Europe

Sefarad: the Jewish footprint in Barcelona

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On October 19 we went to old town of Barcelona and we made one guided tour of the gothic quarter to discover the traces of Jewish history from the city. After the visit, it ended in the synagogue of call, the old Jewish quarter, we enjoyed a unique dinner in the Requesens palace, with Jewish inspired dishes.

The guided tour begins at 19:45 at the gates of the Requesens palace, in the Sant Just square. After an introduction to the history of the Jews in medieval Barcelona, ​​Carmen led us through the streets of the Gothic quarter. We pass in front of the headquarters of the Inquisition of Torquemada and we look at the shield of the oldest Inquisition that is preserved in Spain. We also discovered that some stones that were used to make the square of Sant Iu were taken from the Jewish cemetery of Montjuïch and an inscription in Hebrew can still be seen. By the way: in case someone does not know it yet, the name of the mountain in Barcelona that presides over the port means "mount of the Jews."

We continue the visit, passing through several other points whose past is related to the Sephardim who lived in Spain before their final expulsion in 1492. And the Jewish people in Barcelona, ​​as in Spain, were a very misunderstood, suspected, criticized minority and hated. The most extreme hatred was experienced during the terrible pogrom that took place in Barcelona in 1391. Many Christians came to believe that the Jews had caused the plague that plagued the city, since more Christians were falling sick than Jews. But the Jews had not poisoned the wells nor did they have an antidote that they reserved for themselves, as many Christians believed, but their apparent immunity was surely due to their religious rites forcing them to clean themselves thoroughly several times a year, a habit Very strange in those times.

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