Jewish sites in Barcelona that you need to know about
The Barcelona Jewish Quarter was attacked and destroyed in 1391, already 100 years before the Inquisition. This is the main reason why there aren’t many visually attractive elements left from our middle ages. However, if you are interested in what’s left of the Jewish heritage in Barcelona and you have an interest in history of the Jews in Barcelona, you’ll be able to retrace the steps back to the times when the “Call” or Barcelona Jewish Quarter was in its full bloom.
Here are the Jewish sites in Barcelona selected for you:
Medieval Synagogue. Hidden in the maze of narrow alleys of the Barcelona Jewish Quarter. The medieval synagogue in Barcelona was saved from becoming a bar a few years ago, and now it is open as a museum but it is also occasionally used for services, and it is considered to be not the oldest synagogue in Spain but possibly of Europe. Despite not much more than its walls has been preserved, its history is fascinating. The antiques and artwork decorating it are donations.
Interpretation Center of the Call. The Museum of History of Barcelona opened in this house where a medieval weaver lived, a center providing information about the history of the area and the Jewish Heritage in Barcelona. See maps of the area, a small collection of medieval Jewish ceramic and a couple of Hebrew tombstones.
Hebrew Tombstones in Plaça Sant Iu. After the Jewish cemetery in the hill of Montjuïc was abandoned, some tombstones near the stone quarries where used to build buildings in the Gothic Quarter. If you look around, you might be able to discover a bunch of them in one of the walls of this tiny plaza beside the Cathedral.
Remains of the Mikhva in a shop in c/Palla. If you ask permission first, at the Olivé store they’ll let you walk to the end of their shop where have been preserved a few columns and arches that might have been part of the structure of the medieval Mikhva of the Barcelona Jewish Quarter. Despite the documents locating it in that area, historians haven’t confirmed yet this theory though.
Hebrew inscription in c/Marlet. During the demolition of a building in 1920, they found this medieval inscription remembering the rabbi Samuel Hassardí. The experts haven’t agreed on what would be its right translation, as it seems to be written in a quite cryptic way…
This was just a quick list of sites and their basic description, but there is more to that! Make sure to take one of the tours of the Barcelona Jewish Quarter to learn more about the Jewish heritage in Barcelona.
AND BONUS! Here is one last place to get immersed in the Jewish history of Barcelona:
Museum of History of the City. The best part of the visit is the underground Roman ruins, and if you pay attention you’ll discover there some Jewish tombstones embedded in the walls. And then, in the Medieval Section you’ll find some cages with objects to learn more about the Jewish Heritage in Barcelona.
Have you been to the Barcelona Jewish Quarter? Tell us how it went on a comment below!