th, 1350
Tortosa

Peter IV builds a wall around the Jewish settlement in Tortosa

The city wall

Very near the synagogue on call nou was the Vimpeçol gate which marked out the road to Saragossa starting on the other side of the wall built by Pedro IV in the 14th century to protect the city and the Jews by dint of the war with Castile. The route of the new walled space, coexisting with the walls of the previous site, is easy to follow via the wall-walk formed by the Travesia del Mur, recalling these fortifications which largely disappeared with the urbanistic expansion of the 19th century. In the opposite direction, to the west, the walls continued as far as the Rodona tower on the banks of the Ebro.

circa 1350 - 1427

Jafudà Cresques

Jafudà Cresques (Palma, 1350?-Barcelona?, 1410 or 1427), also known as Judá Cresques and Jaume Ribes, was a Jewish cartographer of Majorcan origin and probably the man who coordinated the maritime discoveries of the Portuguese naval school of Sagres in the early 15th century.

He was the son of another notable cartographer, Cresques Abraham, born in Majorca. Jafudà frequented the court of the monarchs Pedro III, Juan I and Martín I, where he carried out several cartographic works: along with his father, he was probably the author of the famous Catalan Atlas of 1375, a masterpiece of European medieval cartography. He also drew up a mapa mundi for the Tuscan commercial firm Datini and received distinctions and the protection of the Catalan monarchs.

Born in a Jewish family, he converted to Christianity by dint of the sacking of the call of Palma in 1391 and he then adopted the name Jaume Ribes (Jacobus Ribus, in Latin). As such, it seems that he could have been appointed the Portuguese coordinator of cartography, with Master Jacome de Mallorca assuming the post. Many scholars believe that it was the same person, but it a moot point.

1355 - 1391
Toledo

Caleros synagogue

Location of Caleros synagogue, Alfonso XII street and Marrón square

Caleros synagogue is first mentioned in a document dated 1355. Having disappeared very suddenly, the synagogue site is conserved at Marrón square which has existed since the 15th century.

It is likely that just like the other synagogues of Toledo, the Caleros synagogue suffered the effects of the anti-Jewish movement of 1391. Abandoned in the late 14th century or slightly later, it was not mentioned again until 1418. In 1448 the synagogue is a house owned by the Archdeacon of Niebla who, since 1434, gradually acquired houses in this district for his assets, a quarter of which was bought by Juan de Silva, the Count of Cifuentes in 1460.

The main house of the Count of Cifuentes, called «de los sennores Reyes» in the second half of the 15th century where the monarchs would be lodged in the second half of said century and even during the following century, took up a large block in the area where Caleros lean-to is situated. On the other side of the lean-to at the corner of Caleros street with the lean-to of San Pedro Mártir was the «accessory» house, deriving from the merger of three small houses. In front of the gate of the main house of the count of Cifuentes a square was opened in the final quarter of the 15th century on the plot of the synagogue since the latter had disappeared owing to ruin or intentional destruction.

1355
Toledo

Destruction of the upper suburb of the Jewish quarter

San Román street

Destroyed in 1355 during the power struggles between Pedro I and his brother with the troops of Enrique II, the district of Alacava or upper suburb of the Jewish quarter formed a separate nucleus of the Jewish quarter and delimited by the current winding Bulas street and Naranjos alley, the former wall-walk of Ciruelo.

In 1456 the wall-walks of Caños de Oro were closed by a gate whose lean-to, already in ruins, was built in the 16th century. Even today its base is visible on the wall of the first house at the entrance to the street. The Cuesta de Bisbís, called wall-walks of wool dealers, afforded a very wide, paved entrance as seems to be indicated by the street name which was applied to it. A clear narrowing can be noted there where the gate of the street was whose lean-to is mentioned in 1495.

In the 14th century it is likely that the aljama of Toledo had in the district of Alacava two units each comprising a synagogue and a Rabbinic school or midrash, one situated on the old wall-walks of the Golondrinos and the other in the Bisbís-Caños del oro block.

The district could be defended from attacks from the exterior thanks to being provided with gates or wicket gates in the area of the Christian district of San Román and wicket gate which at one time was called Pepino, further to the west. The existence of these gates posits the theory that this district was closed on its northern side by a wall. The fact that neither this wall nor the gate at the level of the church of San Román are mentioned after the 12th century perhaps can be put down to its probable destruction by the troops of Enrique II in 1355 or by the revolts of 1391. To the south, in contact with Ángel street, the transversal streets of Alacava were closed off by gates which, in turn, were protected by lean-tos.

For a better understanding of this paved complex, we need to imagine a Jewish quarter compartmentalised into different walls or wall-walks erected in accordance with the progressive expansion of the Jewish population, not totally closing off the block but setting specific limits between Jewish and Christian territories. What´s more, until 1480, in other words, virtually throughout their history, the Jews of Toledo were not in actual fact forced to reside in the interior of the Jewish quarter, maintaining businesses and homes in different parts of the city.

1355 - 1357
Toledo

Tránsito synagogue

Tránsito synagogue. The prayer room

Built between 1355 and 1357 under the auspices of King Pedro I of Castile by his treasurer, the powerful Samuel Ha-Levi, the Tránsito synagogue was erected in the heart of the Jewish district of Hamanzeite. Its façade has undergone many modifications, not preparing us for the magnificence that lies within. The affected touch of the Mudejar master builders is all too evident and the block as a whole is organised from a large prayer room flanked by an upper gallery from where women attended the ceremony and complemented by rooms dedicated to the Rabbinic school (today rooms of the museum) and an exterior courtyard where there are remains of a possible Mikveh with two rainwater tanks.

In the prayer room, whose roof is one of the best examples of medieval carpentry in Toledo, worthy of special note is the splendid plasterwork on the walls with texts in Hebrew and Arab and geometric and heraldic motifs from Castile and León, accompanied by inscriptions with the Psalms of David, particularly on the east wall where three slim lobed arches open out, holding the scrolls of the holy texts or heijal, surrounded by a rich, delicate panel with beautiful polychromed plasterwork.

In the upper part behind a frame with muqarnas we find a succession of poly-lobed arches with matched columns which extend along the sides as well as a frieze where heraldic motifs can be made out.

On the ground, before the earpiece wall, part of the flooring is conserved which the synagogue had originally. The main room deck is closed by a jointed rafter framework in Mudejar style.

Upon the expulsion of the Jews in 1492 the Catholic Monarchs granted to the Order of Calatrava

la sinagoga mayor que los judíos tenían en Toledo, a cambio del Alcázar y Palacios de Galiana con su iglesia de Santa Fe, posesiones de esta orden.

In 1494 the building stopped being used as a synagogue and became part of the Priory of San Benito, with the area occupying the Rabbinic school and the women´s gallery serving as a Hospital and asylum for the Calatravan knights. The old large prayer room became a Christian temple and burial place for some Calatravan knights, referred to in the documentation as the Church of San Benito.

With the passage of time, in the 16th century it ceased to fulfil the aforementioned purposes and became solely a church, building an entry door to the sacristy and an arcosolium used for worshiping am image of the Virgin Mary. A retable also backed onto the central body of the former heijal and the main altar was placed on the original floor of the synagogue.

In the 17th century the church of San Benito began to be known as the church of Nuestra Señora del Tránsito owing to the commission that a Calatravan knight had given to the painter of the Toledo school Juan Correa de Vivar for a painting of the Transit of Our Lady (today conserved at the National Prado Museum) which was placed in the arcosolium.

In the 18th century the decadence of the might of the military orders also affected the previously rich church of Nuestra Señora del Tránsito which is referred to in the documentation merely as a hermitage. During the Napoleonic wars it was used as a military barracks, suffering continuous deterioration for almost all of the 19th century and continuing to be used as a hermitage until the Disentailment. On May 1st 1877 it was declared a National Monument. Since that time various restorations were undertaken to relieve the poor state of the building.

1357
Barcelona

The Fountain of Call

Site of the former Call fountain on Sant Honorat street

The fountain was built in 1357 alongside the current Sant Jaume Square and it gave its name to the current Sant Honorat street as from the 14th century. Until the time of its construction the Jews had to fetch water from outside the call according to that set out in the municipal ordinances of 1356 which forbade Christians from harming Jews coming to and from the fountain to fetch water:

Que nagun hom ne neguna fembra no gos fer mal de nit ne de dia a nagun Juheu ne Juya qui vaja o venga a la font per portar sen aygua ne trencar lus ampoles canters o altres vaxells que aporten per portarsen de la dita ayguna.

The fountain's construction inside the call was supposed to solve the problem reflected by this municipal ordinance and, in actual fact, it was a further step in the segregation process in view of the fact that it was no longer necessary to leave the call nor form queues alongside the Christians.

circa 1358 - 1412
Segovia

Burgos synagogue

Escuderos street at the place where the Burgos synagogue was located

Burgos synagogue was located in the parish of San Miguel alongside a fortified house as set out in a document from 1358. Its name appears in 1410 in another document, la sinoga que disen de Burgos. Its location has been given as number 17 Escuderos street.

There is a theory that this was the temple of a community of Jews from Burgos which set up in Segovia in view of the fact that no Segovian Jew seems to have borne the surname Burgos.

What does seem clear is that the Synagogue was expropriated in 1412 when the Jews were segregated to the Jewish quarter following the laws of Ayllón.

circa 1360
Barcelona

Massot Synagogue

Miniature of the Barcelona Haggadah (1340), currently at the British Library

The figure of Massot Avengená is not particularly well known and has never been the main object of any study. The Financier of Peter the Ceremonious and a member of the Casa del Infante Juan (Prince John House) was a major figure in the Barcelona Jewish community in the second half of the 14th century and the final owner of the main house of the corn exchange, situated at Sant Honorat street, 3, before the disintegration of the aljama as a consequence of the slaughter of 1391.

The prestige of Massot Avengená amongst the other members of the Jewish community in Barcelona can be seen by the fact that he was the aljama secretary on various occasions.

His status within the community led the King to grant him permission to put up a private synagogue, not in the corn exchange house on Sant Honorat street, but at the current number 15 of Arco de San Ramón street.

? 1361
Palma

Jewish cemetery of Santa Margalida Gate

Joan March avenue where the Santa Margalida Gate was found

The Jewish cemetery of Santa Margalida Gate, in view of the very scant information we have discovered, has frequently been said not to have existed. The sole written reference dates from 1361 and briefly refers to a donation made by Bishop Antonio de Colell of a vegetable garden alongside the drinking trough of the portal invasatoris and which was located opposite a Fossar dels jueus (Jewish cemetery).

In the area Joaquim Ma. Bover found in 1861 a tomb headstone near the aqueduct which, passing via the Santa Margalida gate, allowed the entry of the water from the Town Fountain. Fidel Fita, who had the chance to see the inscription, dated the headstone from its calligraphy in the 14th century. It was a one and a half metre wide limestone piece fragmented into two segments and in truncated pyramid shape according to a model which was very common throughout the 14th century. The inscription, severely deteriorated, was made with characters of around 9 or 10 cm and the following can be read:

Rabbi Moses Hakim, su recuerdo sea
bendito.

In the opinion of Josep Maria Quadrado, this may refer to Moses Faquí, the husband of Floreta, who appears as the owner of a house adjoining that of Maymó Mahabub. This notarial annotation allows us to assume he was alive in 1391 as Floreta is not said to be a widow.

The piece was collected by the Monuments´ Commission and formed part of the Archaeological Museum of the province which existed at that time. When the Museum disappeared the headstone was stored at Lonja and it was kept there during the 1940´s and went missing at an indefinite time.

1362
Besalú

Astruc David sells his house to Bernat Cavallé

In Portalet an evocative paved street emerges on the right with an arch and some steps and on the left the Portalet street opens out which leads to the Cúria Reial, a magnificent medieval building which was the house of the powerful Jew Astruc David who sold it in 1362 to the King's prosecutor Bernat Cavallé.

circa 1364
Segovia

Midrash of Rehoyo street

Main square, looking towards Infanta Isabel street where the Talmudic school was located

On the former Rehoyo street, now Infanta Isabel street, there was a Talmudic school midrash of which there are no further references than those appearing in two rental contracts from 1364 and 1366 in which it is referred to as a boundary with another property.

1365
Palma

The Tower of Love

Plaque at Torre del Amor stre

Torre del Amor street brings to the present the dispute between two prominent Jews who resorted to the King´s arbitration.

According to a document in the chancellery of Pedro the Ceremonious from 1379, this tower was built in 1365 by Moses Faquim owing to his love of another rich Jew who was his rival, Magaluf Natjar. He ostentatiously christened it the Love tower.

And he boasted of it to the extent that he would even invite prominent Christians to go up the tower to spy on the house of his rival and the woman who was the object of his passion. Annoyed and humiliated the husband, Magaluf Natjar, lodged a complaint with the monarch.

Pedro IV ordered the lowering by twelve palms of the pompous tower built by his rival Moses Faquim to spy at ease on the wife of the former who he was in love with.

1367
Tarazona

First news of the Taragona synagogue

Façade of the old synagogue

Near the end of the Rúa, almost at the crossing with Aires street, there was an old building which scholars believe to be connected with the main synagogue, set in a block of the structure which is very different from the current one and perhaps also connected with the current Arcedianos square.

Despite being the most important property in the Jewish quarter, the synagoguedid not visibly stand out from its surroundings as this could have been construed as a challenge to the Christian churches which wished their supremacy to be quite clear at all times. As regards its size, two historic references are conserved about the two most numerous assemblies of which we have documentary evidence: That held on August 17th 1391 attended by forty people and that which took place in September 1491 by sixty seven.

The synagogue consisted of a single nave oriented towards Jerusalem, a sloping wooden roof which was accessed via a courtyard or azara, one of whose arches is still blinded. The loggia of windows is still conserved, now blinded, where light came in. It had a collection plate for the needy as well as the women´s synagogue with its own sisterhood, segregated by way of a gallery on the upper storey. The construction, which bordered the rabbi´s house, was subject to various conditioning works in the 15th century. Nothing is known about the Mikveh.

The first evidence of its existence dates back to 1367 when the material desolation of Tarazona, involved in frontiers clashes with Castile, attained alarming levels. The situation was so bad that Pedro IV consulted the court which met in Saragossa in 1367 about the possibility of its demolition in view of the threat raised by the advance of the Castilian troops. The King changed his mind and on September 20th 1368 the first permission is received to rebuild the main synagogue and five days later the small synagogue.On September 8th 1371 Bayel Constantin, a Jewish doctor, obtained the episcopal blessing to open up an oratory or midrashwhich could be attended by those its owner allowed just like the old synagogues of the city.

September 20th, 1368 - September 25th, 1368
Tarazona

Peter IV grants permission for the reconstruction of Tarazona's synagogue

on September 20th 1368 the first permission is received to rebuild the main synagogue and five days later the small synagogue.

circa 1369
Barcelona

Butcher's

Sant Domènec del Call street at the start of which the butcher's was located

The call butcher's was situated at the entrance to the Jewish quarter at Sant Domènec street or, according to the designation of the time, at Carnicería or Sinagoga Mayor street. The cutting of meat was carried out at two workshops in the building located at the Sant Domènec gate and owned by David de Bellcaire since 1369. At this time the butcher was Jaume Rifós who had the premises rented for ten pounds a year. In 1387 the aforementioned David de Bellcaire had both workshops rented to another Christian butcher Ferrer Maiell.

circa 1369
Besalú

Jewish cemetery

Sant Miquel de Capellada from the Romanesque bridge

In the Les Arrals or Les Forques area, on the left of the Banyoles road in the direction of Besalú, to be precise, in the wooded area known as the Campanar, a very spacious area can be documentally determined where the Jewish cemetery may have been located.

Manuel Montserrat i Grau initially believed there to be two Jewish cemeteries in Besalú, one on the outskirts of the parish of Sant Vicenç called Montjuïc and used in the 14th and 15th centuries, and the other located in Campanyà alongside the parish of Sant Martí de Capellada, documented in around 1369. Later, he revised his opinion when he realised that the topographic denominations used in the documentation to refer to the fossar of the Jews (Campanyà, Reial, Montjuïc) were referring to the same place.

The Jewish cemetery area has not yet been subject to any archaeological intervention.

1369
Córdoba

Calahorra Tower

Calahorra Tower

At the southern end of the Roman Bridge is the La Calahorra Tower, a fortress of Islamic origin which consisted of two towers joined by an arch which allowed access to the city. The building is currently conserved (with very slight modifications) just as it was erected and carried out in 1369 by order of King Enrique II on the Moslem fortification. This monarch undertook the remodelling of the building to strengthen the city's defences, a committed proponent of this idea in the long dispute with his brother King Pedro I the Cruel whose armies (and those of his Moslem allies) were defeated by the Cordobans at the battle of Campo de la Verdad, next to the fortress.

Declared a historic-artistic monument in 1931 and restored and conditioned in 1954, the Calahorra Tower was granted to the Institute for Dialogue between Cultures which set up an audio-visual museum there with modern tape-guide techniques. The Museum of the Three Cultures consists of 14 rooms and it presents a cultural overview of the medieval apogee of Córdoba between the 9th and 13th centuries, based on a mutual fertilisation of the Moslem, Christian and Jewish cultures. One of the museum rooms is devoted to Maimonides. It also has a reproduction of Azarquielʼs Astrolabe and depiction of the rites undertaken at the Synagogue.

September 8th, 1371
Tarazona

Bayel Constantin is given a licence to open a midrash

On September 8th 1371 Bayel Constantin, a Jewish doctor, obtained the episcopal blessing to open up an oratory or midrashwhich could be attended by those its owner allowed just like the old synagogues of the city.

1372 - 1391
Palma

Third synagogue

Forn dʼen Miquel where the third synagogue was located

Jaume Riera and Gabriel Llompart have put forward the existence of a third synagogue in the main Call. According to their theory, at the time of its destruction in 1391 the aljama of Mallorca had two synagogues: the main one, which they identify with the one constructed with the permission of Jaime III in 1331 and the minor one (also called the new synagogue) of which we have a location and description carried out after the attack of 1391 when it also fell into the hands of the royal treasury:

Otra sinagoga llamada menor que legó, dio o concedió a dicha aljama Aron Mani, que confronta por una parte con la casa de Maymo Sussen (ahora llamado Pedro Manresa), de otra parte con la casa de Cetri Benetora, de otra parte con el corral de Bunjach y de otra parte con las casas de Imaiam Amuret.

Its duration was relatively very short as it derived from a bequest by Aron Mahaní who must have died in around 1373. The existence of two synagogues in the city of Palma from 1373 to 1391, so say Riera and Llompart, is borne out by other documents. Their location was at the current Pelleteria street in the vicinity of Forn dʼen Miquel.

circa 1375
Castelló d'Empúries

Sara Funeral stele

Fragment of the funeral stele of Sara. Miquel Teixidor Collection. Cúria-Presó Medieval History Museum. © Manel Puig

Discovered in 2006 by Miquel Teixidor, it had been reused in a house on Llana street, between Lli street, Peixateries Velles and Call street. This fragment has been added to the array of fragments of epigraphic steles from the early 14th to the 15th centuries.

It is a roughly carved, unpolished block of stone bearing a text comprising five lines slanted left and not respecting the margins. The upper part of the stele is conserved. Owing to its formal characteristics, it has been dated as coming from the last quarter of the 14th century.

The text which has survived until today runs as follows:

Young Sarah
rest in Paradise, daughter of Joseph
of Tena. Was taken away
[in the month of] Adar

October 27th, 1375
León

Second mention of the Leon synagogue in Misericordia Street

The Jewish synagogue was situated at Cal de Moros and it remained there on October 27th 1375 according to a document with this date which mentions the Jewish house of prayer which is near the Puerta de Cal de Moros (Moor Street Gate).

1376
Tarazona

Tarazona's old Jewish quarter reaches its biggest size

In the last three decades of the 14th century the district was extended between the exterior of the city barbacan, the Selcos irrigation ditch and the Zuda. This area can be specified more precisely thanks to two documents: the purchase agreement carried out in 1376 by Fernando Pérez Calvillo pertaining to the several properties owned by Jordán Pérez de Urries, including twenty one censos on properties in the Jewish quarter and the donation made by said clergyman and his brother Bishop Pedro, in favour of the city for a slightly greater figure.

May 3rd, 1377
Castelló d'Empúries

Castelló Ketubah

The ketubah of Castelló dʼEmpúries after its restoration. © Dolors Velasco

The ketubah of Castelló was discovered a few years ago in the Historic Archive of Girona thanks to the fact that it formed part of the binding of a notarial manual of Castelló dʼEmpúries. It is a historical document drafted in Hebrew and signed on May 3rd 1377 by David ben Meshulam de Gallac and Astruga, daughter of Abraham, son of Yosef Al Gallet, two Jewish residents of the town. If we bear in mind that the records of the notary Francesc Bach, in whose binding the ketubahwas found, contains works from 1473-1477, the large parchment used in 1377 to write the ketubah was reused exactly 96 years to the day after the marriage was celebrated when the couple had already passed away and the document had no legal value. So once again we should be grateful for the reuse of any kind of material from the book because this has allowed many written documents to be preserved.

The text of the ketubahbegins as follows:

Martes 25 del mes de Iyar del año 5137 de la creación del mundo, de acuerdo con nuestro cálculo que adoptamos aquí, en Castelló dʼEmpuries, que el novio David, hijo de Meshulam de Gallac, dijo a la señora Astruga, hija de Sir hijo de Abraham de Yosef Al Gallet:

«Sé para mí una esposa [de acuerdo a la ley de Moisés] y de Israel, y os sostendré y os honrraré, os proporcionaré alimento y lo que usted necesite para vivir, de acuerdo con la ley de los hombres judíos que sostienen, horran y proporcionan alimiento y lo que se necesita para vivir a sus esposas con abundancia. Te doy la dote (mohar) por tu virginidad, en la cantidad de 200 zuzim que se le deben a usted, y, además, su mantenimiento, su ropa, tanta como sea necesaria, y relaciones sexuales con usted de acuerdo con la costumbre de toda la tierra».

1377 - 1389
Oviedo

Gutierre de Toledo preaches anti-Jewish sentiments

In the 14th century, a century in which several synagogues in the diocese were seized, the Bishop of Oviedo don Gutierre de Toledo was characterised by the strictness of his homilies and sermons against Moslems and Jews in which he even threatened the excommunication of anyone who had any kind of dealings with them, even commercial, and asking for the members of these two communities to be banned from taking any public office. In actual fact, all he achieved was to reject a popular practice of totally peaceful cohabitation which had spread throughout Oviedo society.

1379
Palma

Peter IV orders the height of the Torre del Amor to be lowered

Pedro IV ordered the lowering by twelve palms of the pompous tower built by his rival Moses Faquim to spy at ease on the wife of the former who he was in love with.

1381
Palma

Catalan Atlas

The masterpiece by Cresques was the famous Atlas Catalán, a mapa mundi which Prince Juan gave as a gift to Charles V of France in 1381 and which today is on display at the Paris National Library.

1382
Jaén

St. Dominic´s Convent

St. Dominic´s Convent

Calle de Santo Domingo (St. Dominic´s street) takes up the main route started at Maestra Street and followed via Martínez Molina street. On its right-hand side there lies the old St. Dominic´s Convent, a building steeped in history whose first precursor was an old Moslem palace which the Castilian King Juan I granted to the Dominicans in 1382. It served as the headquarters of Santa Catalina University, a hospice and outbuildings of the court of the Holy Inquisition of Jaén, the third to be formed in Spain after those of Córdoba and Seville. Worthy of special note in the building are the magnificent proportions of the cloister which also has Andrés de Vandelvira home.

1382
Oviedo

The construction of Oviedo cathedral begins

La cathedral

The extraordinary presence of the cathedral of Oviedo defines the profile of Alfonso II the Chaste square, the most central one in the city, located right on the heart of the medieval city. Endowed with flamboyant Gothic style, the San Salvador cathedral started to be erected in the 14th century on the site of the previous church of the same name at the behest of Bishop don Gutierre, a champion of the fight against the Jews, though the set was not completed until the 16th century.

In addition to its architecture, the cathedral of Oviedo stands out for the numerous jewels it holds in its interior such as the Holy Chamber, declared by Unesco in 1998 as Heritage of Humanity, where the relics donated to the cathedral by Alfonso II the Chaste are kept; the Lignum Cricis, or Victory Cross, a symbol of the Principality of Asturias. Wamba, the bell which can be heard every day at the top of the belltower, is said to be the oldest cathedral bell in Spain.

In addition to its status as an episcopal seat, the cathedral of Oviedo also served as the Royal pantheon of the kingdoms of Asturias and León. The Kings and Queens of Asturias buried here include: Fruela I, Bermudo I the Deacon, Alfonso II the Chaste, Ramiro I, Ordoño I and Alfonso III the Chaste; those of the Crown of León include García I, Elvira (the wife of Ordoño II), Fruela II, Urraca of Navarre (the wife of Ramiro II) and Teresa, the wife of Sancho I the Fat.

1387
Barcelona

Jew David de Bellcaire rents out two bakeries to a Christian butcher

David de Bellcaire had both workshops rented to another Christian butcher Ferrer Maiell.

circa 1390
Castelló d'Empúries

The old synagogue is alienated

The original synagoguewas situated on the outskirts of Puig de l´Eramala. This original synagoguewas disposed of, probably in the late 13th century and recovered by the aljama in the mid-15th century, serving as such until the final expulsion of the Jews in 1492.

1390
Tudela

Josef Orabuena becomes chief rabbi of Navarra

Governance of the Jewish quarter often fell into the hands of just a few families who comprised a kind of urban oligarchy. In this regard, the lineages of the Menir, Falaquera and Orabuena are known in Tudela. By contrast to other peninsular kingdoms, until 1390 the figure of the Great Rabbi did not exist in Navarre, known as the maximum representative of the Jews of the kingdom. Said appointment was made by the Orabuena family of Tudela. This family held said office until the mid-15th century. In the last third of said century another from Tudela, the Malach, replaced it.

August 7th, 1391
Barcelona

The Jews take refuge in the Castell Nou

Although during the 14th century it was used as a prison, Castell Nou's history is bound up with the slaughters of 1391 when it was used as a refuge for hundreds of persecuted Jews and when it was attacked on August 7th by those critical to the Jews.

1391 - 1436
Besalú

The decline of the Besalu Call

Although there are no references here to the slaughters of 1391, what is for sure is that as from this date the city's Jewish quarter went into free-fall with a string of conversions or exile, firstly to other Catalan settlements like Granollers or Castelló dʼEmpúries and then to France. The famous papal bull of Benedict XIII of 1415 which laid down the requirement to segregate the Jews in closed districts helped to exacerbate the situation further. In no time the decree of expulsion was issued by the Catholic Monarchs as in 1436 there were officially no Jews in Besalú. Only a few families remained until the end such as Des Catllar, Carcassona or Belshom Ceravita.

circa 1391 - 1492
Hervás

The Jewish district

La calle del moral (Moral street)

In Hervás there is no historic record of any segregation of Jews into districts separate from the Christians. Neither have any references been made expressing neighbouring interreligious conflicts in Hervás prior to 1492. The documents never mention the Jewish quarter in Hervás, but rather they refer to «the Jews of Hervás» who lived together in a climate of relative tolerance without any conflicts to warrant segregation, in all likelihood around Corredera and Plaza streets where the converts resided in the 16th century. However, there was a Jewish street close to Rabilero street where the synagogue was traditionally located.

Although some sources date the arrival of the Jewish contingent to the town in the 13th century, the first official documentation dates from 1464, linking the Jews to the Zúñiga family, in other words, to the Duchy of Béjar to which Hervás belonged from 1369 until the granting of the privilege of township in 1816.

It should be borne in mind that in the 15th century Hervás has slightly more than two hundred residents, including forty five Jewish families who, with the aid of the Duke, had taken refuge here fleeing from persecutions of 1391. The documents mention families like the Cohen, the Çalama, the Haben Haxiz or the Molho and for many years their relevance in the community followed the saying:

En Hervás, judíos los más.

After the edict of 1492, twenty five families left Hervás bound for Portugal and the rest were subjected to forced conversion to Christianity; some of them returned such as Rabbi Samuel two year later to join the brotherhood of St. Gervase which allowed the Jewish collective to stick together for some time. The cases of crypto Judaism detected in the years following the decree of expulsion and the incessant persecution of the Inquisition meant that the converts' phenomenon in Hervás bore a relevance which is still recalled today with the annual celebration of days dedicated to the Converts.

circa 1391 - 1492
Hervás

The former synagogue

Location of the former synagogue

Tradition has it that the synagogue was located at number 19 Rabilero street. East facing, the synagogue was built with rural elements and in line with the popular construction standards using adobe and chestnut-wood.

On the first storey there was a spacious gallery which jutted out into the street. It was supported by four wooden shafts which rested on stone bases, forming a spacious colonnade at the building's entrance. This outbuilding was knocked down in 1949 owing to its poor state of repair.

The main door was situated in the place of the current barred windows with a second door which has not been conserved either. Behind the synagogue there was an extensive garden bordering the banks of the River Ambroz.

The Hervás Synagogue and its Talmudic School was an important educational and cultural centre in the district under the guidance of Rabbi Samuel. It was regarded as one of the most important in the province along with that of Cáceres or Plasencia.

July 12nd, 1391
Palma

Municipal proclamation to prevent violence against Jews

In this year the attacks caused a proclamation to be made public in Palma on July 12th, threatening the death penalty for anyone scandalmongering and the tearing out of the tongue of anyone proffering insults against the Jews.

August 2nd, 1391
Palma

Thousands of peasants gather before the gates of Palma

On August 2nd several thousand peasants from the district were congregated the city gates and the urban artisans, led by the batlle of the city, Lluís de Bellviure, seized the moment to start the attack on the call which resulted in the death of between 180 and 300 Jews.

from March 1391
Sevilla

There are hardly any Jews in Seville

After the slaughter in 1391 of over four thousand Jews at the hands of Sevillians driven on by the Archdeacon of Écija, there were barely any Jews left in Seville.

July 1391
Toledo

The old synagogue is seriously damaged during the attacks on the Jewish quarter

Site of the Old synagogue, now the Victorio Macho Museum

The Old Synagogue was in the Jewish butcher´s area, between the latter and the wall which looms over the Tagus. The synagogue was seriously damaged during the uprisings in summer 1391.

The old synagogue was replaced in the 16th century with a house which was known as «deep house».

1391
Tortosa

Tortosa's Jews are forced to take refuge in Suda castle

Catalogued as one of the most important aljamas of Sefarad, essentially owing to the intense commercial and financial activity of some of its most important members, the Jewish quarter of Tortosa went through a special period of splendour in the 12th and 14th centuries, after which the hostilities which broke out against the Jews throughout the kingdoms of Castile and Aragón ended up leading to the attacks of 1391, an episode which did not have the same destructive force here as in other neighbouring aljamas such as those of Barcelona or Girona, but which forced the royal authority to deploy its forces to protect a collective which constituted one of the main financial guarantees of its military campaigns. The impregnable nature of the Suda allowed the Jews of Tortosa to save their lives, though it did not prevent them, after a long, painful process, from facing the dilemma of conversion or expulsion.

August 18th, 1391
Girona

Girona's Jews take refuge in the Gironella Tower

On August 18th 1391 a large number took refuge in the Gironella tower until on September 21st the first attack occurred. The case of the Jewess Tolrana, married to the convert Francesc Guillem de Vilaritg, became part of popular folklore when she said she would prefer to die as a Jew rather than have to convert to Christianity and return to her husband. Not all her fellow worshippers were of the same opinion: after 17 weeks of resistance, many ended up becoming New Christians.

The Jewish community would never be the same again and would progressively deteriorate until its disappearance in 1492. Having seen it population halved, the call starts being shared by Jews, converts and some groups of Christians. At the time of the expulsion barely two dozen families remain in the city, half of whom decide to leave and the other half to convert.Between 1487 and 1505 the Inquisition carried out 84 trials of converts in Girona who had been accused of continuing to practice Judaism, largely members of some of the most important families of the aljama. Ten of the accused were sentenced to death, eight convicted and subsequently rehabilitated and 66 sentenced in their absence (burnt) as they managed to flee though some were captured later.

1393
Castelló d'Empúries

La Llotja or Casa del Consell (Town Hall)

Casa del Consejo (Town Hall). © Manel Puig

The Casa del Consell or Lonja del Mar conserves its structure from the late 14th century with a series of subsequent reforms. From 1963, the time of its last restoration, until 1987 it became the town hall. It is situated at Homes square, regarded at that time as the main square of the town.

We would highlight the façade with its large gate and two windows with pointed arches and an impressive shield in relief. The interior room, with a rectangular base, has a twelve metre high Gothic cross vault and a Gothic gallery backing onto the eastern wall with columns and chapters. Thanks to the documentation conserved, it has been possible to confirm the participation of many Jews from the community who acted as the suppliers of a much of the material used to construct the building.

1393
Palma

Joan Martí purchases the site of the new synagogue

after the seizure of the synagogue, the premises of said new synagogue were bought from the royal treasury by the notary Joan Martí the right to use water from the royal stream which ran through the interior of its site.

circa 1395
Hervás

Puente de la Fuente Chiquita (Little Fountain Bridge

Fuente Chiquita bridge with Hervás in the background

Abajo Street gives out onto the bridge which crosses the Ambroz. At the buttress of the Fuente Chiquita bridge, formed by a funeral headstone from 1395, passing your hand over the polished cut of the stone means taking part in the intra-history of thousands of market gardeners who sharpened their sickles or knives here over the centuries. It also provides an occasion to recall the verses of the poet and folklorist Emilio González de Hervás which goes:

¡Encanto de viejos siglos
con sabores sefarditas!
¡Cofradía aceiturnera!
¡Sinagoga rabilera!
¡Graciosa Fuente Chiquita!
Y como piedra preciosa,
engarzada airosamente,
ese monolito rosa
llamado Machón del Puente.

Almost brushing the branches of the willow, which weeps over the river, perhaps recalling the legendary misfortune of the Maruxa, the wandering Jew, the route takes us to the other side of this body of water to arrive, on the right, at a space where there is a magnificent panoramic view of the Jewish quarter with its set of houses distributed along the bank. And watching it all from the heights, St. Mary's tower.

From this branch of the Ambroz it is easy to imagine the daily life of the Jews of Hervás near the river. Although some sources date the arrival of the Jewish contingent to the town in the 13th century, the first official documentation dates from 1464, linking the Jews to the Zúñiga family, in other words, to the Duchy of Béjar to which Hervás belonged from 1369 until the granting of the privilege of township in 1816.

It should be borne in mind that in the 15th century Hervás had slightly more than two hundred residents, including forty five Jewish families who, with the aid of the Duke, had taken refuge here fleeing the persecutions of 1391. The documents mention families like the Cohen, the Çalama, the Haben Haxiz and the Molho and their relevance in the community remained for many years following the saying en Hervás, In Hervás, Jews predominate.

After the edict of 1492, twenty five families left Hervás bound for Portugal and the rest were subjected to forced conversion to Christianity; some of them returned such as Rabbi Samuel two year later to join the brotherhood of St. Gervase which allowed the Jewish collective to stick together for some time. The cases of crypto Judaism detected in the years following the decree of expulsion and the incessant persecution of the Inquisition meant that the phenomenon of converts in Hervás bore a relevance which is still recalled today with the annual celebration of days dedicated to the Converts.

January 9th, 1396
Sevilla

Henry III confiscates the assets of the Jews

On January 9th 1396 King Enrique III confiscated the assets of the Jews and the three synagogues, granting them to his Chief Justice, Don Diego López de Zúñiga and his Butler, Don Juan Hurtado de Mendoza. These concessions were not actually implemented because the Secular Chapterhouse seized them and handed them over to the Cathedral´s chapterhouse.

1399 - 1410
Córdoba

Chapel of St. Bartholomew

Entrance to the chapel of St. Bartholomew on Averroes street

At the corner of Averroes street and Cardenal Salazar, the chapel of St. Bartholomew serves as an example of the setting up right in the heart of the Jewish quarter of a new parish of converts after the attack of 1391 when the Jews who decided to remain faithful to the law of Moses were segregated to the stronghold of the Old Citadel.

Possibly raised on a former mosque between 1399 and 1410, the chapel constitutes a splendid example of Gothic-Mudejar style. It comprises a rectangular nave with a cross vault which still retains a plinth of original plasterwork and tiles which have recently been restored; it also has a courtyard parallel to the chapel nave with a façade giving out onto the street. On the façade there is a pointed arch and a three-arched portico, whilst the roof is lined in Arabic ceramic tiles.

It currently forms part of the Faculty of Philosophy and Letters of Córdoba University. Cardenal Salazar street leads to the square of the same name where you can access the University outbuilding in a building which used to serve as the Provincial Hospital of Agudos.

from 1400
Castelló d'Empúries

Converted Jews' cemetery

Converted Jews' cemetery. © Manel Puig

As from the 15th century the converted Jews were buried in a delimited area of the Christian cemetery situated inside Sagrera. The cemetery which had been used for converts adjoined the northern wall of the basilica's apse and took up part of the land where today the Santísimo chapel is located, built in 1724.

The area has been known over the centuries as the converted Jews' cemetery. At present, part of the former cemetery is occupied by the Santísimo chapel and the other has been equipped as a pedestrian footpath and vantage point open to the public.

In their wills, conserved in the Liber Testamentorum, 1417-1429), Gabriel de Rajadell (Samuel Issac) and Castelló Aranyó (Jucef Aninay) ask to be buried in the cemetery for Jewish converts:

Gabriel de Rajadell (Samuel Issac):

Eligo corpori meo sepulturam in cimiterio ecclesie parrochialis beate Marie dicte ville Castilionis, operi veteri (February 14th 1419)

Castelló Aranyó (Jucef Aninay):

Eligo sepulturam corpori meo in cimiterio ecclesie betate Marie jam dicte ville Castilionis (June 29th 1429).

circa 1400
Toledo

House of the Jew

House of the Jew. Courtyard

At number 4 of Travesía de la Juderia is the dwelling known as the house of the Jew. Legend has it that this house belonged to the Jew Ishaq who provided money to queen Isabel the Catholic in exchange for her jewels to fund Columbus´ voyage to America.

This is a dwelling whose origins can be dated back to the 14th to 15thcenturies with Mudejar reminiscences and possible Jewish liturgical used, accompanied by adaptations and transformations in the subsequent centuries. The courtyard conserves a multitude of plasterwork with horseshoe arches and rich Mudejar latticework. In the cellar there is a liturgical Jewish bath or Mikveh which was used for spiritual purification and preparation for any important event in the life of a Jew. During its restoration hydraulic rough plastering on the ochre and a rainwater tank were discovered in adjoining rooms which help to back up the theory about its use.

Another highly relevant element for its archaeological study is a wooden piece used as lintel for access to the cave where the carving work with floral motifs can be observed based on tympanums and scrolls, accompanying an epigraphic repertoire whose transcription reads:

I give you thanks because you answered me.

Text related with verse 21 and subsequent verses of Psalm 118:

Here is the door of Yahveh, the righteous shall enter through here. I give you thanks because you answered me and you have been my salvation.

This text welcomed all the faithful and chaste into the interior of the house.

1410
Segovia

The events of Corpus Christi

In 1410, whilst Juan II was still a minor (between 1406 and 1419), several Segovian Jews were accused of having profaned at their main synagogue a consecrated host. The only account of these events was found half a century after the even in the work written by the Franciscan Friar Alonso de Espina.

The narration, which must be considered with caution, in view of the ill will of the author to the Jewish collective, and included in his Fortalitium fidei contra iudeos, sarracenos aliosque christiane fidei inimicos, recounts that a group of Segovian Jews bought from a sacristan a consecrated host to profane it in the synagogue. After unsuccessfully trying to burn it and fearful of the consequences, these Jews decided to hand over the host to the prior of the Dominican monastery of Santa Cruz de Segovia. The latter then reported them to Bishop Juan Vázquez who, in turn, informed Queen Catherine of Lancaster, the mother and guardian of Juan II about what had happened as she was in the city at that time. The authorities arrested the accused and they were tortured.

Those held included Meir Alguadex, the doctor of the deceased Enrique III who in his testimony states that he killed the monarch too.

After being declared guilty, the defendants were dragged through the city and dismembered. As the Segovian bishop - so continues the narration of Alonso de Espina – wished to investigate the facts further, the Jews bribed their governor to poison him. Once the conspiracy had been uncovered, the governor and some Jews were executed too and some other parties involved fled the city.

1412
Oviedo

The location of the Jewish cemetery is mentioned in a purchase and sale agreement

According to the purchase and sale document of 1412, the cemetery of the Jewish community of Oviedo was situated at a plot near St. Clare´s convent, outside the walls of the city, located more or less where the Campoamor Theatre is currently to be found. The purchase and sale document for the land, owned by Mencía Fernández, the daughter of the doctor Yuçaf, and her husband Pedro Fernández Carrio, states that this plot was called la huerta de los judíos (the Jews´ garden).

Vendemos [...] por nonbre et herencia de don Yuça, físico, mi padre [...] una losa de tierra cierrada de murio [...] en esta dicha cibdat de Ouiedo cerca del campo de los omes bonos, que disen la huerta de los judíos que yas en tales términos dela parte de la cima et de anbas las frentes caminos públicos del rey et de la otra parte, huertas de contra el monasterio de Santa Clara.

1412
Segovia

Assignment of the former old synagogue

Merced square where the former old synagogue was located

The Old Synagogue appears documented for the first time in 1412, a year in which it was granted by the guardians of King Juan II to the convent of St. Mary of Mercy to compensate for the plots which this community had handed over for the segregations of the Jews. The guardians of Juan II specified that the monks had to set up at the building of the old synagoguea hospital to shelter the poor but there is no record that they did so.

At present nothing remains of the Old Synagogue; the plot taken up by the convent of Mercy was used in the 19th century to open a square opposite St. Andrew´s Church.

Alongside the Old Synagogue at the current Merced (Mercy) Square there stood one of the two religious schools of Segovia. In 1412 it starts belonging to convent of St. Mary of Mercy, as well as the synagogue.

circa 1412 - 1493

Abraham Seneor

Abraham Seneor (circa 1412-1493) is one of the most influential characters of the final stage of the Segovian aljama thanks to his political talents and his great capacity for economic management.

In 1477 don Abraham was the peace officer of the aljama and he later took up the post of the chief justice of the Jewish aljamas of Castile. He stood out as a lessee and administrator of royal rents and as from 1488 he held the office of royal treasurer of the Brotherhood. After his conversion, he was appointed member of the royal council, accountant of the Prince of Asturias and councilor of the city of Segovia. Also he has obtained a chivalry execution, extended to his descendants.

Along with the figure of Abraham Seneor we also find that of his son-in-law Mayr Melamed, another of the leaders of the Castilian Jewish community. Both converted to Christianity after the edict of expulsion of 1492.

1413
Jaén

A document illustrates the location of the synagogue of Santa Cruz

The existence of this synagogue has been demonstrated thanks to a document from 1413 issued by the Cardinal of Montearagón referring to a dispute by the nuns of St. Clare´s with the new Santa Cruz church which is referred to as the old synagogue and which is said to have been located on the other side of the convent refectory.

1413
Palma

The Inquisition is established in Palma

The Main Square which used to accommodate the Black House or House of the Inquisition

The Palma main square once accommodated the Black House or house of the Inquisition, reminding us that Majorca had an independent inquisitor as from 1413. The square is the confluence of Jaime II and Colón streets which constitute two important commercial thoroughfares of the old city. In the 13th century Jaime II street was called calle de los Judíos (Jews street).

February 13rd, 1413 - November 13rd, 1414

Disputation of Tortosa

Convened by Benedict XIII, the famous Papa Luna, the Disputation of Tortosa was, in actual fact, a personal initiative of his personal doctor, the convert Jerónimo de Santa Fe (Josué ha-Lorquí before the conversion), to debate the arrival of the Messiah with the Jewish Rabbis and hence the sense of maintaining the Jewish tradition rather than the Christian one. Commenced on February 13th 1413 and extending over around eighty public sessions presided over by the Pope, until November 13th 1414 the Disputation convened in the city twenty six Rabbis of the Crown of Aragon, whereof the majority (fourteen according to some sources and all except for two according to others) ended up forswearing their faith.

The minutes of the disputation have been kept and a short report by Bonastruc Desmaestre. The language used in the Disputation seems to have been Aragonese and the draft used comprised twenty four theses drawn up by Jerónimo de Santa Fe. It was endeavoured to prove that the Jewish documents endorsed the coming of the Messiah and profiled his life and work. The last seven sessions were devoted to criticizing «errors» in the Talmud. From its position of strength the Christian side required the Rabbis to provide a written confession to the effect that they had no arguments to counter the theses posited.

The Disputation of Tortosa, as well as discrediting the Rabbis and numerous christenings of Jews, highlighted the theme of the «blindness» of the Jews and gave rise to the publication of the bull Etsi doctores gentium in 1415, the maximum exponent of medieval Jewish repression which clamped down on their freedoms. It was an event as long as it was much talked about: for almost two years and around eighty sessions the city was subject to whatever was said and ventilated for and against in the cathedral by the rabbis and theologians; the people logically took everything to heart and saw in those polemic meetings the stubbornness of the Jewish people, an evangelical syntagm which was applied to them: they were tenacious, obstinate and wouldn´t give in... though the same could be said about the Papa Luna as he always dug in his heels and never wished to give up his pontifical dignity even if the heavens came crashing down. The famous Disputation ended with the Jewish quarter at a time when the echoes of the persecutions and slaughters of 1391 seemed to be ringing out again. Those who didn´t agree to be christened had to leave; this is why they followed the course of the Ebro and from Port Fangós they sought refuge in Barcelona and from there they sought out other places in the Mediterranean which could be safer.

1414
Segovia

The lifelong lease of the Cayón Corral Midrash is renewed

The building at the corner where Talmudic school was located

The second Talmudic school which is said to have been situated in the Almuzara, bordering the Old Synagogue. The community had erected this educational centre on a plot which belonged to Segovia cathedral and this institution was thus paid an annual amount of fifty silver reales.

In 1412 the Old Synagogue was expropriated from the Jews and given to the convent of St. Mary of Mercy so that the friars could set up a hospital there. The terms of the donation by the King included the fact that the Mercedarians must take on the responsibilities pertaining to the old synagogue.

Hence, in 1414 the convent renewed the lifelong rental of the old Talmudic school, undertaking to pay a censo every year of forty silver reales, the less than the Jewish community had paid.

In this contract the property is described as some houses and a yard with the whole building fecho e edeficado. The registration of the cathedralic stewardship of food for the years 1419-1420 has a book entry including the first conserved payment of those made by the convent:

El corral de Cayón con el midrás tienelo el comendador de la Merced por quarenta rreales de plata, que son doscientos e sesenta maravedís, contando el rreal a sys maravedís e medio. CCLX.

1414
Tarazona

Ezmel Azamel converts after the Disputation of Tortosa

In 1414 there was much talk in the city about the conversion of Ezmel Azamel after the celebration of the famous Disputation of Tortosa who took on the name of Esperandeu de Santa Fe as a New Christian.

September 29th, 1415
Castelló d'Empúries

The renovations to the new synagogue are investigated

In the early 15th century with a view to extending certain outbuildings which were too small, they added a neighbouring house, but this time without authorisation. With a view to closing the synagogue, the vicar general Guillermo Mariner ordered an investigation in situ which took place on September 29th 1415. The resolution had the wisdom of Solomon: On the one hand, the Jews could continue to worship at the synagogue and on the other the decree would be complied with by closing the latest, lavish part of the building.

1415

Papal Bull: Etsi doctores gentium

The Disputation of Tortosa, as well as discrediting the Rabbis and numerous christenings of Jews, highlighted the theme of the «blindness» of the Jews and gave rise to the publication of the bull Etsi doctores gentium in 1415, the maximum exponent of medieval Jewish repression which clamped down on their freedoms.

February 18th, 1417
Castelló d'Empúries

Over one hundred Jews are forced to undergo baptism

Romanesque baptismal font. Basilica of St. Mary´s © Manel Puig

In the southern nave of the basilica and near the main access lies the Romanesque baptismal font. It was modelled in the 11th century from a single block of stone and divided into two fonts: the largest (1.40 m in diameter and 1.12 m high) was used for christening adults; whilst the small one (0.78 m in diameter and 0.65 m high) was used for children. The wooden lids were lined in leather by order of bishop Toco in 1573 and it is decorated with a ring of Lombard arches.

On February 18th 1417 over one hundred Jews from the population were forced to be baptised at the dual font. This was the largest number in the successive acts of forced conversions of members of the local Jewish community and in the county of Empúries. They took place as from 1415 and throughout the 15th century.

circa 1417 - 081492
Tarazona

New Jewish quarter

The Cuesta de los Arcedianos at night

The steps of cuesta de los Arcedianos connect the Old Jewish quarter to the New Jewish quarter, created in the early decades of the 15th century. It is a narrow, steep alley which crosses a considerable height to go down to river level and its route continues to hold a certain air of mystery. Once you have descended, on the left there is the passageway connecting with Marrodán street and on the right the Nuestra Señora or Nueva Juderia square around which a new Jewish district was developed. At the same square a narrow passageway has the rights of way of an old street in the district, passing underneath a contemporary building and slightly further on, between numbers 20 and 22 of Paseo de los Fueros de Aragón, an iron gate cuts off passage to an old medieval alley, now out of use; the remains of what was the last residence of a collective based in Tarazona for centuries.

The first documentary mention of the New Jewish quarter dates back to 1440 and at its origin there are demographic and public hygiene factors, as certain unhygienic activities such as the tanneries, abattoirs etc. could only be carried out at a minimum distance of fifty cubits from the residential district.Whilst the butchers were located in the parish of Santa Cruz, the problem did not exist which was caused in 1417 when the King requires the Jews to have their own macellum. It was located in the outskirts of the channel of Selcos stream and constructed near Nuestra Señora square.

Hence, at a second stage, the urban occupation was extended via Cuesta de los Arcedianos to join around Santa María or Nuestra Señora square, protected in the part nearest the River Queiles by a barbacan. Its effective segregation was achieved by means of a gate situated on the last stretch of Marrodán street by means of a gate and arch dual-locking system known as the Arch of Santa Ana which had previously only been used as a sewer and we would be right in thinking that it coincided with the limestone of the oven. A second gate was opened at the western end of the square in the vicinity of the flour mill of Cubo.

The square became a place for celebrations (coronation, birth, betrothals of the monarchs) and manifestations of pain (the death of Juan II). As the wife of Pedro Lamata declares before the inquisitors against the mother of Ximeno Cabrillas when:

Hun judio hovo a preycar en la plaça de la juderia nueva, y ahí fueron muchos a oyr el sermón, vido como en un mirador con ella estava una judia, y quando el judio dezia ciertas palabras en ebrayco y alçava y baxava la cabeça.

When they removed the Torah she retorted:

Mirat con que magnificencia hazen sus cosas y las mueven, que no lo fazen asi entre nosotros, que quando algun finado llevan, los nuestros tan presto como lo sacan de casa lo tienen en el cimenterio.

1417
Tarazona

The king demands Jews have their own butcher's

Whilst the butchers were located in the parish of Santa Cruz, the problem did not exist which was caused in 1417 when the King requires the Jews to have their own macellum. It was located in the outskirts of the channel of Selcos stream and constructed near Nuestra Señora square.

1419 - 1435
Palma

The new synagogue is reopened

The new synagogue was located behind the current Conciliary Seminar and was closed after the attack of 1391, experiencing a second spell of activity between 1419 and 1435 with the final conversion of the Majorcan Jews. After the attack of 1391, all the common assets of the aljama (synagogue, cemetery, butcher´s, baths, hospital etc.) were subject to the royal treasury. A commissioner was sent specifically to Majorca to take possession of everything and thanks to the notarial act drawn up at the time a description of the synagogue´s situation has been preserved:

En primer lugar, la sinagoga mayor del dicho Call, con multitud de casas que son de su propiedad y contiguas a ella, y que confronta por una parte con la calle donde está la fuente del dicho Call, de otra parte con la calle que va a la Calatrava, por otra parte con la casa de Cijan, y de otra parte con la casa de Natan d´Osca y con cierta calle o pasaje en las casas de Axata.

from 1419
Plasencia

Jews begin to settle around the Plaza Mayor

The segregation of La Mota would remain in place until 1419 when the Jewish families started leaving the confinement of La Mota to settle on the outskirts of the Main square and Zapatería street.

1419 - 1492
Segovia

Ibáñez de Segovia's synagogue

The synagogue of the Ibáñez de Segovia

Almuzara street extends into Refitolería street where the old palace of Gensol is located and this in turn into San Geroteo street, again on the circuit of the former calle Mayor (main street). The college of the Jesuit Mothers occupies the space of the old synagogue of the Ibáñez of Segovia, also known as the New Main synagogue, which in 1419 replaced the one known by that name until then the church of Corpus Christi.

The documentation is confused as regards the fate of this synagogue at the time immediately subsequent to the expulsion of 1492, but we do know that in 1507 it became the property of Bartolomé Ibáñez with the family keeping it until the late 19th century when it came into the hands of the Daughters of Jesus.

It was a temple with just one nave of whose original decoration today only practically all of an oculus has been conserved as well as the coffered ceiling, the walls and the head. The Mikveh or ritual bath which was at this synagogue and disappeared in the 1980´s demonstrates the relevance as regards the Jewish community.

The bulk of the catedral between the Jewish quarter and the Main square was erected as from 1525 on part of the houses of the former Jewish quarter and St. Clare´s convent, with its large dimensions closing the space of a private district which still conserves the atmosphere and air of mystery of that old Jewish aljama.

August 12nd, 1420
Castelló d'Empúries

Guillem Riera is quoted as the new owner of the new synagogue

on August 12th 1420 it is recorded that the Puig del Mercadal synagogue was in the possession of Guillem Riera, a fabrics merchant from Castelló who used it as his private residence.

January 1423
León

Third mention of the Leon synagogue in Misericordia Street

The Chapter Acts of the cathedral of León prove that in January 1423 the Chapterhouse was managing the exchange of its houses with other which the scribe Alonso Fernández owned in Cal de Moros where the Jews had the synagogue.

June 22nd, 1425
Castelló d'Empúries

Jaume Riera transforms the new synagogue into a hostel

on June 22nd 1425 the owner, a certain Jaume Riera, turned it into a boarding house, probably taking advantage of its strange structure.

1426
Girona

A licence is granted to open a butcher's in a corral in the Call

In 1492 a document specifically refers to the Jewish butcher's as a space annexed to the synagogueand it is to be supposed that this space mentioned in 1492 can be identified with that granted in 1426 as the shojet of the aljama by way of a municipal order which gave permission to the butcher of the call to carry out the slaughter and slicing of small animals, except for oxen, deer or cows in a farmyard of the calland not as had been done until then on the courtyard of his own house in the Jewish district.

circa 1430 - 1492
Avila

Former Don Samuel Synagogue

Sinagoga de Don Samuel or del Pocillo (Don Samuel or Pocillo Synagogue)

On Pocillo street, a broken road, packed with flavour which zig zags between low houses, a house emerges with a surprising brick arch throughout its façade and which some academics have related with the synagoguemade by don Simuel. This place of worship is mentioned in documents between 1430 and 1460 and it was one of the centres of the Jewish faith located in the Jewish quarter of Santo Domingo and dating from the 15th century.

The property was turned into a private home but it still stands out for its huge arch which dominates its façade and it does not follow the model of a habitual dwelling.

November 10th, 1434
Girona

The last Girona synagogue

The Star of David courtyard in the Bonastruc ça Porta Centre, where was located the last synagogue. © J. M. Oliveras

The first segregation edict of 1418 made the synagogue unusable as it was situated in Força street and was inaccessible for the Jewish community because it fell outside the limits of the closed call. Hence, on November 10th 1434 the jurors granted Bonastruc de Mestre, Astruc Avinai and Bonastruc Jucef, all Jews, permission to build houses in the courtyards of the call which could have contained the last synagogue in the city: the house and street of Astruc Avinai, to the east, and the house of Jaume Falcó, also a Jew, to the north, seem to indicate this. This third synagogue was only used until 1492.

This synagogue, is the so-called last synagogue of Girona and it had, in turn, a hospital, butcher's and a Mikveh.

On July 9th 1492 the set of buildings was sold where the third synagogue was located. It was bought by Jordi Rafart, a priest who was a cathedral incumbent, for a sum amounting to less than half the sale of Lleó Avinai's house, less than 30 pounds.

At present, the landmark building where the last synagogue in Girona was located, now houses the Bonastruc ça Porta Centre which accommodates the Jewish History Museum and the Nahmanides Studies Institute.

1440
Tarazona

First mention of the new Jewish quarter

The first documentary mention of the New Jewish quarter dates back to 1440 and at its origin there are demographic and public hygiene factors, as certain unhygienic activities such as the tanneries, abattoirs etc. could only be carried out at a minimum distance of fifty cubits from the residential district.

circa May 4th, 1442 - July 24th, 1492
Castelló d'Empúries

The old synagogue begins to be used once again

After the mass conversions of 1417 and the Disputation of Tortosa in which Perfet Bonsenyor took part, secretary of the aljama of Castelló, non-converted Jews, reduced to around ten families withdrew and reorganised again in the old call of Puig de l´Eramala. On May 4th 1442 Cresques Bonafós de Susau, Roven SotIlam, Isaac Teroç and Bonjuhà Bevenist, in their own name and on behalf of the whole aljama, bought, in perpetuity from the widow of the merchant Francisco Alfonso, Leonor, legitimately authorised by her son Francisco, a house formerly known as the synagogue (domus vocata ab antiquo Sinagoga judeorum) in the Jewish quarter of the Jews of Puig de l´Eramala. Bearing in mind the modest price - 9 pounds - the building cannot have been in a good state of repair.

May 25th, 1442
Girona

The jurors request the construction of a chapel on the grounds of the second synagogue

After the construction of the third and last synagogue, the city jurors asked on May 25th 1442 for a chapel to be built on the plot of the former synagogue, assuring that the Jews had not used it for twenty years as it was far from the area where they live. In the end, the chapel was not built and the estate continued to be the property of the Jewish community.

September 1448
Girona

The Call is expanded to the north and to the south

Correu Vell Square

Around this time in the 14th century a third gateway closing off the Jewish district the Portal Mayor (Main Gate) of the Call. This square forms the southern limit of the call. It owes its name to the fact that it was here were the first Post Office in Girona was located.

In September 1448 the city jurors allowed in order to expand, conserve and improve the Jewish aljama of said city- in view of the evident narrowness of the Jewish quarter which they had seen first-hand - an extension to the call, incorporating this area and Ruca street into the northern part. Between the new and the old closure, they proclaimed that all the Jewish families whose domicile was outside the call would have to settle at the new ensuing site.

1448
Toledo

The Archdeacon of Niebla takes possession of the synagogue of Caleros

In 1448 the synagogue is a house owned by the Archdeacon of Niebla who, since 1434, gradually acquired houses in this district for his assets, a quarter of which was bought by Juan de Silva, the Count of Cifuentes in 1460.

circa 1450
Cáceres

Main Square

Main Square, with the Arch of the Star and the tower of Bujaco in the foreground

Plaza Mayor, the anteroom of the amazing Monumental City which Cáceres holds within its walls, symbolises the frontier between the Old Jewish Quarter and the New Jewish Quarter, between the traditional Jewish site within the walls in the steepest part of the Romana and medieval city and the new winds of the 15th century in an expansion of the city which the Jews would end up being excluded from.

A meeting point, a place of transit between the hustle and bustle of the new city and the withdrawal of the previous one, Plaza Mayor opens out onto the walled site through the staircases which rise to the Arco de la Estrella (Star Arch), framed by the 18th century hermitage of la Paz on the left and by the Torre de los Púlpitos (Pulpits Tower) from the 15th century on the right.

circa 1450
Calahorra

Sefer Torah of Calahorra

Sefer Torah of Calahorra. The parchment creases, which are easy to make out, are evidence of their subsequent use as the lining for Christian books

Amongst the scarce material remains of the Jewish past in Calahorra, pride of place must go to the fragments of a synagogueTorah which are kept in the Cathedral Archive and fragments of the book of Exodus, have been conserved, from Ex.IV, 18 to XI, 10.

The fragments of the Torahhave survived until today thanks to their use as the cover for two volumes of the Cathedral Chapterhouse Minutes, to be precise, for the volumes pertaining to the years 1451-1460 and 1470-1476.

These fragments belonged to a long scroll which contained the text of the Torahcomprising sections sewn to each other and going to make up horizontally very long strips which were rolled up at each of the ends on various wooden rods. To sew the sections together, tendons (orgiddim) were usually used, deriving from the rear hoof of a kosher animal or one which is fit for consumption by the Jews.

The written text is arranged into parallel columns and, as can be observed in the Calahorra fragments, great care is taken with the calligraphy and the ink is high quality. The length of the full manuscript would be around forty metres.

The fragments conserved from the Sefer Torah of Calahorra present a quadrangular shaped oblong and they constitute a piece of skin which is 1.49 metres long (one of the fragments is 81 centimetres and the other 68) by 63-64 centimetres wide. The text is distributed into nine columns of writing. The first five pages pertain to the worst conserved fragment (the one which bound the Minutes from 1470-1476) and the other four pertain to the part which is easier to read (and covered the minutes from 1451-1460). Each column of writing is formed by forty three lines as is the norm in the seforim and they are all equally spaced one centimetre between each other. The parchment which serves as the base is top quality, consisting of tanned skin, probably goat, written on 3 (in other words, by dint of its smooth cover), with very elegant square Hebrew writing which could be defined as a Sephardic Rabbinic scripture. The letters are slightly spaced between each other and the spaces are slightly bigger between words and between phrases. The ink used is very dark, carbon black.

The base parchment shows signs of having been reused and the remains of previous writing can still be observed, erased to reuse the material, which lends the manuscript even greater value.

circa 1450
Hervás

There are 45 Jewish families in Hervas

It should be borne in mind that in the 15th century Hervás has slightly more than two hundred residents, including forty five Jewish families who, with the aid of the Duke, had taken refuge here fleeing from persecutions of 1391. The documents mention families like the Cohen, the Çalama, the Haben Haxiz or the Molho and for many years their relevance in the community followed the saying:

En Hervás, judíos los más.

circa 1450
Toledo

Fragment of Sefer Torah

Fragment of the Sefer Torah found at 3, Caños de Oro street

Some works at a house in Toledo brought to light this fragment of the Sefer Torah with the text of Exodus 14, 29 to 15, 14, concealed by a walling-up in the late 15th century or in the 16th century. This concealment can be put down to fear of the Inquisition, though it has not been ruled out that it could reflect the Jewish practice of burying the holy text once the document can no longer be used.

The parchment was discovered in 2006 by the archaeologist A. Ruiz Taboada during the course of some excavations carried out on some works at number 3 of Travesía de los Caños de Oro. It was hidden inside a niche behind one of the notched panels of a bricked up horseshoe arch of what must have been a house in the Jewish quarter. It seems that the last remodelling of this arch was carried out in the late Middle Ages which would leave us to believe that it may have been at this time when it was deposited there. Archaeological evidence would thus seem to indicate that the concealment occurred between the 15th and 16th centuries.

The concealment of this type of documents, a relatively frequent occurrence, usually involves converts and it is attributed to their alleged desire to conceal the document owing to fear of the Inquisition. However, what is for sure is that it is unknown who the owners were and exactly why this fragment was buried in the wall. It is possible that in view of the Jewish tradition to put documents in genizot (though the place where it was found was not exactly a genizah), the aforementioned fragment was walled in so it wouldn´t be destroyed, thereby complying with the «burial» of the biblical text. The fragment can currently be found in the collection of the Santa CruzMuseum in Toledo.

circa 1451
León

Jews at the cathedral ambulatory

Fresco portraying Jews in the cathedral ambulatory. © León City Council

The head of the cathedral of León is endowed with a polygonal ambulatory onto which five chapels open out where we can find the splendid mural paintings of master Nicolás Francés which portray a group of Jews, wearing 15th century attire. These paintings are undoubtedly one of the cathedral´s curiosities, but they also constitute a perfect illustration of the last stretch of the Jewish presence in León. Having seen their rights seriously limited as from the 14th century, the sacking of the Jewish quarter by the Quiñones and the Lorenzana in 1449 meant the beginning of the end for a history which, nevertheless, would earn a sequel, with the numerous proceedings involving New Christians from León accused of Judaizing in secret after 1492.

1451
Plasencia

The new fence cuts off certain streets of the Jewish la Mota settlement

The construction of the fence left without rights of way some of the streets within the segregation of La Mota and which ended up being absorbed by the construction of the Dominican convent. In 1451 in the immediate vicinity of La Mota, Esparrillas street, an alley which rises from Berrozana Gate and goes to the steps of the fence above said gate is cut off by the construction of the new fence.

1452
Segovia

Jewish houses located in the Espolon are turned into a slaughterhouse

During the time of Enrique IV, as is borne out by a document dated 1452, the houses of the Jewish quarter which had been set up here became an abattoir.

Con dos corrales que son al espolón en los que los carniceros de dicha mi çibdat de los muros adentro encerraren e mataren e desollaren los ganados que menester suelen para las canicerías.

1455
Plasencia

A document mentions the synagogue of La Mota

In 1455 the synagogue of La Mota is near the houses of the buult by Count Pedro de Zúñiga in the vicinity of the old house of Tel Díaz. A document from 1477 states that the demolished house of Rabbi Abraham de Aloya is situated near the de la casa que se agora faze e fazía mi palaçio e casas of the Count of Plasencia.

1456 - 1492
Segovia

Campo synagogue

The start of the wall-walks at Martínez Campos street where the Campo synagogue was located

Campo synagogue was located very near the Main new synagogue at the start of Martínez Campos street. No remains of the building have been kept, but in all likelihood its entrance was via the courtyard called corralillo de los huesos (boneyard) alongside which was the butcher´s. It was built in around 1456 in the first few years of the reign of Enrique IV and paid for by Elvira, the wife of the convert Diego Arias. After the expulsion, it came into the possession of the major of the citadel Diego del Castillo because in 1506 it was owned by his heirs.

1462
Avila

Mosén Rubí Chapel: Main Synagogue or Moçon Synagogue?

The Capilla de Mosén Rubí (Mosén Rubí Chapel) from Bracamonte street

The historian on Sephardic themes D. A. Halperin put forward the hypothesis that the current Mosén Rubí chapel was «originally built in 1462 as a major Synagogue» and that later, when it had already been converted into a church, it was annexed to the hospital constructed following the will of María Herrera on October 2nd 1512. María was the daughter of Diego Martínez de Herrera, a converted Jew.

The construction date of a synagogue in 1462 is highly plausible in view of the fact that the ban on building synagogues was implemented with the law enacted on January 16th 1465 during Henry IV's reign, one year after the temple's construction had been completed. This being the case, it may well be the last built in Spain prior to the Expulsion.

To back up his theory, D. A. Halperin states that the executor of María's will, her nephew Diego de Bracamonte, built a wooden hospital and the chaplains' chambers adjoining an already existing temple. The chapel designed would accommodate around 25 people and the one we are examining has a much greater capacity. Furthermore, he transcribes an enigmatic inscription inside the temple citing the construction date according to the Jewish calendar and notes the existence of a Star of David on the NW face of the building. Finally, the fact there is no large synagogue like those to be found in Toledo or Segovia makes no sense in one of the cities with the largest Jewish populations in the peninsula.

1468

Cresques Abnarrabí remove the cataracts of king Juan II

Cresques Abnarrabí, an eye doctor, addressed a letter to Juan II of Aragón reminding him of the successful operation to remove a cataract from his right eye. He writes to tell him he is unable to set a date for the operation on the left eye because twelve years would need to go by for the combination of the stars to be as favourable as in the previous case. Nevertheless, he informs him that:

Jo he mirat en aquest minvant axi com me mana vostra senyoria e lo millor es dimecres XIII de octubre, tres hores a miga apres mitg jorn, e aquesta es la millor de aquesta minva.

March 1473
Córdoba

Cordoba's Jewish quarter is sacked

During Easter Week of 1473 an incident occurred which ended up bringing about an attack on the Jewish quarter of Córdoba.

It is recounted that when the procession of the Brotherhood of Charity reached Herrería street –which now forms part of Cardenal González street – a woman threw water from the house of a convert which fell onto the image of the Virgin and the rumour spread that they were faecal waters hurled out of disrespect for the Catholic faith.

The Brothers of Charity, believing that the Sephardis had instigated the woman to commit this sacrilege, attacked the Jewish quarter, commanded by Alonso Rodríguez, the blacksmith of the San Lorenzo district. During the attack they murdered anyone they ran into and set fire to their homes. The knight Alonso de Aguilar, the brother of the Great Captain, arrived at Rastro leading some of his men and ordered Alonso Rodríguez to stop the slaughter. Far from obeying, the blacksmith insulted Alonso de Aguilar who attacked and killed him.

The death of Alonso Rodríguez exacerbated the situation and the riot lasted for four days until Alonso de Aguilar, who had taken refuge in the Citadel, came out onto the street and offered the Jews forgiveness for the crimes. The Brotherhood of Charity, realising that they had encouraged the conflict promoted by the blacksmith Alonso Rodríguez, agreed to perpetuate the memory of Alonso de Aguilar by placing a Cross at the Rastro.

circa 1475
Toledo

The Caleros synagogue has disappeared

In front of the gate of the main house of the count of Cifuentes a square was opened in the final quarter of the 15th century on the plot of the synagogue since the latter had disappeared owing to ruin or intentional destruction.

circa 1475
Tudela

Decanal Palace

The Decanal palace

The Decanal Palace is a building originating in the final quarter of the 15th century which serves as a house of the deans of the collegiate church of Santa María, enlarged and remodelled later by the dean Pedro de Villalón. It was also used as a residence by monarchs and popes in their stays in Tudela; it houses works of religious art local and archaeology: the tomb of Prince Don Fernando, the son of Sancho VII the Strong and it has access to the view of rich chapters of the cloister, these being some of the most important pieces in the collection.

1476
Ribadavia

Kennicott Bible

Illustration in the Kennicott Bible

In one of its rooms the Jewish Information Centre of Galicia has set up a digital system for consulting, page by page, the famous Kennicoty Bible, the most important Religious Jewish manuscript throughout the Middle Ages in Galicia and whose original is kept in Oxford.

Dated in La Coruña in 1476, it comprises 922 pages written in the beautiful Hebrew of Moses ibn Zabarah, 238 of them exquisitely illustrated by Josef ibn Hayyim and in 1771 it was acquired in England by Benjamin Kennicott, who lent it his name.

1477
Cáceres

The Jews of Caceres request tax equality

At Pereros square, a plaque recalls that in 1477 the Jews sought out Queen Isabel to ask for greater fairness in the distribution of municipal taxes, and their request was made at a time when there were 130 Jewish families in a total population of 8,000 inhabitants.

1477
Plasencia

Confiscation of the synagogue of La Mota

The church of St. Vincent Ferrer, which the residents of Plasencia call Santo Domingo (St. Dominics) as it belonged to the Dominicans, occupied the place where the old synagogue of La Mota used to be located, confiscated in 1477 by the Counts of Plasencia to expand the outbuildings of the palace and the future convent.

1477
Plasencia

The house of rabbi Abraham de Aloya is mentioned

Un documento de 1477 refiere que la casa derruida de rabí Abraham de Aloya se halla cerca de la casa que se agora faze e fazía mi palaçio e casas del conde de Plasencia.

1477
Toledo

San Juan de los Reyes

San Juan de los Reyes from San Martín Bridge

The monastery of San Juan de los Reyes began to be built in 1477 by order of Queen Isabel the Catholic to commemorate her victory at the battle of Toro in 1476. Its monumental presence right in the heart of the Jewish quarter in the traditional environment en where the Jewish market of the Assuica district was situated is highly symbolic. The Catholic Monarchs were initially the only source of refuge for the Jewish communities before the persecutions which occurred in the late 15th century yet it was they who signed the Decree of expulsion of 1492, thereby putting a permanent end to a long period of cohabitation between Jews, Moslems and Christians.

The convent´s austerity contrasts with the grandiosity of the church, adorned by spacious large windows, arches and Gothic pinnacles, on whose walls the chains of the Christian convicts which had hung there since 1494 when the Catholic Monarchs recovered them after the conquest of Granada.

The church was built to house the dynastic pantheon of Queen Isabel the Catholic dedicated to St.John the Evangelist of she was a devotee. Finally, the monarchs changed their mind after the conquest of Granada and they are buried in the Royal Chapel of the cathedral of this city.

Another key space is the square, two-storeyed cloister, one of the masterpieces of late Gothic within Hispano-Flemish aesthetics which combines Gothic and Mudejar elements. The upper cloister has a wooden coffered ceiling with the typical Mudejar latticework.

The convent was practically destroyed in the war of Independence and was only partly rebuilt, with the second cloister disappearing according to historicist criteria of the 19th century, leaving no distinction between the old and the restored one, the best example of which is the gargoyles of the cloister.

1478
Avila

Incarnation Monastery

Incarnation Monastery

The Incarnation Monastery was founded as a Place of Worship in 1478 at some dwellings near the Gate of St. Vincent owned by its founder Elvira González de Medina. In 1510, with Beatriz de Guiera as the prior, the community is transferred to the current site, previously taken up by a Jewish cemetery and nuns. In the 18th century the interior of the church was transformed, renovating the altars and altarpieces within Baroque aesthetics.

This Monastery is one of the essential places in the life of Teresa of Ávila where she stayed almost uninterruptedly from 1535 to 1574. When Teresa de Cepeda, without her parents' permission, joined the Order of Carmen, the monastery was one of those with the most members in the city. At Incarnation she recovered the advice of Francisco de Borja, John of the Cross and Pedro de Alcántara and then prepared the Carmel Reform.

The Convent houses a Teresian museum. One of the most outstanding works is a drawing undertaken by John of the Cross which portrays Christ on the Cross.

The Incarnation Monastery was declared a National Monument on October 23rd 1983.

Its inclusion on this list of places related with the Jews of Àvila is related with the existence of some documentary references which attest to the fact that this was the location of one of the burial sites of this community.

1478 - 1492
Cáceres

New Jewish Quarters

Arch at entrance to Plaza Mayor (Main Square) in Paneras street

The New Jewish Quarters emerged after the decree of 1478 in which the Jews of Cáceres were ordered to gather in a single district outside the walled city. The area selected for this New Jewish Quarters was to be the square delimited by the current General Ezponda street, Concepción square, Paneras street and Plaza Mayor with Cruz street serving as the main thoroughfare thereof. Something still remains in Cruz street, long called Jewish Quarters street, of the atmosphere of that new Jewish district which existed in this form for only fourteen years, though some its settlers remained connected with the area for longer now as New Christians.

1478 - 1492
Cáceres

Former New Jewish Quarters Synagogue (Palace de la Isla)

Palace de la Isla Façade

The Palacio de la Isla (Palace of the Island) was built in the 16th century and it currently takes up the space where the New Jewish Quarters' synagogue was located which some have said was located in one of the palace state rooms. The Stars of David in the courtyard commemorate the Jewish presence in these surroundings and the basin with Hebrew inscriptions are some of the elements which serve as a continuous reminder of this final stage of the Hebrew Cáceres collective on the eve of their expulsion.

The palace is a true gem of the Renaissance and its shields and inscriptions evoke the founding family the Blázquez-Mogollón who inscribed on the stone the motto moderata durant nobilitat animus non acta parentumor the classic uanitas uanitatum et omnia uanitasin defence of their lineage against a local branch of the family which refused to acknowledge this. However, the name of the palace can be put down to the its 18th century owners the Marquis of the Island. After serving until 1983 as the head offices of the Provincial Archive and State Library, after recent remodelling it is now used as the Municipal Historic Archive and a multipurpose cultural centre.

1478 - 79th, 16-0
Córdoba

The Jews are transferred to Alcázar Viejo (Old Citadel)

Enmedio street. The former Old Citadel

The Old Citadel district was where the Jews settled after the Christian conquest of the city in 1236. As early as the 15th century the Chief Magistrate Francisco Valdés again moved the Jews to the Old Citadel district in 1478. However, the Jewish community complained to the Catholic King and managed to return to their former site within a year. The stipulation by Fernando the Catholic on May 16th 1479 ran as follows:

Fué acordado que los dichos judios se quedasen en la judería donde estaban é que se pusiesen dos puertas en los dichos arcos porque estuviesen mas apartados e cerrados; e habiendo el dicho Corregidor avenido las dichas puertas en siete mil maravedis, y estando lo sobredicho en este estado, que vos el dicho Francisco de Valdés, mi Corregidor, movido por inducimiento de algunas personas habeis mandado so ciertas penas que los dichos judíos dejen sus casas, e judería, e sinoga, é que se pasen á vevir al Alcazar viejo donde vos el dicho Corregidor estais; en lo cual diz que ellos son muy agraviados, porque ellos estando, como están, apartados, no se les debe mandar dejar sus casas é judería é sinoga, é ir a comprar otras casas é facer otra sinoga de nuevo en otra parte, siendo, como es, el lugar donde estan conviniente para ello, porque ellos, perderán toda su facienda, é no tenian con que se sostener, ni tienen con que facer nin comprar casas é sinoga de nuevo; por su parte me fue suplicado y pedido por merced que sobre ello les proveyese como la mi merced fuese. [...] Por que vos mando que, luego que con ella furedes requeridos, fagais poner en los dichos arcos viejos, que estan á la entrada de la dicha judería sus puertas con que se cierren y se abran; y si viéredes que otras puertas se deben poner, las fagais poner; é no les constringades ni apremiedes á que se hayan de ir a vivir á otras partes algunas, ni que se hayan de apartar al dicho Alcázar viejo. [...] Nin les fagais nin consintais que les fagan mal, ni danno, nin otro desaguisado alguno en sus personas, ni en sus bienes, como no deben; ca yo por esta mi carta tomo á los judíos so mi guarda é amparo é defendimiento real.

1478

Court of the Holy Office of the Inquisition

Created by the Catholic Monarchs in 1478 and directly answerable to the Crown, the Court of the Holy Office of the Inquisition saw to the upholding of Catholic orthodoxy in its kingdoms and operated in Spain until its final abolition in 1834 during the reign of Isabel II.

The Inquisition, as an ecclesiastical court, only had jurisdiction over baptized Christians. For the majority of its history though, as where was no freedom of worship in Spain and its dependent territories, its jurisdiction extended to virtually all the subjects of the King of Spain.

The Inquisition was created by means of the papal bullAd abolendam, issued in 1184 by Pope Lucius III after the synod of Verona as a tool for combatting the Albigensian heresy in the south of France. As well as in France and Spain, there were pontifical Inquisition courts in several European Christian kingdoms during the Middle Ages.In the Crown of Aragon a pontifical Inquisition Court operated according to a ruling Excommunicamus by Pope Gregory IX in 1232 during the time of Albigensian heresy; its main representative was Raimundo de Peñafort. Over time its importance gradually became diluted and in the mid-15th century it was an almost forgotten institution, even though it was legally in force.

No consensus has been reached about the reasons why the Catholic Monarchs decided to implement the inquisitorial machinery in Spain. Researchers have come up with various hypotheses:

  • To establish religious unity. In view of the fact that aim of the Catholic Monarchs was to create efficient State machinery, one of its priorities was to achieve religious unity. Furthermore, the Inquisition allowed the monarchy to play an active part in religious matters without the intermediation of the Pope.
  • To weaken the local political opposition to the Catholic Monarchs. Undoubtedly, many of those in the Crown of Aragon who were against the setting up of the Inquisition did so invoking their own jurisdiction.
  • To put paid to the powerful Judeoconvert minority. In the kingdom of Aragón members of influential families were brought to trial including Santa Fe, Santángel, Caballería and Sánchez. However, this contradicts the fact that Fernando himself still relied on many converts in his administration.

1480 - 1492
Avila

Telares District

Houses today in the Telares District. This is where the synagogue was located where the last tears were shed of those embarking into banishment to the vicinity of the Gate of Bad Luck

Since the late 11th century the Jews inhabited different areas of the city, both within the city walls and in the immediately outlying suburbs. However, in the last quarter of the 15th century they were forced to be segregated in a small sector around the Gate of Bad Luck and Telares street. The Jewish community thus lost some of their basic rights which they had been previously been ensured by the monarchy and the nobles. For example, in 1442 prior to the formalisation of the ghetto, Álvaro de Luna had convinced the king Juan II to allow a people as loyal to the Crown as the Jews to be exempt from the stipulations of the papal bull of Eugene IV and in 1454 Enrique IV had even improved upon the economic and social conditions of the Jews, authorising unrestricted trade between Jews and Christians.

Nowadays, the Telares street area is an urban space with low dwellings (called Molineras) where there is a garden with aromatic plants whose name, Moses de León Garden, in homage to this distinguished Jew who lived in the city.

1480
Avila

Avila's Jews are restricted to the district of Los Telares

Since the late 11th century the Jews inhabited different areas of the city, both within the city walls and in the immediately outlying suburbs. However, in the last quarter of the 15th century they were forced to be segregated in a small sector around the Gate of Bad Luck and Telares street. The Jewish community thus lost some of their basic rights which they had been previously been ensured by the monarchy and the nobles. For example, in 1442 prior to the formalisation of the ghetto, Álvaro de Luna had convinced the king Juan II to allow a people as loyal to the Crown as the Jews to be exempt from the stipulations of the papal bull of Eugene IV and in 1454 Enrique IV had even improved upon the economic and social conditions of the Jews, authorising unrestricted trade between Jews and Christians.

1480 - 1492
Plasencia

New Jewish quarter

Esparrillas Street and Cañón de las Bóvedas del Marqués street

Cañón de las Bóvedas del Marqués street which crosses under Mirabel palace, and Esparrillas street which follows the wall-walks of the wall for a stretch, lead to the new Jewish quarter, established after the end of segregation in 1419, though rather than the Jewish quarter, more is said about Jewish settlements in sectors where the Jews once again cohabit with the Christians. Arenillas and Zapatería streets, alongside the outskirts of the Main square and Ansano square, formed the nuclei of this new Jewish district.

The narrowness of Esparrillas street, amongst the houses backing onto the Wall and the thick wall of the palace gardens, prolongs as far as the Berrozana gate which provided access to the Jewish quarter via the northwest and which conserves a noble coat-of-arms of the Catholic Monarchs. Arenillasstreet is one of the most charming in the whole of the Jewish quarter with its arches which support passageways which cross to the other side from the Palacio del Marqués gardens.

1480 - 1492
Plasencia

New Synagogue

House of the Carvajal-Girón where the new synagogue is located

As occurred with the Jewish quarter of La Mota, the new Jewish quarter also ended up becoming a ghetto after the segregation decreed by the Law of the Courts of 1480 which would be prolonged until the expulsion of 1492. Ansano square, alongside Santa Isabel street, as far as the present St. Clare´s convent and Trujillo street were the limits of the new enclosed space for the Jews. The new synagoguewas built between Ansano square and houses 12-14 of Trujillo street which had an entry via both streets (men accessed via the square and women via Trujillo street) and which was in operation until 1492, having been granted to the Chapterhouse in the following year by the Catholic Queen to build in it´s the church of Santa Isabel.

As the house was set fire to in 1520 during the course of the Revolt of the Comuneros, the building became part of the structure of the house of the Carvajal-Girón, a beautiful palace whose dressed stone ashlar follow the precepts of the Italian Renaissance.

October 29th, 1481 - July 31st, 1492
Segovia

The Jewish quarter of Segovia

The Jewish Quarter

The Jewish quarter of Segovia extends via the south side of the city between the old Main synagogue, now the church of Corpus Christi, and the streets of Juderia Vieja, Santa Ana, Rastrillo, the square and streets of Socorro, Nueva Juderia and Almuzara. There were also Jewish houses in the blocks outside St. Andrew´s gate and immediately adjoining it. Opposite the gate on the other side of the Clamores stream there stood the cemetery.

The Jewish quarter was closed in 1481 by decree of the Catholic Monarchs, putting up seven gates with brick arches.

The Jews were forced to reside and locate all the buildings and outbuildings specific to the aljama within the delimited space, but they were not forbidden to move around the rest of the city nor to continue to exercise their professional activities as they had done up to that juncture: Juçef Biton, a Jewish blacksmith who had spent many years working for the canons of the cathedral of Segovia, continued, after 1481, to practice his profession in total normality.

The houses of the Jewish quarter were made of stone, brick and wood. They were small houses with two or three floors which took up a plot of around thirty or forty square metres and had courtyards and yards. Currently the façades can perfectly be seen with wood framing and brick courses and verdugadas. As seen in many small windows which correspond with the stairs.

In the 13th century, Jews, Christians and Moslems too part together in community tasks like the sale of land or trials. Neither do we have any testimony to the effect that the Jews of Segovia suffered any attacks or persecutions as occurred in other Spanish Jewish quarters. However, access to the kingdom by John II, the grandson of Henry III, marked for the Castilian Jewish community the start of a time of growing tension which culminated a century later in the expulsion decreed by the Catholic Monarchs in 1492.

October 29th, 1481
Segovia

Jewish quarter Gate

Juan Bravo street. At the bottom was the site of the Juderia Gate

At the confluence of the square with Juderia Vieja street, coinciding with the eastern limit of the district, was the first of the seven gates enclosed the Jewish quarter after the decree of 1480, applied in the following year. The order by the Catholic Monarchs was certainly more successful than the previous Pragmatic by Catherine of Lancaster in 1412 whereunder Jews and Moslems were obliged to be concentrated in closed districts: between 1481 and 1492 when the expulsion of the former was decreed, the population of the district quadrupled, illustrating how dispersed they were throughout the city up to that date.

1481
Tudela

Tudela does not cooperate with the investigation into the death of the inquisitor of Aragon

in 1481 the city of Tudela refused to provide information about the murder in Saragossa of the inquisitor Pedro de Arbúes.

1482
Avila

Expropriation of the Lomo synagogue

A Royal Decree issued in Madrid on December 6th 1495 by the Catholic Monarchs states that in 1482 doctor Pedro Sánchez Frías, the Chief Magistrate of the city, took possession after the segregation of the Jewish community to the Telares District in compliance with a decree by the Courts of Toledo in 1480, of certain synagogues which the Jews had in Ávila. And as the Lomo synagogue situated alongside the monastery of Saint Mary of the Incarnation was in ruins was used as a farmyard, they donated the temple to this convent at the behest of its Prioress, Catalina del Águila.

1482 - 1492
Plasencia

Jews inhabit Trujillo street

At a block of houses on Trujillo street, from the rear of the Carvajal palace to Imprenta Heras the following people lived from 1482 to 1492 in this order: Rabbi Moses Caçes, Yuçé de Medellín, Yuçé Haruso the kid, Abrahám Cohén, Yudá Caçes, Isay de Oropesa, Isay Pachen, Abrahám Lozano, Jacob Lozano, Leví Alegre, Yudá Alegre and Pedro Gutiérrez who lived in house of the Imprenta Heras.

1484
Calahorra

Cathedral

Main entrance of Calahorra cathedral

Contrary to what is a rooted tradition in many Spanish cities, in Calahorra the madinat al-Yahud, or city of the Jews, is situated in the acropolis of the city alongside the castle and the Salvador church, whilst the cathedral takes up the lowest territory thereof on the banks of the river, subverting the traditional geographic distribution of power.

The sole reason is the unbreakable link maintained by the Calahorra cathedral with the place where the martyrdom of the saints Emeterius and Celedonius occurred in the 4th century, an episode which had a major religious impact even defining the patron saint of a city as distant as Santander was where, according to Christian legend, the heads of the martyrs arrived which the Roman soldiers had thrown into the river, furious because the miraculously kept talking to each other even though they had been separated from their bodies... The magnificent cathedral of Santa María was founded on the banks of the River Cidacos between an Episcopal Palace and Paseo de las Bolas, whilst Santiago church, in the upper part of the city, played the traditional role of the great Christian churches.

The current cathedral started to be raised in the 15th century and at this time a long process started which would not end until 1904 when the retable of the main altar was placed, replacing the previous one which had disappeared because of a fire. Behind its façade with Neoclassical Baroque elements, the main gate opens out onto some steps which go down to the lower level where the former churches must have been on which the cathedral was erected. In the latter, in addition to the vast space dedicated to the martyrs, the retable of the Monarchs stands out in the retrochoir; the magnificent Gothic baptismal font, placed in the exact spot where, according to tradition, the martyrdom of Emeterius and Celedonius took place; the Virgen del Pilar chapel with its two retables and with the tomb of the famous bishop don Pedro de Lepe, the one who gave rise to the expression sabes más que Lepe (you know more than Lepe); the plateresque St. Peter's retable made of alabaster; the small Sacristy Mirrors Room or the numerous treasures displayed in the Diocesan Museum.

1485
Jaén

The Jews settle in the vicinity of Baeza Gate

Huérfanos square. In the foreground there are traces of the Baeza Gate

The persecutions the Jews were subject to as from the 14th century led to bring their houses closer to the wall, alongside the Baeza Gate as can be gleaned from the confiscations of converts´ houses by the Inquisition in 1485.

The gate known as the Baeza Gate provided direct access to the Jewish quarter district and during the Middle Ages was its main entrance. This can be surmised from the archaeological intervention which brought it to light as its orientation is direct to Los Huérfanos street and it must undoubtedly have been the main gate to the Jewish quarter.

In the internal area of the walls it was managed to locate the old street which the inhabitants of the Jewish quarter passed by on or which is known as the «camino de ronda», which was around 4 metres wide and was paved. The evacuation of water was carried out via an opening in the walls alongside the gate, being directed outside the wall to the place known by written sources as the ravine of the Jews or muladar of the Jews, a ravine where the bridge of the Jews was located, an expression which is quoted in various documents and which menti0n a cemetery.

At present, a wooden bridge invites you to cross the old Baeza Gate whose archaeological remains are located underneath, just as the Jews from Jaén did to enter or leave the city.

October 13rd, 1486
Tudela

Ketubah of Moshé del Galbay and the widow Solbella

The second marriage contract, also drafted in Hebrew, stipulates the marriage of Moses del Gabay and the widow Solbella, daughter of Samuel Sarsalom, signed in Tudela on Friday 14th of Marheshwan 5247 (October 13th 1486). The bride provided a dowry in garments, jewels and trousseaus valued at 100 florins. In turn, the groom donated to her as a tosefet 10 florins and as a mohar a house in Cascante free of encumbrances and a vineyard, also in Cascante, with a tax to the church of Santa María of the same place of 16 sueldos per annum. In addition to the groom, the ketubah is signed by two witnesses: the notary of the aljama, Jacob de la Rebiza and Jacob Gormezano.

May 4th, 1486
Tudela

The Catholic Kings ask the citizens of Tudela to hand over heretics fleeing from the Inquistion

From Córdoba, on May 4th 1486, the Catholic Monarchs a letter was written to Tudela ordering the handing over of any heretics arriving from Aragón to the inquisitors. The people of Tudela replied that any officer of the Inquisition who had the nerve to enter the city would be hurled into the river.

girona 1487 - 1505
Trials of the Inquisition in Girona

Between 1487 and 1505 the Inquisition carried out 84 trials of converts in Girona who had been accused of continuing to practice Judaism, largely members of some of the most important families of the aljama. Ten of the accused were sentenced to death, eight convicted and subsequently rehabilitated and 66 sentenced in their absence (burnt) as they managed to flee though some were captured later.

1488
Plasencia

Another document mentions the Jewry of La Mota

The only synagogue operating in the aljama of Plasencia since the foundation of the city by Alfonso VIII until its devastation in 1477 is situated in the area of La Mota. The rabbinic court of the aljama had its headquarters at the La Mota synagogue, classified by the Jewish community in 1488 as the best and oldest in all of Extremadura.

1488
Tudela

Tudela protests to the Catholic Kings of the activities of the Inquisition in the city

taking advantage of the Monarchs´ stay in Daroca, two commissioners from Tudela protested about the way the catholics submitted to the inquisitors so they would cancel the censorships against Tudela. They asked for the inquisitors not to interfere with the assets of the convicts and for their tasks to be limited to the absolution and penitence imposed.

circa 1490
Oviedo

Rúa Palace

Rúa Palace

At the confluencia of Rúa street with Alfonso II el Casto square lies the house or palace of Rúa, from the 15th century, also known as the palace of Marqués de Santa Cruz del Marcenado and regarded as the oldest civil building in the city.

Its solidity contrasts with Llanes House which stands by its side and which is dated 1740 as the residence of the Knight of the Order of St. James Menendo de Llanes-Campomanes. Opposite both constructions the statute La Regenta (wife of the Regent) displays its melancholy, a work by Mauro Álvarez from 1997, one of the numerous works of art occupying the city where the presence of the sculpture in the street has become one of its most genuine distinguishing features.

1490
Plasencia

Renewed attempts are made to remove the Jews from the centre of Plasencia

The Jews segrated on Trujillo street comprising around one hundred families, around ten per cent of the population of Plasencia, still had to suffer attempts by some of their neighbours in 1490 to find them a new site, further away from the city centre, something which they did not manage owing to the King´s disagreement and an attack on the synagogue was thus feared.

1490
Sevilla

The synagogue is renovated and opened for worship as the church of San Bartolomé

In around 1470 the former Parish church of San Bartolomé El Viejo, was moved to what was the synagogue of the Jewish quarter, near the wall of Seville and situated between the so-called Carne gate and the Carmona gate. In its conversion to a Christian temple, a series of adaptation and enlargement works were carried out as can be verified in the documents of the time. The remodelled temple was called San Bartolomé El Nuevo (The New) and opened for Christian worship in 1490.

December 17th, 1490 - November 16th, 1491
Avila

The case of the Holy Child of La Guardia

The case of the Holy Child of La Guardia is a prime example of the anti-Semitism prevailing in the late 15th century to achieve religious unification and which, according to some historians, serves as the spark leading to the signing of the decree of expulsion promulgated by the Catholic Monarchs.

Benito García, a convert, who was suspected of stealing consecrated hosts, is arrested. He confesses that he is still practising the Jewish religion along with another convert, Juan de Ocaña, and a Jew Franco de Tembleque. Benito García is set to the Inquisition prison of Ávila where he meets Yucé Franco, a Jewish cobbler. In prison the latter confesses to Antonio de Ávila, a Jewish doctor pretending to be a Rabbi, that a few years previously he had taken part in a ritual crime in La Guardia (Toledo). One Easter Friday he had crucified a boy and then he had mixed his blood and heart with a consecrated host in an act of witchcraft aimed at bringing about a rabies epidemic throughout the land.

Denounced by the Rabbi, an Inquisition spy, Yucé Franco recants saying the story was told to him by a convert, a certain Alonso Franco. Subjected to torture, he again confesses his participation in the crime. The Inquisition decides to arrest them all and takes them to the prison of Ávila.

The proceedings commenced on December 17th 1490 and ended one year later. Despite the fact that there was no corpse and the continuous contradictions appearing in the process, on November 16th 1491, at an auto de fe held in Ávila, the two Jews and there converts are sentenced to death by the Inquisition. Two of them confessed their guilt and their error in at the last moment and they were garrotted before being burned. The rest were burned alive slightly later.

1492
Calahorra

The Catholic Kings give the stones from the Jewish cemetery to neighbours of Calahorra

The Jewish cemetery was probably situated in the area south of Calahorra, after the Cidacos

After the expulsion in 1492, the Catholic Monarchs granted several residents of Calahorra the headstones and stone of the Jewish cemetery of this place. Very shortly afterwards, and with a chorus of complaints from the council authorities, the Royal Council clarified that the concession made to some residents of Calahorra solely referred to the cemetery stone, but in no way to the plot which was to be used by the municipality. It was also absolutely forbidden for the beneficiaries of the stone to build on the plot or to fence it off.

August 7th, 1492
Calahorra

The Catholic Kings donate the Calahorra synagogue to the Cathedral

After the Jews left Calahorra, the Catholic Monarchs, in a charter granted in the town of Ágreda on August 7th 1492, made a donation to the Cathedral church of Calahorra of the building which had, up to that point, been the Jewish synagogueso as to recondition it as a Christian church. The chapterhouse transformed the building, situated in the vicinity of the church of San Salvador and the castle, in a hermitage dedicated to San Sebastián.

October 20th, 1492
Castelló d'Empúries

Castello's Jewish cemetery is sold

With the implementation of the edict expelling the Jews from the country enacted by the Catholic Monarchs in 1492, the Jewish cemetery lost its purpose as such. Count Enrique II, known as Infante Fortuna (Prince Lucky), assigned the management of the Graveyard to Ausiàs de Contreras who at that time held the post of veguer in the county with the right to dispose of it by sale or donation and he duly did so. On October 20th of this same year of the expulsion a strip of land called Lo Fossar de judío (The Jewish Graveyard) was sold, carried out by said veguer to the discreet Bernat Andreu, the notary of Castelló.

July 24th, 1492
Castelló d'Empúries

Possible donation of the old synagogue

The synagogue is barely mentioned in legal instruments from 1470 and 1477. When, in 1492, during the months of May, June and July, the last Jews of Castelló liquidated their loans and other properties before embarking on the road to exile, one of the Jews, Bonafós Bevenist, a notable money lender donated a house situated in the Jewish district on July 24th (in vico judeorion) to a Christian. It may have been the synagogue.

1492 - 1588
Córdoba

The synagogue is turned into a hospital

After the expulsion of the Jews, the synagogue complex, which included the annexed Talmudic study centre, became a hydrophobic hospital and the prayer room was transformed into the Chapel of Santa Quiteria.

August 1492
Oviedo

Seizure of Oviedo's Jewish cemetery subsequent to the expulsion

After the expulsion decreed by the Catholic Monarchs, the Council seized the cemetery, but left it in a state of abandonment which was taken advantage of by some residents to enter and farm the land and the Council bestowed them these rights. In the dispute the residents declared that the plot had been a tomb for the Jews and that they had seen many monuments and tombs there. One of the witnesses, Juan González de Lampajúa, was mentioned who told of a conversation with someone called Solomon, a Jew, who had said to him that the garden was a tomb for the Jews who lived in the city and that their forefathers were buried there. Another witness, Juan de la Podada, confirmed he had heard that the garden had always been a tomb for Jews and that he had seen there six or seven monuments and Pedro Menéndez del Estanco stated the same.

May 21st, 1492
Plasencia

Yuçé Caçes sells the Jewish cemetery to Diego de Jerez

Numerous historic sources refer to the sale of the cemetery by the aljama of Plasencia by Yuçé Caçes to the Dean of the cathedral, Don Diego de Jerez for 400 silver reales on May 21st 1492. The deed details the sale of:

Los honsarios de los judios de la dicha aljama asy viejos como nuevos que tenemos y la dicha aljama tiene en el Berrocal desta çibdad, con toda la piedra e canteria que en ellos esta e en cada vno dellos labrada y por labrar, asy sobre las sepolturas e burials que esta en los dichos honsarios.

circa October 1492
Segovia

The Catholic Kings donate the Jewish hospital to the city council after the expulsion

The wall-walks of Martínez Campos street where the 'Corralillo de los huesos' (graveyard) was located

We know that the Segovian Jewish quarter had a hospital annexed to the Campo synagogue, but unfortunately we are unaware of its regulations nor do we have any references to the tasks developed on a daily basis thereat.

We are unaware of the existence of this institution and of the building it occupied owing to the donation that the Catholic Monarchs made thereof to the council of Segovia in September 1492 a few months after the Jewish community had abandoned the city.

1492
Tarazona

The Jewish butcher's is mentioned in a document

Baja street where the butcher´s was located on the Selcos irrigation ditch

According to a document from July 1492, the Jewish butcher´s was situated opposite the brotherhood of the aljama whose cameras adjoin Nueva Juderia square (the current Nuestra Señora square). It location was also near some houses and an orchard belonging to the chaplaincy of García Ruiz, situated on the Selcos irrigation ditch. In this way, the water course crossed the premises of the butcher´s which, along with the slaughterhouses, included a yard to keep the animals.

In 1503 a dispute arose about the ownership of some houses attributed at the time of the expulsion to the chaplaincy of Canon García Ruiz and which the bailiff Pedro de Talavera improperly sold at a later date.

If we assume that this property, bordering the entrance to the synagogue, is the same as that mentioned in the text from 1492, the Jewish butcher´s would be where today Rua Baja street is located, on the stretch on Selcos near Arcedianos square.

July 31st, 1492

Expulsion of the Jews from the Spanish Kingdoms

The expulsion of the Jews from the Spanish kingdoms should not be regarded as an isolated incident in the European context. Growing religious intolerance had already brought about similar cases in England, France and elsewhere. The decision by the Catholic Monarchs thus came as no great surprise. It could even be said that the incorporation of Spain into this widespread process of European Christendom against the Jews actually came late.

Before signing the Decree of expulsion the Catholic Monarchs attempted to eradicate Jewish proselytism by adopting certain measures. These included the Jews living in separate places which does not seem to have been enough, giving rise in 1480 to the foundation of the Inquisition Court and, in 1483, their expulsion from Andalusia. As these measures were not sufficient to prevent those evils which, in the opinion of the Monarchs, were being brought upon the Christian religion, after much deliberation and listening to their advisors and the prelates, they agreed to set a final deadline of the end of July 1492 for all Jews to leave their kingdoms forever, on pain of death and confiscation of their assets despite the economic problems this measure would cause.

Consequently, the banishment order was communicated to all prelates, nobles, Masters of Orders and priors of Castile, commissioning them to ensure that the Jews left their lands without any harm coming to themselves or their assets. Until this time the monarchs would afford them protection, authorising them to exchange or sell their property on equitable terms and take them outside the Kingdom except for gold, silver, coins and anything else prohibited by law. However, the cases of exploitation and fraud were widespread and the Jews were forced to sell their assets at very low prices or to abandon them leaving them with their Christian representatives.

1492
Girona

There are only 20 families left in the Girona call

At the time of the expulsion barely two dozen families remain in the city, half of whom decide to leave and the other half to convert.

June 7th, 1493
Palma

The rimonim for the Cathedral treasure are acquired

Rimonim in the cathedral treasure

On January 12th 1493, Fernando the Catholic expelled the Jews from Sicily. The Cammarata synagogue on the island had to shed itself of those assets which were hard to transport. This included two worked silver Rimonim, of Gothic tradition and bearing Hebrew inscriptions. According to the historian Gabriel Llompart, these were sold by some Jews to the Majorcan merchant Francesc Puig who in 1493 sent them as an offering to the Virgin of the cathedral of Majorca.

The merchants who took part in the purchase-sale were Francesc Puig, Anthoni Serra and on behalf of the Cathedral´s chapterhouse:

Mossen johan roix, mossen francesc despuig, misser pere gol, misser bartomeu surede, mossen gaspar enberti e miquell lopis e molts altres canonges. Fío a VIII de juny, any MCCCCLXXXXIII.

Once on the island, some long silver bars were added which are those which can be seen today. They were thus Christianised, becoming scepters of Primicerius or singer in certain solemn Cathedral acts. For instance, in 1634 the Rimonim, converted into scepters, were used for the chanting of short responsories which were carried out at the end of the Little Hours and carried out by two capitulants.

The Rimonim had various Hebrew inscriptions. The inscribed words include six which are precisely the six names that give psalm 18 (19) to the Law of God, in its second part: Torat, Hedut, Piqqude, Misvat, Yrhat, Mishpete. The candlestick holders of the headers bear the legend:

En la sinagoga de los judíos de Cammarata / el Señor la guarde. Amén

January 12nd, 1493

Ferdinand the Catholic expels the Jews from Sicily

1494
Hervás

The Rabbi Samuel returns to Hervas converted

After the edict of 1492, twenty five families left Hervás bound for Portugal and the rest were subjected to forced conversion to Christianity; some of them returned such as Rabbi Samuel two year later to join the brotherhood of St. Gervase which allowed the Jewish collective to stick together for some time.

1494
Jaén

Construction of the cathedral commences

Main façade of the cathedral

For centuries Santa María square has been the centre of public life in Jaén, as well as a place characterised by the extraordinary presence of the Renaissance catedral in the city, one of the most outstanding examples of this architectonic style in Spain, born out of the creative genius of the architect Andrés de Vandelvira. Here, where the Episcopal Palace was erected too and where there were many autos de fe staged by the Holy Office - featuring inquisitors like Diego de Deza and Alonso Suárez – the tour starts on the Jewish route through Jaén, running at the foot of the hill where the castle of Santa Catalina is located, one of the historic landmarks of the city.

In addition to the spectacular main façade, with its twin towers, worthy of note inside are the width of the naves, the slim cupola of the trancept and the central balcony where the relics of Santa Faz appear (to whom the whole temple is dedicated), the choir, the chapel of St. Peter of Osma or the high galleries which allow the whole cathedral to be toured via the second floor, as well as the treasures kept in the museum.

Jaén Cathedral, although it administrators included many converts, wad famous in the 16th century as it was at its Chapterhouse that the first draft of the Estatutos de Limpieza de Sangre Statutes of the Cleanliness of Blood appeared.

1494
Tarazona

The Jewish cemetery is awarded to the bailiff of Tarazona

At the time of the expulsion the cemetery was attributed along with the orchard and nearby plots – properties valued at 1,025 sueldos jaqueses (currency)– to the bailiff Pedro Talavera. It would appear that the latter decided to divide the space into parcels as in 1494 a purchase agreement pertaining to a courtyard to be used as a plot states its location in Montiver, in that part of the city in the graveyard where Jews are usually buried.

1494
Toledo

The Tránsito synagogue is converted into a hospital

In 1494 the building stopped being used as a synagogue and became part of the Priory of San Benito, with the area occupying the Rabbinic school and the women´s gallery serving as a Hospital and asylum for the Calatravan knights. The old large prayer room became a Christian temple and burial place for some Calatravan knights, referred to in the documentation as the Church of San Benito.

September 14th, 1495
León

Donation of the synagogue to the Monastery of San Isidro

After the expulsion, the synagogue was donated by way of a document dated September 14th 1495 by the Catholic Monarchs to the monastery of Sant Esidro and its abbey and must have been converted into the Santo Cristo hermitage.

1496
Plasencia

Diego de Jerez sells the Jewish cemetery to the city of Plasencia

In 1496 the dean Diego de Jerez sells the cemetery to the city to which, says Friar A. Fernández, its revenue from pasture and farming are worth a good sum of money. In 1510 the Jewish cemetery forms part of the fallow land of the Town hall.

1496
Toledo

The site of the Old Jewish Castle is urbanised

In 1496, seeing that this whole space was todo fecho muladares e syn provecho, the employees who inspected it by order of the monarchs thought que en fasello casas se farya barryo poblado, e quedava calle tan ancha y mas que ninguna de la dicha çibdad. In this way the plot which the castle had previously occupied was divided up into parcels and houses were built on the latter in the first quarter of the 16th century.

1498
Lucena

Work begins on the church of San Mateo on the site of the synagogue

The parish church of San Mateo. © Thyzzar-Lucena City Council

The ancient synagogue and subsequent city mosque stood on the site of the church of San Mateo up to 1240, when it was adapted to the new form of worship after the Christian conquest. Two hundred and fifty years later we find documentary evidence of the reuse of the materials used to build the old temple, including possible remains of the synagogue to construct the parish church of Santiago, which clearly evokes the shapes of the basilical synagogues of Toledo and Segovia.

Considered to be the Subbaetic Cathedral, the current church of San Mateo reflects the style of Mudejar-Gothic and Renaissance artistic canons. Work commenced in 1498 on the sanctuary, together with the doorways of the sacristy and the exterior of Nuestra Señora de la Umbría. The doorway of San Miguel, built in 1544, is typical of the transitional Gothic-Renaissance period. The remainder of the building is renaissance, three aisles with large pillars holding up Mudejar inspired arches, in addition to a main doorway of a clearly classic influence. The highlight of the interior of the church is the grand altarpiece, designed by Jerónimo Hernández and Juan Bautista Vázquez el Viejo.

The interior of the temple of San Mateo contains the magnificent Capilla del Sagrario, a chapel built between 1740 and 1772 based on the plans of local architect Leonardo Antonio de Castro and regarded as one of the treasures of the baroque era in Cordoba and Andalusia. It features a splendid doorway designed by the renowned mnaster Juan del Pino Ascanio.

The chapel is octagon shaped and four robust buttresses rise into the elevation serving as pillars to support four pechinas. Masters Jerónimo and Acisclo Ramírez de Quero were in charge of the works, whilst the ornate decorative plan for the project, rich in Eucharistic symbols, figures of the church, saints associated with devotion to the Holy Sacrament, ornamental features of a vegetal or geometric nature, mirrors, was assigned to local sculptor Pedro de Mena y Gutiérrez, who was also responsible for carving the grand tabernacle located in the middle of the chapel.

1498
Plasencia

Mateo Alemán carves rabbis into the Cathedralʼs choir stalls

Santa Clara street gives out into the spacious triangle formed by Cathedral square, also connected with the Jewish universe by the figure of the converted bishop Gonzalo de Santa María and the carvings of Rodrigo Alemán who sculpted in the choir stalls of the old cathedral images which are very unorthodox front Christian standpoint, including some rabbis giving instructions to the Baby Jesus in the portrayal of the Birth of Christ.

circa 1500
Jaén

The ‘Mona´ (Monkey)

The Mona in Gothic frieze at the cathedral

At the head of the cathedral, facing Valparaíso Street or Mona alley, there runs throughout its length a flowery Gothic-style frame dated at around the end of the 15th century/early 16th century and attributed to the stonemason Enrique Egas. This Gothic frieze is very famous amongst the people of Jaén as it contains a whole iconographic repertoire intended to portray the Jews as a cursed people, subject to all the torments of Hell, in a sculptural display presided over by the popular Mona which represents a character dressed with an old Jewish habit.

The popular mona of the cathedral would seem to portray the seated Jew, a figure which sets in motion an antisemitic diatribe warning the medieval Christian not to fall into the temptation of judaizing and even inviting the Jews themselves to conversion as a way of rejecting evil and achieving salvation.

In this way the different decorative elements running through the border are interpreted as Jewish symbols (figures of pigs which would seem to allude to the marranos, in other words, the Jewish converts as they were called at that time), Christians (pomegranates symbolising the Church; a gargoyle possibly with the form of a pelican and ears of wheat supposed to portray the Eucharist; shells which would signify christening, conversion etc.) and inquisitorial (human and animal figures tied to wheels in flames which may represent the converts in penance, condemned to the stake by the Inquisition).

1500
Tarazona

The Inquisition punishes the Santafé de Tarazona family

all the Santafé of Tarazona were convicted by the Inquisition (with the exception of those nearest the canon of the cathedral who was the grandchild of Moser Esperandeu, called Ezequiel Azaimel before 1414).

1502
Tarazona

Santafé Palace

Detail of the façade of Santafé palace

In Barrio Verde street in the New Jewish quarter there stands the large house remodelled upon the order of Moser Santafe by the MudejarMohamed Darocano in 1502. The Santafé were the first convert family of great merchants to achieve noble status. Currently called the Santafé palace, it still conserves part of the heraldic coat-of-arms on its façade.

This is a building put up only two years after almost all the Santafé of Tarazona were convicted by the Inquisition (with the exception of those nearest the canon of the cathedral who was the grandchild of Moser Esperandeu, called Ezequiel Azaimel before 1414). As recently as fifty years people were living there who still bore this surname.

1503
Lucena

District and Parish Church of Santiago

Parish church of Santiago. © Manuel Roldán Fernández-Lucena City Council

Construction of the Gothic-Mudejar style parish church of Santiago began in 1503 in accordance with the testamentary disposition of García Méndez de Sotomayor, the Commander of the Order of Santiago. The church, built with materials from the old demolished synagogue, is rectangular in design and features three aisles separated by octagonal pillars supporting brick arches framed with alfiz. The three aisles have coffered ceilings rebuilt in accordance with the original. Today, decorated in line with the same Mudejar style as the rest of the temple, the most noteworthy exhibits in the building are the Cristo de la Columna, a 17th century work of art by the distinguished Seville sculptor Pedro Roldán, and Nuestra Señora de la Esperanza.

1506
Segovia

The heirs of Diego del Castillo take ownership of the El Campo synagogue

After the expulsion, it came into the possession of the major of the citadel Diego del Castillo because in 1506 it was owned by his heirs.

May 1506
Hervás

The case of the consecrated host

The accusations of Eucharistic profanity imputed to the Spanish Jews never existed nor insult to the consecrated host by the converts of Hervás.

Thanks to a document kept at the General Archive of Simancas, we are informed that the old Christian Juan Sastre, a resident of Zarza de Granadilla, had stolen the holy host and pyx of the church of Aldeanueva del Camino in late April or early May 1506. On the occasion of the offence, the rumour spread amongst the population that New Christians from Aldeanueva del Camino and Hervás had been involved. The vicar-general of the diocese of Plasencia had decreed the imprisonment of the presumed guilty parties and the seizure of their assets.

People were also spreading the rumour that the converts had put the consecrated host into a cauldron of boiling water and, in the meantime, whilst they subject it to torment, a crucifix painted on the altar of the church of Hervás was miraculously sweating. The Inquisition Court de Extremadura intervened whose headquarters was provisionally in Plasencia. Juan Ruiz de Tripiana, the vicar-general of the diocese, was one of the inquisitors at the trial.

Finally, the court imputed the profanation of the Eucharist to Juan Sastre and the converts of Aldeanueva del Camino and Hervás who died at the stake.

1507
Segovia

Bartolomé Ibáñez takes possession of the synagogue

The documentation is confused as regards the fate of this synagogue at the time immediately subsequent to the expulsion of 1492, but we do know that in 1507 it became the property of Bartolomé Ibáñez with the family keeping it until the late 19th century when it came into the hands of the Daughters of Jesus.

circa 1510
Monforte de Lemos

The Palacio de los Condes de Lemos is built

The Palace of the Counts of Lemos

The Counts of Lemos were one of the most important noble families in Spain. Particularly relevant was the figure of the 7th Count, Don Pedro Fernández de Castro, who eventually became the Vice-rey of Naples and who is recalled as a patron of Cervantes, Lope de Vega, Quevedo and Góngora.

Alongside the Homage Tower, the Count´s Palace of the lords (later the hereditary, perpetual counts) of Lemos, integrated with the monastery of St. Vincent into the Tourist hotel facilities, sets the tone for a town traditionally subject to top-down governance.

To replace the former medieval palace, the 3rd countess of Lemos, doña Beatriz de Castro, erected a new construction in the 16th century which suffered a devastating fire in the late 18th century. The old count´s palace is still protected by the remains of the Monforte fortified complex and its façade, supported by Angels, maintains the magnificent family coat-of-arms.

circa 1510
Monforte de Lemos

The church of San Vicente is built

Although the current construction was started in the 16th century, its origins date back to the 10th century

The Benedictine monastery, erected in the 16th century on a previous monastery from the 10th century, constitutes a formidable architectonic display in which the church of St. Vincent of the Pine stands out. This impressive monastic church has a Renaissance gateway, whilst the interior is set in transition Gothic endowed with intricately ribbed vaults. A Baroque organ, silent for some decades now, can be found in a lateral of the chancel. On the main altar there is an interesting allegorical painting portraying the torture of St. Vincent.

A large part of the monastic building currently houses the Monforte de Lemos Tourist Hotel.

circa 1510
Ribadavia

House of the Inquisition

The House of the Inquisition

At the corner of Jerusalén street with San Martiño street there lies the house of the Inquisition, a fortified, 16th century palace with a beautiful Renaissance courtyard inside which, on its façade, over the door, boasts the coats-of-arms of the families of the Holy Office who settled here such as the Puga, the García Gamba, the Baamonde and the Mosquera-Sandoval, as well as the actual coat-of-arms of the Inquisition with its cross converted into a sword.

The case of the Crypto-Jews of Ribadavia serves as one of the best illustrations of the resistance of many Spanish Jews to the expulsion of 1492, giving rise to the phenomenon of the converts which shook Spanish society in the 16th and 17th centuries.

1510
Tudela

Tudela requests the figure of Inquisitor be removed from the city

the people of Tudela did not get on with the inquisitors and in 1510 its town hall commissioned the proxies in Courts to take from here this friar who says he is an inquisitor.

August 1511
Avila

The Monastry of la Encarnacion is transferred to the old Jewish cemetery

Tradition has it that the Ávila Jewish cemetery was situated on the sites where the Nuestra Señora de la Encarnación was built. This foundation occurred in August 1511 when Beatriz Guiera (or Yera) acquired the houses of Pilón de la Mimbre to move to them the original convent to be found at that time alongside the Gate of St. Vincent, alongside the Lomo synagogue. Beatriz Guiera literally bought a Jewish Graveyard which was outside the city walls and this was where the convent was built.

1515
Jaén

The chapel of San Andrés is founded on the site of the old synagogue

Former synagogue. St. Andrew´s Chapel

Everything in the St. Andrew´s Holy Chapel recalls the former synagogue which was here before being converted into a Christian church: from the triumphant Star of David to the very structure of the temple with its magnificent arches which bring to mind the Moslem mosques and its access courtyard, with an entrance via Rostro street. The precious screen which closes the Holy Chapel, the work of the master Bartholomew, is one of the most relevant elements of this Little gem which is situated in the centre of the Jewish district, half way up the slop stretching from the low part to the high part of the city, following the orography of the land.

Notwithstanding, the Jewish affiliation of the chapel is still under discussion. Luis Coronas and Vicente Salvatierra argue against the origin of the chapel being an original synagogue. Their evidence is that St. Andrew´s Church was already there in 1311, a time when the Christian monarchs were still tolerant to the Jews and it is thus unlikely that they would knock down their synagogue to build a new Christian temple, as well as the entry position of the church, outside the limits of the Jewish quarter.

Arguments in favour of the theory of the original synagogue include, inter alia:

  1. The main entrance is much simpler than the other historic churches of the city (synagogues have very simple accesses)
  2. The entry door is not in front of the main altar (synagogues would never have the entry door opposite the temple orientation so that upon leaving it you never turn your back on the Torah)
  3. The temple orientation eastwards; the inner flooring of the temple at a level lower than that of the street (synagogues were usually located below the other Christian temples)
  4. The artistic similarity of the temple layout with the churches of Santa María la Blanca in Toledo and the Corpus Christi Church of Segovia, both original synagogues
  5. The presence of a courtyard which would recall the access courtyards of synagogues.

circa 1520
Cáceres

The Palacio de la Isla rises up against the Caceres synagogue

The Palacio de la Isla (Palace of the Island) was built in the 16th century and it currently takes up the space where the New Jewish Quarters' synagogue was located which some have said was located in one of the palace state rooms. The Stars of David in the courtyard commemorate the Jewish presence in these surroundings and the basin with Hebrew inscriptions are some of the elements which serve as a continuous reminder of this final stage of the Hebrew Cáceres collective on the eve of their expulsion.

circa 1520
Monforte de Lemos

Funeral headstone of the Gaibor

At St. Anthony´s convent - now disappeared – near the pantheon of the counts of Lemos, there stands the chapel of the Gaibor

The death of Jorge de Gaibor is related with a popular convert story known as the case of the Christ of the Lashes, perfectly documented by the Santiago Inquisition in 1580. The testimony of one of its servants combined with the fact that he saw his son Juan with a crucifix and some lashes, served as the basis for the accusation that the recent convert was spending his nights whipping an image of Christ on the Cross. Convened by the Holy Court, based in Valladolid at that time, during the journey he felt very sick and had to return quickly to his house in Monforte where he died in a matter of days.

At the Provincial Archaeological Museum of Ourense there is a valuable headstone from Monforte which corresponds to the chapel that the Gaibor founded at the start of the 16th century at the Franciscan convent of St. Anthony of Padua where the Counts of Lemos had their Family pantheon and which indicates that underneath lie Juan de Gaibor and Jorge de Gaibor, residents and councillors of this town.

Aqui iacen Juan de Gaibor y su ijo Jorge de Gaibor fundador desta ca[pilla. Fue]ron vecinos y regidores desta villa.

A piece was missing from the inscription which brought about the erroneous belief, which has now been clarified, that said piece proved the foundation of a house in Monforte de Lemos by the Gaibor lineage.

1522
Hervás

The brotherhood of converts of Nuestra Señora de la Asunción is created

The House of the Brotherhood today on Vado street

In the House of the Brotherhood commonly assemblies were held of the Hervás aljama. In 1522 the brotherhood of Our Lady of the Assumption was created which incorporate the majority of the collective of New Christians and the House of the Brotherhood became the domicile of the converted brotherhood. This is why it is known as the «house of the brotherhood» and the alley behind it as brotherhood alley. This street, alongside Judeo-Cristiana and Vado streets, went to make up the so-called Jewish farmyard, the heart of the aljama.

In the interior of the brotherhood there was a space set aside for making Kosherwine, wine which had been purified according to the rituals laid down by the Law. It had its winery, wooden press or «squeeze», pillars, vats, a winery and a loft to be used as a granary and drying place for agricultural products.

July 23rd, 1541
Plasencia

The council donates Esparrillas street to the Dominicans

On July 23rd 1541 the council gave the Dominican order a street which crossed via the convent yard to Coria street with a view to house making more cells for the community. It could be the final stretch of Esparrillas street which would connect with the flight of steps of St. Vincent Ferrer square and Coria street.

1543
Tudela

The book of the travels of Benjamín de Tudela is published

The Book of Journeys (Sefer Masaot) by Benjamín of Tudela, first published in Constantinople in 1543, is still a masterpiece as a first-hand account of the daily life of the Jews in the 12th century.

1545
Ribadavia

Town Hall

Town Hall

Opposite the Counts´ palace there lies the Town hall, built between 1545-1555 as a corn exchange and place for Town council meetings. The tower ousts a beautiful wrought iron belltower, in addition to its sun dial from the 18th century, its wind-up clock from the 19th century and the representation of the old coat-of-arms of the town which recalls that the fame of Ribadavia preceded it all around the world thanks to the commercialisation of its wines throughout Europe and the new world between the 10th and 18th centuries.

In the 19th century the façade was renovated and the colonnades were covered, conserving today, of the old building, the tower formed by 3 overlaid bodies endowed with the old coats-of-arms of the town and the wind-up clock from 1902. Also worthy of note is the artistic, wrought iron belltower.

It was at the town hall that the wine-producing ordinances of Ribadavia were drawn up in the 16th century, the precursor in Spain to the current wine-growing designation of origin and recognized by the WIPO as the oldest wine-producing Designation of origin in Spain.

1550
Toledo

Santa María la Blanca is converted into a home for pious women

In 1550, after introducing some remodelling work, cardinal Silíceo used the temple to create a beaterium for women who had publicly repented.

1571
Palma

Main Synagogue–Montesión Church

Montesión Church

Criança street gives out into the monumental Montesión church whose rich gateway opens out onto another of the main arteries of the call. In this same year of 1299 in which he confirms the Jews´ rights to reside in this area, Jaime II authorises the construction of the main synagogue; however, the works did not start until 1310 and it was confiscated in 1315. In 1348 King Pedro IV the Ceremonious granted the building or part of it to Bernat de Vallflor and gave him permission to build a baker´s, though the property would later go back into Jewish hands.

In 1571 the chapel was knocked down and enlarged to build the current church.

1574 - 1608
Oviedo

The University of Oviedo is built

University courtyard and monument to Fernando de Valdés

The stern look on the face of Fernando de Valdés Salas in the statue representing him at the center of the cloister of Oviedo University, undoubtedly incarnates the pompous character of the founder of this institution, but it is also, if you want to look at it that way, a certain examination of conscience after his work as the grand inquisitor between 1547 and 1566 when he was the central figure, amongst other cases, in the famous proceedings against Bartolomé de Carranza, the author of a big Índice de libros prohibidos (List of Prohibited books), but also an unflagging driving force behind cultural and charitable ventures; perhaps today don Fernando would not have been surprised to know that the volumes kept at the University library include two magnificent editions of the Ferrara Bible from 1553, a Bible in Spanish translated word for word from the Hebrew truth by most excellent academics and seen and examined by the office of the Inquisition.

Design in 1574 by Rodrigo Gil de Hontañón, the building, surrounded by the mandatory university quarry which established the higher jurisdiction of the chancellor, accommodated the faculties of Arts, Canons, Laws and Theology after its solemn inauguration in 1608 which its main promoter Valdés was unable to attend as he died a few years previously. The magnificent building which can be seen today is the culmination of profound restoration after the damage caused to the property during the October Revolution of 1934 and the subsequent Civil War.

1575
Sevilla

Teresa de Ávila founds the Convent of San José del Carmen

Gateway of San José del Carmen Convent

Alongside the San José del Carmen Convent, where valuable personal objects of Theresa of Ávila are kept, or Jewish-convert origin, who founded it in 1575, such as the original manuscript of Las moradas.

1577
León

Casa de las Carnicerías

Casa de las Carnicerías (House of the Butchers). © León City Council

At St. Martín´s Square is the Casa de las Carnicerías (House of the Butchers), a building which was put up so as to supply the city with meat. Its architect was Juan de Ribero Rada and the works commenced in 1577.

A classical Renaissance work, it had multiple purposes: corn exchange, fishmonger´s, women´s jail and, later, tenement house. It was finally acquired by a bank entity and submitted to serious restoration work with a view to recovering its façade and giving it back its original design.

1579
Calahorra

The anciente synagogue of Calahorra is demolished

in 1579, the Cathedral chapterhouse granted the church of San Salvador to the Franciscan friars who reformed it and extended it with a cloister. Since that time, it changed its advocacy of San Salvador to that of San Francisco which is still retained. With a view to building the cloister, the chapterhouse also granted the San Sebastián hermitage to the Franciscans, in other words, the old synagogue building which was knocked down.

1580
Monforte de Lemos

Death of Juan de Gaibor

The death of Jorge de Gaibor is related with a popular convert story known as the case of the Christ of the Lashes, perfectly documented by the Santiago Inquisition in 1580. The testimony of one of its servants combined with the fact that he saw his son Juan with a crucifix and some lashes, served as the basis for the accusation that the recent convert was spending his nights whipping an image of Christ on the Cross. Convened by the Holy Court, based in Valladolid at that time, during the journey he felt very sick and had to return quickly to his house in Monforte where he died in a matter of days.

1580
Sevilla

The Jewish cemetery of Carne Gate is vandalised

In 1580 owing to the famine brought about by a major drought, some unfortunate and destitute people profaned some of the tombs on the outskirts of the Carne Gate.

1580
Sevilla

The funeral stele of Rabbi Salomón is found

Funeral stele of Rabbi Salomón. Sephardi Museum of Toledo

The 14th century saw Rabbi Salomón shine, a doctor, astronomer and exegete of great worth, born in Seville where he also died in 1345. His funeraral stele, engraved on a fragment of Roman column, was discovered in 1580 in the Jewish cemetery at Carne Gate.

The column, broken into three parts, was later taken to the door of the cathedral Campanilla; then it went to the flight of steps of the Colombine library and finally to the Seville Archaeological Museum where it is currently conserved.

1580
Monforte de Lemos

El Cristo de los Azotes (Christ of the Lashes) and Cristo de la Colada (Christ of the Washing)

One of the best known cases of insults and contempt in the history of Monforte is El Cristo de los Azotes and Cristo de la Colada whose existence is documented until the Napoleonic invasion of the city. Friar Jacobo de Castro, a chronicler of the Franciscan Order, at the time of his visit to the Monforte convent of San Antonio in the 18th century, recorded that some curious pieces were kept there. He says:

Una de ellas estando azotándola unos judíos en su infame sinagoga dio voces llamando al padre guardián, quien [...] guiado de aquella lastimosa voz [...] se entró en la sinagoga y recobrando la imagen [...] tuvo tiempo para dar cuenta a un ministro del Tribunal, quien prendió y castigó to the Jews, y depositó la imagen en este convento (se refiere al de San Antonio) En cuanto a dos imágenes de Cristo muerto bien crucificado que en este convento se tienen con especial veneración de la estatura de una tercia [...] uno con el título de La Colada y este está en la Sacristía con las demás reliquias y el otro con el título de Azotes está en la celda guardianal con una estatua de San Antonio de estatura pequeña [...] Es tradition que una vil mujer la entró en una caldera de colada, que estaba hirviendo, deseando [...] borrar la hermosura de la imagen [...] Por más que sudó y afanó la proterva mujer en supultar en lo profundo de la caldera la imagen, ésta se subía a la superficie de la colada. No se ejecutó esta execrable maldad con tanta cautela que no se hiciese publica; y averiguada fue presa y castigada la mujer por el Santo Oficio [...] Sucede con esta santísima imagen una cosa bien portentosa y es que, siendo fácil abrir la caja en que está cerrada y colocada no es posible abrirse por más vueltas que se den a las llaves, si dentro de la sacristía se halla algún judío.

1588
Córdoba

The synagogue building is handed over to the guild of shoemakers

In 1588 the property was acquired by the brotherhood of cobbles, a guild which included a major part of New Christians of Jewish origin and in the 19th century the roof was replaced by a barrel vault and the plasterwork was lined in stucco.

1605
Toledo

The Alcaná in El Quijote

The Alcaná of Toledo is mentioned by Miguel de Cervantes in a key passage of El Quijote in chapter IX of the first part where the author whisks us away to this old area of Toledo:

Estando yo un día en el Alcaná de Toledo, llegó un muchacho a vender unos cartapacios y papeles viejos a un sedero; y como soy aficionado a leer, aunque sean los papeles rotos de las calles, llevado de esta mi natural inclinación tomé un cartapacio de los que el muchacho vendía; vile con caracteres que conocí ser arábigos, y puesto que, aunque los conocía, no los sabía leer, anduve mirando si parecía por allí algún morisco aljamiado que los leyese; y no fue muy dificultoso hallar intérprete semejante, pues aunque le buscara de otra mejor y más antigua lengua le hallara. [...] luego se me representó que aquellos cartapacios contenían la historia de Don Quijote. con esta imaginación le di priesa que leyese el principio; y haciéndolo así, volviendo de improviso el arábigo en castellano, dijo que decía: Historia de Don Quijote de la Mancha, escrita por Cide Hamete Benengeli, historian arábigo.

1606

'The Malsín' Case

the case which made Ribadavia famous as regards its Judaizing converts was the famous proceedings of The malshin, the name traditionally given to the New Christian Xerónimo Bautista de Mena who, in 1606, submitted to the Holy Office a list with two hundred people accused of continuing to follow the Law of Moses despite having been baptized as Christians, starting with his own mother, Ana Méndez, and his brothers, sisters and in-laws. Those denounced included chief magistrates, alguaciles, students, doctors, lawyers and traders.

1607
Ribadavia

Those accused of El Malsín are arrested

The majority of the arrests occurred in 1607 as many of those denounced escaped in 1606 and in that same year Xerónimo Bautista de Mena, the accuser, was found murdered in a street in Ribadavia and the perpetrators were never found.

1608
Ribadavia

'Auto de fe' held in Santiago to try the defendants from Ribadavia

In 1608 a large auto de fe was held in Santiago with 28 accused parties from Ribadavia and Felipe Álvarez and his son Antonio Méndez were burned at the stake.

1609
Ribadavia

Another 'auto de fe' to try seven defendants from Ribadavia

in 1609 a new auto was held with seven further defendants from the town. Nevertheless, the investigations of the Holy Office finally lead to the suspicions falling on the accuser himself and his body was dug up and his bones burned for heresy in 1610.

1610
Tudela

The «manta» (roll) of Tudela

The «Manta de Tudela» at the old synagogue

At the synagogue there is a copy of the famous roll that the old Christians had put on display between 1610 and 1738 with the names of the converts from Tudela,

To conserve the cleanliness of the blood and be able to distinguish the quality of noble men.

In other words, so as to be able to take them off the manta (roll) where necessary.

By contrast, this did not rule out the long-standing resistance of the population to the Holy Office: in 1481 the city of Tudela refused to provide information about the murder in Saragossa of the inquisitor Pedro de Arbúes.From Córdoba, on May 4th 1486, the Catholic Monarchs a letter was written to Tudela ordering the handing over of any heretics arriving from Aragón to the inquisitors. The people of Tudela replied that any officer of the Inquisition who had the nerve to enter the city would be hurled into the river. Two years later, taking advantage of the Monarchs´ stay in Daroca, two commissioners from Tudela protested about the way the catholics submitted to the inquisitors so they would cancel the censorships against Tudela. They asked for the inquisitors not to interfere with the assets of the convicts and for their tasks to be limited to the absolution and penitence imposed. Although the monarchs accepted the proposal, the people of Tudela did not get on with the inquisitors and in 1510 its town hall commissioned the proxies in Courts to take from here this friar who says he is an inquisitor.

1629 - 1636
Avila

St. Teresa Convent

Saint Teresa Convent. Built in the 17th century on the plot occupied by the house where Teresa of Jesus was born

Via de la Dama street where the remains of the former Santa Escolástica hospital still survive and Intendente Aizpuru street, the Santa square is entered (the inhabitants of Ávila know it in capital letters) where the Santa convent is situated. This monastic foundation was erected on what used to be the house where Teresa of Jesús was born, a top writer on Spanish Golden Century literature and Christian mysticism. And despite her convert origins as she was closely related to a family of new Christians in Toledo.

Built between 1629 and 1636, the convent combines the beauty of its church, a magnificent example of the Carmelite style, a fascinating Santa Teresa Museum located on the underground crypts and which contains pieces which are still relatively unknown to the general public and are extremely valuable.

On the other side of the Santa gate, the Mysticism Interpretation Centre is organised into four rooms which correspond to the three universal elements established by Saint Catherine of Siena (one space where you can be by yourself, another to be with God and a third for being with the world) as well as a fourth identified with tradition.

The Hebrew origin of Saint Teresa of Jesus or of Saint John of the Cross, meant they both suffered some problems when they started to practice their faith and shows how conversion was actually an option accepted by part of the Jewish community.

1662
Sevilla

The church of Santa María la Blanca is built on the site of the old synagogue

The current church of Santa María la Blanca was built in 1662 in Baroque style and it has a structure divided into three naves which, in turn, is split into red marble columns. The vaults are decorated in plasterwork and attributed to the Borja brothers. Murillo was probably involved in the church decoration Works and it was he who painted the midpoints, plundered by Marshal Soult during the French invasion, subsequently being replaced with copies.

1664
Hervás

The convent of San Juan Bautista is founded

St. John the Baptist Convent

Leaving behind the Jewish quarter via Convento street, marking another of the limits of the Jewish quarter, you will soon find different contemporary testimonies of Jewish symbology as a homage of a people to a very special part of their past.

Convento square is a prime space endowed with imposing houses presided over by the convento de los Padres Trinitarios (Trinity Fathers Convent) founded in 1664 by María López Burgalés, a descendant of converts. The church façade is made of mortar, imitating red brick, and it is related with that of St. Nicholas of Valladolid: the convent, which has erved as a prison, town hall and school after the Disentailment, today houses a splendid Tourism Hostel after in-depth rehabilitation work which has allowed the best of its architecture to be recovered.

1672 - 1677
León

Main square

Market in the Main square. © León City Council

The narrow Matasiete streets leads from St. Martín´s Square to Plaza Mayor (main square). Presided over by the Balcón del Pueblo (People´s balcony) or Consistorio Viejo (Old Town Hall), a narrow municipal palace erected between 1672 and 1677 as a balcony for the authorities, the main square in León was built in the 17th century in two stages, with the first (until 1672) being the work of Father Antonio Ambrosio and the second (until 1677) the work of Francisco del Piñal. The square occupies part of the set of houses devastated by a fire and which in the Middle Ages were also part of the Jewish quarter. It is here that the weekly was held which, with different variants over time, has not been interrupted for ten centuries. A bullring, the setting for feasts, demonstrations and various shows or the site of executions, its was originally called Pan square and currently shares the designation «Mayor» (main square) with the homage to the Spanish Constitution.

1693 - 1868
Ribadavia

The Festa da Historia (History Festival)

The Festa da Istoria, declared as being in the National Tourist Interest, is held during the last weekend in August and open to the public following a tradition which goes back to 1693, solely interrupted between 1868 and 1989.

The portrayal of the Jewish wedding, along with a performance of the play El malsín (The Slanderer), inspired by the persecution of the Judaizers, is one of its main offerings. The town becomes genuinely medieval: Locals and visitors wear costumes from the time to take part in games, cooking contests and activities tested in the previous months: the medieval ball, jousting, the Jewish wedding, human chess and much more. It is a celebration which is so rooted in the town that for two or three months beforehand many of the residents take part in making costumes from the age, standards, shields and accessories.

After changing Euros for maravedis at the corn Exchange bank, hundreds of residents and visitors dressed up in medieval attire, enter the time tunnel and go back to the Middle Ages when the Jews played a major role in the town.

1730 - 1750
Lucena

Palace of the Counts of Santa Ana -City Interpretation Center

Condes de Santa Ana Palace. © Thyzzar-Lucena City Council

The baroque palace of Condes de Santa Ana is one of the finest examples of civil 18th century architecture in our city. The construction of the building was promoted by the Mora-Saavedra family between the years 1730 and 1750. This family of possible converted Jews were later awarded the title of Counts of Santa Ana.

The architecture of the building, apart from its magnificent facade, is highlighted by its two courtyards, the second of which bears an archway, and its fine staircase, crowned with a dome, the style of which points to the work of the last masters of Lucena, Francisco José Guerrero and Pedro de Mena Gutiérrez.

The palace houses the LucenaCultural Centre and the Municipal Tourist Information Office, displaying a series of thematic and exhibition rooms, in addition to the sculpture of Eros from Roman times, discovered during renovations carried out on the building.

The Cultural Centre features a room called Jews displaying the different kinds of burial mode used at the Lucena necropolis and highlights of the life, literature and social organisation of Lucena's Jewish community.

1811
Sevilla

The Santa Cruz synagogue demolished

it was converted into a Christian church after the events of 1391. The church was in ruins when it was knocked down in 1811 by the occupying French government which put into a reurbanisation plan for the city. The square occupies the church plot.

1811
Sevilla

The columns from the old Santa Cruz synagogue are placed in the Jardin de la Aclimatacion

The architecture of this temple rested on four unequal columns. With the destruction of the temple the Church of Santa Cruz ended up setting up on Mateos Gago street and the columns were moved to the Jardín de la Aclimatación, near the Delicias gardens. This site was bought by Antonio de Orléans, the Duke of Montpensier, to annex it to the gardens of the Palace of San Telmo.

1820
Barcelona

The Hebrew headstone is discovered in calle Marlet

The original headstone can be found at the City History Museum

Marlet Street starts at number 1 with a headstone recalling on its façade the figure of Rabbi Samuel Ha-Sardi and which was found in 1820 during the construction works on the current buildings. On the transcription which appears on the headstone from 1826, a modern reinterpretation would probably run something like:

Pious Foundation of Rabbi Samuel Ha-Sardi: its light burns evermore.

It is a replica in any case as the original is on show at the City History Museum of Barcelona.

1843
Sevilla

Jewish graves are discovered in the vicinity of the Carne Gate de Seville

When the Carne gate was fortified in 1843, many tombs were found there when excavating the moat which defended the fort, some of them still containing human bones.

1861
Palma

The aqueduct gravestone is discovered

In the area Joaquim Ma. Bover found in 1861 a tomb headstone near the aqueduct which, passing via the Santa Margalida gate, allowed the entry of the water from the Town Fountain. Fidel Fita, who had the chance to see the inscription, dated the headstone from its calligraphy in the 14th century. It was a one and a half metre wide limestone piece fragmented into two segments and in truncated pyramid shape according to a model which was very common throughout the 14th century. The inscription, severely deteriorated, was made with characters of around 9 or 10 cm and the following can be read:

Rabbi Moses Hakim, su recuerdo sea
bendito.

1862
Girona

The Jewish cemetery of Montjuïc is discovered

The headstones hall at the Museum of Jewish History, where is reproduced the field of the cemetery

By dint of an exchange of an estate which bishop Arnau de Creixell owned in Monte de los Judíos or Montjuïcon June 13th 1207, we know that the Jewish cemetery already existed in the 13th century between two streams and which, according to the document, was alodium hebreorum, in other words, Jewish freehold. Both this cemetery and the nave Montjuïc, given to the mountain, are signs of the antiquity and consolidation of the Jewish community in Girona.

The Jewish cemetery was located on the mountain of Montjuïc in Girona, in the north of the city, set between the current districts of Pedret and Pont Major. It was thanks to la construction of the railway line which had to link Girona to the French border in the late 19th century that the first steles appeared with Jewish inscription. In 1999 24 tombs were found, this time without any funeral headstone. Other headstones were found in different parts of the city and its outskirts, leading us to beleive that the Jewish cemetery was submitted to pillaging after 1492.

The Jewish History Museum at the Bonastruc ça Porta Centre houses and displays a magnificent collection of funeral steles and headstones from the Jewish cemetery of Montjuïc. They were recovered from different points of the city as from the late 19th century. They are funeral stoned dated between the 12th and 14th centuries and today they constitute the most important collection of those found in Spanish territory.

1877
Plasencia

A. Matías Gil describes the Berrocal de Plasencia cemetery

A description of the condition the Jewish cemetery was in can be found thanks to A. Matías Gil in 1877:

Hoy mismo pueden verse unos veinte y tantos [sepulcros] abiertos y agrupados... presentando la forma del cuerpo humano envuelto en el sudario hebreo; son una caja abierta desde los pies á los hombros en la forma de ataud, y otra caja abierta en la misma piedra y unida á la anterior recibia la cabeza del cadaver, que luego se cerraba con una losa que cubria este deposito para lo que tenia sus rebajes en todo el borde.

1884
Córdoba

The plasterwork of the Cordoba synagogue is discovered

. In 1884 the chaplain Mariano Párraga, along with the academic Rafael Romero Barros (father of the painter Julio Romero de Torres), discovered the original plasterwork and in 1885, after it was declared a National Monument, a careful recovery process began which has allowed much of its original splendour to be restored.

1887
Toledo

The Cerro de la Horca Jewish cemetery is excavated

Excavations were carried out in 1887 and some tombs were removed which are to be found today at the Sephardi Museum and the National Archaeological Museum of Madrid.

circa 1890
Monforte de Lemos

The Gaibor headstone is found in a Monforte house

At the Provincial Archaeological Museum of Ourense there is a valuable headstone from Monforte which corresponds to the chapel that the Gaibor founded at the start of the 16th century at the Franciscan convent of St. Anthony of Padua where the Counts of Lemos had their Family pantheon and which indicates that underneath lie Juan de Gaibor and Jorge de Gaibor, residents and councillors of this town.

Aqui iacen Juan de Gaibor y su ijo Jorge de Gaibor fundador desta ca[pilla. Fue]ron vecinos y regidores desta villa.

1899
Segovia

The Main Synaogue is set on fire

After terrible fire of 1899 which reduced the building to its structural lines, at the start of the last decade Segovia city council carried out the restoration of all the plasterwork, stained glass and chapters forming the original ornamentation by means of the original photos of the day of the fire in 1889 which were available and the remains conserved of the plasterwork originals.

1909
Toledo

The El Greco Museum is opened in the house of Samuel Ha-Leví

Samuel Leví street

Between the house of Samuel Ha-Levi and the Tránsito synagogue there lies Samuel Levístreet where part of the houses of the owner of this street was transformed in 1909 into the Museum of Doménico Theotocópuli, El Greco. Alongside the former gate which closed off the street, a tile recalls the painful legend of Samuel Ha-Levi which forms part of the mythology of Toledo.

1912
Estella-Lizarra

The gravestone of Rabi Noah is discovered

Interesting information about the Jews is provided on a funeral inscription, undoubtedly deriving from the Jewish cemetery found in 1912 alongside the ruins of Belmecher castle. The find can be put down to Mateo Morante who held the post of military Commander of Estella as Commander-in-chief of the garrison. .

1913
Jaén

Discovery of Jaen's Arab baths

The baths were rediscovered partly by Enrique Romero de Torres who in 1913 was committed to drawing up the monumental catalogue of Jaén.

circa 1930
Córdoba

A Jewish cemetery is discovered opposite the Seville gateway

Miniature of the Sarajevo Haggadah

Traditionally, the Fonsario or Jewish cemetery was situated outside the walls in the former Huerta del Rey, near the Almodóvar gate and the modern Doctor Fleming Avenue, but it has not been possible to corroborate its existence archaeologically.

A Jewish cemetery was located at the excavations carried out by Enrique Romero de Torres around 1930 and a second excavation carried out by José Andrés Vázquez in 1934 who found Jewish burials in a mound situated between the Seville Gate and the modern cemetery of Nuestra Señora de la Salud (Our Lady of Health).

José Andrés Vázquez found twenty tombs of trapezoidal shaped facing eastwards; some of them formed by freestone ashlars with fragmented tile wedges and Arab bricks and roofs with large-scale ashlar made from similar stone. Between these tombs two were joined by a vault-shaped brick thread and also facing east. Alongside the human remains contained by these tombs there were many nails, some of which had wooden adherences. Around the tombs there were fragments of Mudejar ceramics.

At a later date, Romero de Torres would resume the excavation works around twenty metres further up from the place where the previous findings were made. On this occasion around forty two sepulchres were excavated which were identical to the previous ones, with the same orientation and the same construction materials. Other poorer quality tombs were excavated at the site and their contour indicated with boulders. An Arab rainwater tank was also found containing ten skeletons mixed with nails and facing towards the east.

1945
Barcelona

175 tombs are discovered in the Jewish cemetery of Montjuïc

A ring found in the Jewish cemetery, currently at the City History Museum

The Montjuïc mountain, one of Barcelona's universal symbols, bears its unforgettable name, a reminder of those Jews who formed part of the city's life for six centuries. In addition to their tombs, 175 of them were discovered in 1945, in Mons Judaicus and its outskirts the Jews had houses and farmland.

1953
Córdoba

The Jewish cemetery of Los Santos Pintados is discovered

Aerial view of the excavated area of the Santos Pintados maqbara

In January 1953 Samuel Santos Gener, the director of the Córdoba Archaeological Museum, echoed there are some Jewish sepulchres in the immediate vicinity of Santos Pintados. An array of:

Sepulcros formados por seis grandes losas de piedra caliza acuñadas verticalmente, a tres por banda en forma rectangular y cerrados por una sola losa para la cabeza y otra para los pies. Su altura es aproximadamente de 0'50 m y la longitud de 2 m. Lo más curioso de estos sepulcros es la forma de tapar con losas escalonadas que permiten que el agua de la lluvia penetre en el interior.

The cemetery, given an affiliation which may be Mozarab, follows a pattern which is virtually identical to that of the maqbara, or Islamic cemetery found in Zumbacón: position of the individuals in supine position with variations in their orientation, though burials with the head to the East and feet to the West predominate. Burials in cist abound whose grave is sometimes lined in calcarenite ashlars with or without a cover, with the latter formed, where applicable, by three or four well-edged limestone slabs.

The graves can be rectangular or trapezoidal based; there are none which are anthropomorphically based. Neither is there any record of trousseaus. Worthy of special note is the poor condition of the majority of the funereal structures, particularly the bone remains and the latter are frequently absent under some of the localised structures.

1956
León

Discovery of the Jewish cemetery of Puente Castro

In June 1983 an urgent excavation was carried out at the Jewish cemetery of Puente Castro after the destruction of part of the cemetery brought about by the works on the road between León and Valladolid which was built in the area. The necropolis, which had already been partially excavated in 1956, had been Split in two by the road, leaving part of the cemetery alongside the houses of Puente Castro and the other part on the opposite side of the road.

1958
Lucena

Discovery of the gravestone of rabbi Amicos

Headstone of rabbi Amicos. © Heritage Department-Lucena City Council

The headstone of Rabbi Amicos is proof that the city of Lucena served as refuge for Jews in Cordoba and later in Granada, in addition to other possible locations. The gravestone was found in 1958 at number 2 calle Santiago whilst reconstructing the wall of the house.

Professor Cantera Burgos dates the type of scripture to the 11th century, and declares the inscription is dedicated to a Hebrew master from northern Spain who emigrated toLucena where he died. Based on the lettering used professor Jordi Casanovas places the gravestone between the 9th and 10th centuries.

A copy of the gravestone is currently on display in the Jewish room of the Archeological Museum in the Castillo del Moral.

The inscription on one side is unfinished, whilst the opposite side bears a text of a funeral-related nature, translated as follows:

Rabbi Amicos
sleep and rest in peace
until the coming of the Comforter,
preacher of peace at the doors to
Salem, giver of glad tidings,
and tell him: this is your home
Peace

1964
Besalú

The Mikveh of Besalu is discovered

Related with the synagogue, the Mikveh is the real jewel in the crown of the city. However, it was found purely by chance: during some well drilling works to collect water here in 1964, a resident of Besalú, Esteve Arboix, found the stone vault and then came across the rest of a construction packed with earth from different river flooding over time. .

1971
Toledo

The Sephardi Museum is opened

Sephardi Museum. Entrance

The Sephardi Museum in the city of Toledo occupies the site of the Knights of Calatrava Convent, annexed to the Tránsito Synagogue. It is the NationalMuseum of Hispano-Jewish and Sephardi Art and it accommodates a large amount of traces of the Jewish culture.

The Sephardi Museum is made up of five rooms which display disappeared, religious and local customs and manners aspects of the Jewish past in Spain as well as of the Sephardis.

The rooms adjoining the synagogue and the restored courtyard today house displays of the uninterrupted Jewish presence in Spain since time immemorial as well as elements of the Sephardi culture, in other words, of the Spanish Jews spread around the world after their expulsion in 1492.

The northern courtyard displays, by way of a necropolis, some of the tomb headstones with Hebrew inscriptions conserved at the museum. They were previously on show inside the building, but in the latest remodelling they were displayed outside, thereby going to make up a Jardín de la Memoria (Garden of Memory) which is also converted into a rest area.

The material deployed to make the headstones varies in line with the place of origin. The marble ones, less common, are prevalent in Castile and León; the limestone and sandstone ones, easier to work on, are the most frequent and are particularly common in all the necropolises of Girona and Barcelona. In Toledo the predominant material is granite, though there is no lack of epitaphs made of the previous materials; the museum has a headstone made of baked clay.

At the eastern courtyard an array of bronze sculptures are on display by contemporary artists (Martina Lasry and David Aronson) as well as a slate headstone of a Calatravan knight from the 16th century. The courtyard serves as a link between the lower rooms of the museum and the Women´s Gallery. Excavations carried out under the ground have brought to light various rooms identified as water tanks or rainwater tanks.

The old Women´s gallery is dedicated to the life and festive cycles and other expressions of Sephardi culture.

1975
Girona

Calle Sant Llorenç is opened

Via Sant Llorenç street access could be gained to the building which houses the last synagogue, today the head offices of the Bonastruc Ça Porta Centre. © J. M. Oliveras

One of the most emblematic streets in Girona is Sant Llorenç, the centre of the call in the 15th century. At the same entrance of Sant Llorenç street at Força it is still possible to locate the hinges of the old gate which kept these steps closed until 1975. In the middle of its steep steps was the gate which led , via an access of courtyards and porches, to the building which houses the last synagogue in the 15th century. It currently houses the head offices of the Bonastruc ça Porta Centre.

1979
Toledo

Part of the Cerro de la Horca Jewish cemetery is destroyed

In 1979 the contractor intentionally destroyed part of the necropolis during the construction of the Secondary Education Institute.

1982
León

Discovery of the stele of mar Selomó

Found in 1982, during the works to widen the León-Valladolid highway, the Mar Selomó stele is a rectangular piece with a trapezoidal structure and the inscription side is smooth, comprising 16 lines of text. Its dimensions are 380 mm high, 297/304 mm wide and 40/65 mm thick.

1984
Jaén

Restoration of Jaen's Arab baths

The recovery of the Arab baths, which won the award Europa Nostra for restoration in 1984, allowed the discovery of the outbuildings of the old baths of Alí which, along with the aforementioned Naranjo and Ibn Ishaq, formed part of a group of four mentioned in the chronicles of Al-Himyari, all dependent on the flow from the Magdalena fountain.

1984
Tudela

The Jewish cemetery of El Palenque is discovered

Jewish burial. Haggadah of Sarajevo

Nothing is known about the necropolis pertaining to the Vétula Jewish quarter, prior to the 12th century, but the theory has been put forward that it may have been located under the new part of the city, on the other side of the River Queiles. The necropolis of the New Jewish quarter, on the other hand, is said to have been situated at El Palenque dating from the 12th to the 15th centuries.

In 1984 three tombs were excavated in an emergency intervention which estimated that the successive works in the area had destroyed between 60% and 80% of the necropolis, with the rest having been left in dispersed areas with varying degrees of integrity. In 1998, on the occasion of the fifth centenary of the Expulsion of the Jews from the Kingdom of Navarre, there was a more extensive excavation which uncovered twenty seven burials in an intact surface measuring 30 square metres.

The tombs at the necropolis, very close to each other, having made the most of the cemetery surface, are oriented in a West-East direction with the bodies lying in supine position with their arm parallel to their bodies. The burial was carried out with or without a wooden box which usually rested on the grave or, in some cases, on sandstone covered by slabs.

The burials uncovered at the necropolis do not have any trousseaus and are extremely austere. Although Jewish burials are not usually very lavish, some important findings have been made as is the case of the necropolis in Seville. This poverty is one of the reasons which has safeguarded the cemetery from the sacking which other sites have suffered.

1985
Córdoba

The Plazuela de Tiberíades is opened

Tiberidades square with the sculpture of Maimonides

The private Tiberiades square, where the bronze sculpture of Maimonides is situated, the work of Amadeo Ruiz Olmos, is a small square for a great man, the greatest of those coming out of the Cordoban aljama, so much so that amongst the Jews the expression arose De Moisés a Moisés no hubo otro como Moisés (Moses come and go but there was none like Moses), alluding to the first name of Moses ben Maimón, better known as Maimonides, or also by his Hebrew initials which formed the name Rambam.

The sculpture was inaugurated in 1985 to commemorate the 850th anniversary of the birth of the Sephardi scholar and the square received the name of Tiberiades, the Palestinian settlement in Galilee where the cenotaph is situated which pays universal tribute to Maimonides. Dressed in Arabian style, sitting in melancholy fashion with a book between his hands, the universal master seems to be recalling, right in the heart of the Jewish quarter which he saw come to light, a life packed with deeds and visions.

1986 - 1990
Segovia

The old Jewish slaughterhouse is turned into the Museum of Segovia

Segovia Museum

Socorro street stretches from the square of the same name to Casa del Sol, the former bulwark of the wall over the Clamores stream. During the time of Enrique IV, as is borne out by a document dated 1452, the houses of the Jewish quarter which had been set up here became an abattoir.

Con dos corrales que son al espolón en los que los carniceros de dicha mi çibdat de los muros adentro encerraren e mataren e desollaren los ganados que menester suelen para las canicerías.

This is how it was remembered too by Francisco de Quevedo in El Buscón. The Works carried out between 1986 and 1990 by the architect Manuel Manzano-Monís allowed the transformation of the former abattoir into Segovia Museum after the building was granted to the State by the City Council in 1980.

The visit to the museum is organised in six rooms distributed around the central courtyard where archaeological, ethnological and artistic pieces are gathered which reconstruct the historic trajectory of the Segovian province.

1986
Tudela

An ashlar with a rosette is discovered

The ashlar fragment with a star and a rosette

This is a fragment of an ashlar made of limestone, one of whose faces has been decorated by a six-pointed star inscribed in a circle and with a rosette at the centre of the star. This rosette, found in Padre Ubillos street in 1986 when the wall of a lean-to was being knocked down backing onto one of the stretches of the Islamic wall, may have been placed on the now disappeared Calahorra Gate to protect the city from the evil genies which come from the northwest, facing the area from where the prevailing winds come («north wind»). Similar examples can be found at the Gormaz Fortress (Soria).

The ashlar is currently on show to the public at the Synagogue.

1990
Ribadavia

La Tafona da Herminia opens

A Tafona da Herminia (Herminia´s bakery)

At Herminia´s Bakery, Herminia bakes typical Jewish pastas according to traditional recipes: Bocadiños de améndoas (made from almond and cinnamon), kamisch-broit (made from walnuts or almonds), mamul (with dried fruits, poppy petals and orange blossom water), ma'amul (dates cream and rose water), ghorayebah (whole hazelnut flour), mostachudos (walnuts and clove), bocadiños de dates (dates and nuts), kupferlin (almond wholemeal flour), kijelej de mon (poppy seeds), masiñas de poppies (poppy sedes and vanilla flavouring) and cardamom (almonds and cardamom) are her main specialities, along with tasty doughnuts in the form of the Star of David and other details.

Some of the ingredients are imported directly from Israel. Herminia explains that visitors to her bakery from all over Europe recognise that today it is the only establishment where they have been able to find certain biscuit specialities made according to the typical Jewish recipe.

Herminia started making them a few years ago on the occasion of the Festa da Historia and the locals and visitors liked them so much that she decided to keep making them until today.

1994
Tudela

Donation of the monument to the twinning with Tiberiades

Monument to the twinning with Tiberiades

Returning to San Miguel square, after going along part of Paseo del Castillo, where the humble nature of the district seems to remind us of the final moments of the Jews in Tudela, with a debilitated, impoverished aljama, the route leads to Salvador square where the monument to twinning between Tudela and Tiberiades is situated, a work by Beatriz Lasry donated by the Sephardi Community in Spain, bearing the words of Benjamín of Tudela:

Adiós río Ebro. Regresaré aunque sólo sea para morir en tus orillas.

From here Granados street, allowing us to see remains of the former medieval wall which defended Tudela, leads to Mercadal square, already outside the Jewish quarter, where the Castel-Ruiz is located, a former Jesuit convent with a beautiful cloister and some splendid wineries and, by its side, the Baroque church of San Jorge el Real. Before completing the journey it is worth walking a few metres along Pasaje street in an area of the city which again reminds us of the original cohabitation of Moslems and Jews before the Christian conquest and, finally, overlook Herrerías street, erected on the same moat which the Tudela had, on the other side of which the multi-coloured display of houses in the Moorish quarter closes the cycle of the three cultures.

1996
Cáceres

Discovery of the yad of Plasencia

The yad, literally the hand, is a ritual pointer used to follow the reading of the text of the Torah. This pointer, currently located at Cáceres Museum, was found in the excavations of Parador de Plasencia in 1996.

June 1997
León

Monolith in memory of the Jews

Monolith in memory of the Jews. © León City Council

In June 1997 a monolith was inaugurated in a gardened site which received the name of Aljama in memory of the Jews who had inhabited Puente Castro until 1196, the year in which the Jewish quarter was devastated by the armies of the Castilian king Alfonso VIII and the Araginese monarch Pedro II. The then mayor of León and the Israeli writer of Leonese Jewish ascendancy Margalit Matitiahu, presided over the act in memory of those who had to leave the city. On one side the date of the physical destruction of the aljama 1197) and of the construction of the monument (1997) were recorded and the inscription ‘Castro Bridge for the Jewish People´. On the opposite side some verses by Margalit written in mixed languages were provided:

Estonses, muestros nombres
se van a grabar en los caminos del secreto
y van a abrir las puertas de unión.

May 4th, 1998
Girona

Unveiling of the Anna Frank monument

Monument to Anne Frank. © Pedres de Girona

Skirting on the right round the church of Sant Pere de Galligants and after crossing the Galligants stream, the itinerary ends at the Doctor Figueres gardens were the monument dedicated to Anne Frank in 1998 on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the publication of her Diary allows us to ascertain how a distant past and one more recent have crossed paths in a corner of this city where the mark of the Jews who settled it for hundreds of years is still very much alive and indelible.

1998
Tudela

More extensive excavations are conducted in the Jewish cemetery of El Palenque

In 1998, on the occasion of the fifth centenary of the Expulsion of the Jews from the Kingdom of Navarre, there was a more extensive excavation which uncovered twenty seven burials in an intact surface measuring 30 square metres.

1999
Girona

24 Jewish graves are excavated in Montjuïc

In 1999 24 tombs were found, this time without any funeral headstone.

1999
Tortosa

Caxixa and Bonjuà

The Giants, Caxixa and Bonjuà

When, in 1999, amongst other initiatives intended to commemorate the grantingof the Christian populationcharter and those of Jewish andSaracen safety, a good idea came about: to evoke in plastic form the reminder of the age-old Jewish presence in Tortosa, creating a pair of Jewish giants whose names, Caxixa and Bonjuà, correspond to those of a married couple who, as legend has it, in 1391 withstood all kinds of pressures and maintained their faith. They now lend a happy note, an honourable aspiration, the memory that the enlargement of Tortosa played a vital role in the enslaved retinue of the people of Israel, residents of the beautiful city of the Ebro since the Romanization of the Iberian Peninsula two thousand years previously. The Jewish giants can be seen at Llotja.

1999
Tudela

The Torre de la Judía is discovered

La Torre de la Judía (Tower of the Jewess)

This must have been of paramount importance in the medieval era as there are various documents which refer to it. It is now suspected that it is the same watchtower as that known as Torre del Campo de Navadebel (Field of Navadebel Tower).

It has traditionally been regarded as dating from the Moslem era, perhaps built in the 9th century with the fortification of Tudela by Amrús ben Yusuf. Notwithstanding, recently there is a tendency to think it has a Christian origin, probably from the 13th century.

Between 1998 and 1999 there was a systematic surveying of the district of Tudela by the Provincial Government within the programme of the Archaeological Inventory of Navarre.

On a small hill situated near the crossroads on Murchante road with that of Corella the work team identified the remains of a construction at its highest part. Its chronology is from the Early Middle Ages, brick walls and the remains of a paved floor as well as its position seemed to indicate that it was a small surveillance post. The work report indicated that it could belong to the so-called Torre de la Judía (Tower of the Jewess).

1999
Oviedo

La Casina, the synagogue of Oviedo, is opened

Opened in 1999, the Oviedo synagogue, better known as La Casina, currently serves over a hundred people and as well as serving as a prayer room, constitutes an active cultural centre with various activities all the year round. The Torahscrolls, the menorah, an up-to-date mezuzah or Rabbis´ chair lend a truly Hebrew touch in the midst of a district dominated by colour and hustle and bustle and presided over by a splendid porticoed square, rehabilitated very recently not without some controversy amongst the residents.

2000
Girona

Opening of the Jewish History Museum

In the foreground, a funeral stele dated 1411: 'Esta es la estela de la honorable [Es]telina, hija del prohombre (Ast)ruc Cohen guárdela en su Roca y su Redentor'

Preceded by the display windows of the Sepharad shop, specialising in Jewish bibliography, the door of the Bonastruc ça Porta Centre is to be found at number 8 Força street, housing inside the Jewish History Museum and the Nahmanides Studies' Institute which takes its name from the great Kabbalist, philosopher, Talmudist, poet, doctor and rabbi of Girona Moses ben Nahman, known as Nahmanides and popularly called Bonastruc ça Porta. The last synagogue of Girona was located in this same building, in operation in the 15th centiry after the main synagogue closed.

The Jewish History Museum has 12 rooms dedicated to the everyday life, rituals and traditions, the Jerusalem diaspora and the arrival of the Jews in Catalonia, the synagogue, the Jewish cemetery, Nahmanides, cultural and scientific activity of Catalan Jews and the difficult relations between the Jewish community and Christians from the end of the 14th century to 1492. Of particular note is the series of funeral headstones from the 12th to the 15th deriving from Montjuïc cemetery, unique of their kind.

The museum also devotes two rooms to temporary exhibitions and has access to the Estrella courtyard with its old cistern, the site of open air activities, spaces which accommodate a large part of the wealth of cultural activity it generates

Finally, on the third floor of the Centre are the outbuildings of the Nahmanides Studies Institute, the conference rooms and the library specialised in Jewish items whose mission is to research and educate.

The Centre houses the Patronat Call de Girona institution, a municipal public body which manages the Call complex and the central offices and secretaries of the Jewish quarter Network and the AEPJ, European association for the preservation and promotion of Jewish culture and heritage.

2000
Segovia

Restoration of Segovia's Main synagogue

The artists involved were José María García Moro (Sculptor), José Luis Silveira (Restorer), Carlos Muñoz de Pablos (Stained glass designer) and Valero Herrera Ontañón (Municipal Surveyor).

2001
Sevilla

The House of Memory of Al-Andalus is opened

Flamenco show at Casa de la Memoria

Cultural centre situated in the Santa Cruz District, Casa de la Memoria de Al-Ándalus organises exhibitions and concerts and throughout the year a musical cycle focused on the art of flamenco. The headquarters is an old house-palace which conserves elements of the original Jewish house (15th century) as well as other elements from the 16th and 17th centuries. The house and the shop can be visited where exclusive craftsmanship of the Al-Andalus and Sephardi tradition can be bought.

2003
Oviedo

The statue of Woody Allen is unveiled

Bronze statue of Woody Allen

Following the tracks too of one of the most well-known Jews of our time, in Milicias Nacionales Street, opposite San Francisco park and slightly set back from the traffic on Uría street, stands the statue of the film-maker Woody Allen, a work by Antarúa from 2003, walks absent-minded as if pondering the long history of the Jews of Oviedo in the old district from where its steps appear to come... A final contemporary homage to the memory of a collective which formed part of the history of the city for a large part of the Middle Ages.

2003
Tudela

An ashlar with the print of a mezuzah is discovered

Ashlar with mezuzah traces

This is an alabaster stone ashlar in L, corresponding to a door jamb. It was located in 2003 at a plot on Magallón street where important archaeological levels of the Islamic era were located between the 9th to the 12th centuries and this may have been the first time that excavations were carried out in the Old Jewish quarter area. The ashlar was situated in a landfill with material from the 16th century, but it could well have been used on any other structure as a further stone.

Contrary to the known examples in Besalú and Gerona, which are narrow, long and deep, the one in Tudela is circular, broad and shallow. What´s more, all known ones are situated on the lateral of the door and the one in Tudela seems to have been at the front on the façade. This may be justified by the limited surface provided by the door jamb between the bracket and the façade, eleven centimetres, less than what was usual on walls at the time.

2004
Avila

The Medieval Tanneries are discovered

Archaeological remains of the medieval tanneries. Amongst the earthenware jars you can see the paving of what could be a street

Discovered in 2004 between the bridge over the River Adaja and the hermitage of Saint Secundus in a space currently part of the city's nature interpretation centre, the medieval tanneries remind us of the industrial past of the city and, to be specific, of the Jewish community.

The Former Tanneries of the St. Secondus Suburbs constitute a unique, relevant example of the craft complex dedicated to tanning hides which operated between the 14th century and the end of the 17th century. As regards the remains, there is a considerable number of earthenware jars still in one piece as well as the oaks (troughs where the fabrics and hides were immersed) and even the flooring of the rooms.

The tanneries dealt with the tanning of hides and until the expulsion of the Jews from Spain in the 15th century they were run by the latter. They kept in business for three centuries until the mod-late 17th century, coinciding with a time of economic crisis in Spain which particularly affected industrial production.

At present, these tanneries (the most spectacular of those conserved in the Peninsula) remain concealed, protected until a designed musealization is implemented and their corresponding development.

2004
Jaén

A possible yad is discovered in Jaen's Jewish quarter

The yad or ritual pointer

During the excavation of the plot between Santa Cruz and Rostro streets, the site traditionally regarded as the centre of the Jewish quarter, in 2004 a marble object was documented and located inside the winery of a house which had a façade on Rostro street. A yad or ritual Jewish pointer has been identified but this attribution has not been totally established.

The recovered object is 10 cm long and around 8 mm thick and its upper part is uniquely shaped with decoration and a split on one of its ends which tell us that it must have been secured to another by a cord, thread or chain. This is why at the beginning the piece was inventoried as a bobbin: a turned object which tenses the thread with which lace and braid are weaved. Notwithstanding, some researchers have suggested it could be a reading pointer for the Torah. To date, there have been various interpretations of this object, though no unanimous consensus has been reached in favour or against the purpose it served in the 14th century. The only thing that has been established is its archaeological context and its stratigraphic dating which confirms that it is an object used by a Jew in the 14th century.

2004
Segovia

The Segovia Jewish Educational Centre is opened

Main entrance to the Jewish Quarter Educational Centre

At number 12 of Juderia Vieja street there stands the Jewish quarter Educational Centre, also known as the house of Andrés Laguna in memory of one of its most illustrious residents, an eminent doctor and humanist from the 16th century, the descendant of converted Jews, who travelled throughout Europe and translated Aristotle, Dioscorides and Galeno, being regarded as one of the most cultured men of his time.

This large house, a symbol of the power of the New Christians in Segovia, accommodates a Jewish quarterEducational Centre which is accessed via the courtyard, organized by means of panels, touchscreens and interesting holographic projection which reproduces in full detail the celebration of the Jewish Shabbat in a virtual synagogue.

All kinds of products related with the Jews and the Segovian Jewish quarter can be bought at the shop.

2004
Sevilla

Excavations in the Jewish necropolis of Seville

On Cano y Cueto street, the area outside the walls of the medieval city, stood the Jewish necropolis which covered a large zone. This can be surmised from the findings of tombs during different excavations carried out to construct the car park on Cano y Cueto street and the Diputation building. Proof has also been found as far as Marqués de Estella street in the San Bernardo district, around 500 metres from the wall. The size of the necropolis illustrates the importance of the Jewish community in Seville.

2005
Oviedo

Monolith in homage to the victims of the Shoah

Monolith of tribute to Shoah victims

In 2005 Oviedo city council, at the behest of the Israeli Community of the Principality of Asturias, inaugurated a Monolith in homage to the victims of the Nazi holocaust. The Monolith, situated at Parque de Invierno, near the bread basket, is a place commemorating a historic occurrence which should never be forgotten.

2005
Segovia

The Casa Mudejar is opened in Segovia

Rabbi Mayr Melamed's House

Rabbi Mayr Melamed, Abraham Seneor’s son-in-law, was converted taking the christian name of Fernán Núñez Coronel.

Professing even his old religion, and due to the important social status of this character, he was allowed to have access to his house both the Jewish and the Christian area.

Preserved rafters are very important. Currently is a hotel-restaurant.

December 2006
Castelló d'Empúries

The steele of Sara is discovered

Discovered in 2006 by Miquel Teixidor, it had been reused in a house on Llana street, between Lli street, Peixateries Velles and Call street. This fragment has been added to the array of fragments of epigraphic steles from the early 14th to the 15th centuries.

2006
Lucena

Discovery of the Jewish cemetery in Lucena

Jewish necropolis. © Heritage Department-Lucena City Council

In 2006, the construction of Lucena's southern ring road led to the discovery of a medieval Andalusian cemetery. 346 tombs were uncovered which had adapted to the topography of the land where the burial ritual used was that of inhumation in a single or double pit, at times with a side niche or cavern covered with flat stones or Roman tiles. The remains pointed to a late medieval period between the years 1000 and 1050 which coincided with the time of the heyday of Jewish Lucena.

A gravestone was unearthed containing Hebrew lettering and dated between the 8th and 9th centuries in accordance with analyses conducted by Semitic philologist Jordi Casanovas.

2006
Toledo

The Golondrinas synagogue is discovered

Entrance to the house where the ancient Golondrinas (Swallows) synagogue was located

The archaeological excavations of 2006 at the house at number 29 of Bulas street confirm the existence of an old synagogue alongside the house which formed a corner with Bulas street and the entrance to the former Golondrinos alley. Jean Passini refers to it as the synagogue de los Golondrinos (of the swallows).

In the second half of the 15th century a synagogue is mentioned, using it as a point of reference in the description of two houses in the parish of San Román. The first, which belonged to don Abraham batidor, was erected on the wall-walks of Sancho Padilla (the current Esquivias alley). It adjoined the house of the silk dealer Diego López and at the rear, a Jewish synagogue. The second house belonged in 1488 to a converted Jew, Lope de Acre. It is described at that time on the wall-walks of los Golondrinos, having a dividing wall with a yard which used to be a synagogue of the Jews. The Libro de Capellanias (Book of Chaplaincies) dated 1577 states that the house stood at the corner of Bulas street-Golondrinos alley. The ownership deeds of the monastery also state that it had a cellar under it with its door opening out onto Bulas street, a door which still existed until 2009.

Along with the remains of the synagogue, the remains have been found of a ritual bath or Mikveh, which we can compare with that Besalú, a closed space, endowed with solid walls, stone arches and water piping which consisted of a small room with a barrel vault, accessible from the street via an independent gate. An underground system, certified by the existence in the vicinity of a well called Aizco, supplied the running water required. An interior side corridor allowed passage from the vaulted room to the synagogue.

2006
Toledo

A fragment of Sefer Torá is discovered in the Alacava district of Toledo

The parchment was discovered in 2006 by the archaeologist A. Ruiz Taboada during the course of some excavations carried out on some works at number 3 of Travesía de los Caños de Oro. It was hidden inside a niche behind one of the notched panels of a bricked up horseshoe arch of what must have been a house in the Jewish quarter. It seems that the last remodelling of this arch was carried out in the late Middle Ages which would leave us to believe that it may have been at this time when it was deposited there. Archaeological evidence would thus seem to indicate that the concealment occurred between the 15th and 16th centuries.

2007
Lucena

Discovery of the gravestone of rabbi Lactosus

Headstone of rabbi Lactosus. © Heritage Department-Lucena City Council

In 2007 a gravestone with Hebrew lettering was found in the Jewish necropolis on the southern ring road of Lucena, the second to be discovered inthe city. The carbon 14 tests conducted on several tombs in the necropolis enabled experts to date the same at the year 1050, coinciding with the heyday of Jewish Lucena. Based on paleographical and onomatologic analyses, professor Jordi Casanovas dates the stone to the second half of the 10th or first half of the 11th century.

The inscription on the gravestone is the following:

Rabbi Lactosus sleep in peace. Rest in peace
until the coming of the Comforter
to declare peace
at the doors to peace [---]
peace Tell him:
rest in peace.

2008
Córdoba

Casa de Sefarad (Sefarad House)

Entrance to the Sefarad House on Judíos street

Directly facing the synagogue, casa de Sefarad, or the House of Memory is a 14th century property which is linked, according to various sources, to the Jewish temple. The coloured circles of the courtyard chapter are one of the original elements of this building, restored conscientiously to recreate the spirit of the Cordoban Jews. Besides serving as a point of reference on any itinerary through Hebrew Córdoba, the Casa de la Memoria (House of Memory) is a cultural centre where concerts and acts of many kinds are staged and it boasts a specialised library and shop where you can find a wide range of Jewish-related objects.

2008 - 2009
Toledo

The Cerro de la Horca necropolis is newly excavated

During 2008 and 2009 new archaeological excavations were carried out in a sector of the necropolis which made clear that the burial patterns at Cerro de La Horca do not correspond to anything known up to that date in Toledo during the Middle Ages, leading us to think that this may actually be the site of one of the Jewish necropolises of Toledo.

2009 - 2012
Estella-Lizarra

Archeological excavations in Estella's new Jewish settlement

The archaeological excavations in progress recently undertaken inside this district have allowed the recovery of construction testimonies and material culture to be recovered from said aljama. From the latter it would seem that their urban layout was adapted to the slope with the dwellings situated on parallel lines and on terraces.

2009
Estella-Lizarra

The wall of Estella's new Jewish settlement is excavated

Stretch of wall of the Jewish quarter in the eastern area

The wall is the only visible remains of the New Jewish quarter of Estella. Archaeologically excavated in 2009, the stretch of wall delimiting the New Jewish quarter of Estella starts at the header de la Church of the Holy Sepulchre and continues Southwards until it involves a long hill where the Jewish quarter was located, after turning North, culminating at the Belmecher fortress.

The aljama wall and the aljama itself are part of a wider space enclosing a series of elements of historical interest which are a vital part of the city's history, something which has led to their declaration as an Asset of Cultural Interest with the category of «Historic Site».

The conservation of these walls make Estella the only one of the major medieval Navarre towns as seldom are the walls conserved, allowing is to gain a complete vision of what its defensive system was like.

September 2009
Plasencia

The cemetery of Plasencia is opened to the public

The cemetery, musealized and opened to the public in September 2009, has enhanced this historic site which is unique in the autonomous community of Extremadura where some anthropomorphous tombs can be seen.

2010
Segovia

Segovia's Jewish cemetery

The Jewish cemetery

The Jewish cemetery is situated outside the walls on the southern slope of the alley of the River Clamores, opposite the stretch of the wall, which runs from the former Jewish abattoir to the Main Synagogue (current Church of Corpus Christi) and where the Jewish district was said to have been rooted since 1481.

The exit from the walled site from any of the synagogues existing at that time was via the San Andrés Gate and from there, going down the Hontanilla to the Puente de la Estrella (Star Bridge) – now rebuilt – which crosses the River Clamores and leads us to the actual Cemetery at spot commonly known as El Pinarillo.

It is not possible to establish chronological dating with a minimum degree of precision in view of the absence of gravestones which could provide us with information.

When carrying out burials, the Jewish community took advantage of the limestone nature of the rock of this part of Clamores to carry out two types: the first consists of using caves formed by nature, once enlarged and conditioned; the second model corresponds to those of the anthropomorphic type.

The tombs are oriented from east to west and at all of them the skeletons were found intact in supine position and facing east. Some outline the head and shoulders of the corpse whilst in others the form of the cavity is simply trapezoidal.

Access to the cemetery is unrestricted and it is signposted from the Jewish district and new information signs and new lighting have been placed by Segovia city council. Here is located La Casita Blanca, a place recovered by the Department of Historical Heritage and Tourism of the City of Segovia. Inside there is an exhibition, some items and objects donated by the Jewish Community of Madrid, which help us to understand the death ritual in Judaism.

April 2011
Girona

Astruc Abraham´s house is located

Astruc Abraham´s house lintelled door

During the excavations done on the ground floor of the Jewish History Museum, a door and the inside of a Medieval house were located. This house belonged to the Jewish physician Astruc Abraham des Portal, son of a well-known dynasty of Jewish physicians from the city. Adjoining this house there was the synagogue´s courtyard, a public street from the call (Jewish quarter) and the Jewish butchery.

The archaeological intervention undertook on the ground floor´s back space of the Jewish History Museum highlighted the existence of an internal room, delimited by a Medieval wall on the east, according to archaeological reports, and by a lintelled door opened to the Hernández street, on the south.

2011
León

The Leon Jewish Interpretation Center is opened

Interior of the Interpretation Centre for Jewish León. © León City Council

The Interpretation Centre for Jewish León and the Pilgrim Reception Centre in the Leonese capital is located at the former church of St. Peter´s in Puente Castro.

The proximity of said church to the significant archaeological site of Castro de los Judíos on the Mota Hill in the Puente Castro district as well as its relation both with the Roman presence owing to an equally notable closeness to the Ad Legionem VII Geminan site discovered in the district itself, and with the medieval Christian world represented by St. James´ Way in its passage by the same gate of San Pedro Apóstol, have defined an approach based on three blocks of well-defined contents. The Roman, Jewish and Christian world at different times of History seek to provide the visitor with an extensive overview adapted to the space and need to make his use versatile of the historic wealth of León and the uniqueness of some of its personalities.

At the Centro visitors are told what the old Castro de los Judíos de Puente Castro was like and what objects and materials have been found in the archaeological excavations currently in progress in a space where, in medieval times, over a thousand people resided.

2011
Toledo

The remnants of the Sofer synagogue are excavated

Excavated during 2011, the existing archaeological remains are currently visible under Sofer square, inaugurated in 2012.

2012
Girona

Excavations in the yard of the Jewish History Museum

Images of the excavation area where Jewish butcher's was located

The excavations in the courtyard of the Jewish History Museum in 2012 have revealed part of the structures of the old Jewish butcher's, to be precise, a 13th century wall and part of an arch which connected the rooms of what could possibly be the Jewish butcher's or a home annexed to the butcher's.

In 1492 a document specifically refers to the Jewish butcher's as a space annexed to the synagogueand it is to be supposed that this space mentioned in 1492 can be identified with that granted in 1426 as the shojet of the aljama by way of a municipal order which gave permission to the butcher of the call to carry out the slaughter and slicing of small animals, except for oxen, deer or cows in a farmyard of the calland not as had been done until then on the courtyard of his own house in the Jewish district.

After the expulsion, in all likelihood the butcher's building was demolished and what today serves as the museum courtyard was built.

Glossary