Heritage & Heritage Sites

 

GENERAL

 

 

AEPJ Jewish Heritage Route – Spain

Using Google technology and an interactive map to provide historical, heritage, and touristic information for two dozen locations all over Spain. (It is an expanded version of the Routes of Sefarad, described below.) Very rich resource.

 

Red de Juderias (Network of Spanish Jewish Quarters)

A non-profit public association with the goal of protecting urbanistic, architectonical, historical, artistic and cultural Sephardic Heritage in Spain. It comprises a network of Jewish quarters and heritage sites in towns and cities in nearly a score of locations around the country. These include  Segovia, Ávila, Cáceres, Calahorra, Córdoba, Estella-Lizarra, Hervás, Jaén, León, Monforte de Lemos, Oviedo, Palma de Mallorca, Plasencia, Rivadavia, Tarazona, Toledo, and Tudela

In December 2012,  Google, in partnership with Red de Juderías de España  launched an exhaustive  new web site Routes of Sefarad — that provides an interactive exploration of Jewish heritage throughout Spain. It  involves 19 cities, 523 places,  910 chronological registers, 1.674 images, 67 supplementary texts, and 138 commented voices. There are interactive maps, timelines, clickable links, photographs, and detailed site information. (A slightly reduced version of the AEPJ Route, mentioned above.)

 

 INDIVIDUAL SITES

 

Information on most Jewish heritage sites in Spain can be found via the links listed above. Here below we provide links to some sites and places for which there are other web resources.

 

BARCELONA

 

Jewish Quarter and Major Synagogue (Shlomo Ben Adret Sinagogue)

 

What is thought to be Spain’s oldest synagogue, in the former Jewish quarter or Juderia of Barcelona; believed to have been built in the third or fourth century CE and expanded in the 14th century. Archaeological research began in 1996. Now used as a little Jewish museum and also for worship.

Jewish Barcelona – Jewish Cultours

Email: info@urbancultours.com

Information, education,  and guided tours of historic Jewish sites in Barcelona as well as contemporary Jewish life.

 

Call de Barcelona Association

Marlet, 5
08002 Barcelona
Tel: +34 93 317 07 90
Email: management@sinagogamayor.com

 

Organization dedicated to preserving the medieval Jewish quarter, that oversaw the excavation and restoration of what is believed to be the ancient synagogue.

 

 

PDF Guide brochure to sites in the Jewish quarter, from the Barcelona History Museum

 

Article on the synagogue in Ha’aretz, September 2014

 

Jewish Cemetery

The Medieval Jewish Cemetery on Montjuic

This project by the Zachor group investigated the location, history and remnants of the cemetery, which was in use from the 9th to the 14th century. Click on language to open.

 

CORDOBA

Logo for 700th anniversary celebrations

Synagogue

The Synagogue in Cordoba, built in 1315, marked its 700th anniversary in 2015. A series of events were held. During the course of restoration work carried out in 2014 for the anniversary, evidence of what possibly was a mikveh, or ritual bath, was discovered adjacent to the synagogue, according to one of the experts who carried out the work, the architect Arturo Ramirez.

Excavations carried out by Enrique Romero de Torres around 1930 revealed evidence of Jewish burials in the small hill located between the Puerta de Sevilla and the modern cemetery of Nuestra Señora de la Salud.

Cordoba-es-Sefarad web site

Web site launched by the University of Cordoba and the City Council as part of the events marking the 700th anniversary of the synagogue. Information on Jewish heritage sites in Cordoba, including the synagogue and former Jewish quarter, including a map of the Jewish quarter locating sites.

 

GIRONA

 

Former Jewish quarter, where a medieval mikveh was discovered in 2014. The center for Jewish heritage work in Catalonia, it has a Jewish History Museum and a Research Institute.

 

Museu d’història dels Jueus – Patronat Call de Girona  (Museum of Jewish History, Foundation Call de Girona) 

Bonastruc ça Porta Centre
c/ Força, 8
E-17004 Girona
Tel: +34 (0) 972 216761
Fax: +34 (0) 972 214618
Email: callgirona@ajgirona.org
GPS: N 41.985975 E 2.825356

 

PDF Brochure on the Jewish Quarter and institutions

Rediscovering Sephardic Catalonia: Heritage and the Museum of Jewish History in Girona

Lengthy description and analysis by James Nadel, in University of Michigan, Working Papers in Museum Studies: Future Leaders. No. 2, 2016

 

LUCENA

Early medieval Jewish cemetery discovered in 2006-2007 during construction of Lucena’s southern ring road. Some 346 tombs were excavated, most dating probably from the first half of the 11th century,  when Lucena was an important center of Andalusian Jewry. Many of the tombs consist of a pit and side chamber. At least one gravestone dates probably much earlier –to between the 8th and 9th centuries. Work began in 2014 on a major project to improve visitor infrastructure and increase accessibility.

JHE report (with link to video) on project to improve visitor infrastructure

 
“El Cementerio Judio de Lucena (Córdoba).MEAH, sección Hebreo 58 (2009), 3-25 
 
Lengthy article — in Spanish — by Daniel Botella Ortega and Jordi Casanovas Miró on the cemetery, archaeology, and findings.

 

TARAZONA

Downloadable audio guide to Jewish heritage sites of Tarazona

 

TOLEDO

 

El Transito Synagogue (Sefardi Museum)

Calle Samuel Leví s/n
45002 Toledo
Tel:  +34 (0) 925 22 36 65
Fax: +34 (0) 925 21 58 31

 

The 14th century El Transito Synagogue became a church after the expulsion of the Jews from Spain in 1492. It was built between 1336 and 1357 by Samuel ha-Levi, who held several important posts, including that of the Royal Treasurer, at the court of King Pedro I of Castille. With its polychrome stucco-work, multiple arches and panelled ceiling, the building bears many characteristics of Iberian architectural and decorative style of that period. The restoration began in 1877, when it was declared a National Monument. The museum opened  in 1971 and is one of the most-visited state-run museums in Spain.

The museum collection includes a wide range of material culture from the early Roman period onwards, with an emphasis on the medieval period, the Golden Age of Jewish culture in Spain. Much of the collection has been digitized and placed online.

Downloadable PDF multilingual brochures of museum 

Article on Bet Hatfutsot web site about the Transito synagogue

 

Santa Maria la Blanca Synagogue

Reyes Católicos, 4. Toledo
Tel: (+34) 925 227 257
Email: santamarialablanca@architoledo.org

 

Built in the late 12 or early 13th century, it is one of the oldest standing synagogue buildings in Europe. It was also believed to be the largest of the nine or ten synagogues that existed in the medieval city. It became a church (Santa Maria la Blanca) in the early 15th century, decades before the expulsion of Jews from Spain, after a bloody attack on it led by a virulently anti-Jewish Catholic preacher. It served as a church or convent until the 1790s, when it was taken over as a military barracks and used as a storehouse for the Royal Treasury.

The Provincial Commission of Historical Monuments took it over in the 19th century; according to the Episcopate it was returned to the Episcopate in 1929. It was declared a national monument in 1930. The museum there today showcases the stunning Moorish-style architecture.

 

Synagogue of Santa Maria la Blanca web site

Toledo Travel Guide web site, historical & architectural details, with an extensive photo gallery

 

TUDELA

 

Video on Jewish heritage in Tudela

 

ÚBEDA

Synagogue/mikveh

Calle Roque Rojas 2
23400 Úbeda, Jaén
Tel: +34 953 758 150    
Email: sinagoga@artificis.com

 

Úbeda and its twin city Baeza are listed as world heritage sites by UNESCO for their complex of medieval and Renaissance buildings. A mikveh and what is believed to be a medieval synagogue were discovered during construction work in the 2000s and opened to the public in 2010 as the “Sinagoga del Agua,” a combination museum and cultural venue.

Sinagoga del Agua web site

Article demonstrating the site is a synagogue (in Spanish)