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Jewish heritage in Spain

New interest surrounding Jewish heritage in Spain has come into prominence following the recent discovery of documents in the city of Girona. Records dating back to the fifteenth century reveal a vibrant Jewish quarter in existence from second century until 1492 when an edict issued by King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella ordered expulsion of all non-Catholics from the city. Various documents concerning marriage and business contracts involving a population of 700 Jews are shedding new light on the role of Jewish heritage in Spain.

Jewish heritage in Spain reflected in Barcelona

Walking tours in Barcelona afford the opportunity to learn more about the Jewish heritage in Spain dating back to the city's thirteenth century population by around 4000 Jews. Included on the walking tour is the Synagogue Mayor believed to be the oldest synagogue in European history.

In keeping with Jewish beliefs, the main entrance faces east towards Jerusalem. Guests who negotiate the winding streets of the Jewish Quarter are rewarded by a visit to Lloctinent Palace constructed of stones taken from Jewish cemeteries.

Cordoba- A Center of Jewish heritage in Spain

The Jewish Quarter of Cordoba was placed on the list of World Heritage Sites in 1984. Settlement by Jews dates back to the second century during which Cordoba was the predominant center of Jewish heritage in Spain. Visitors to Casa Sefad will come away with a new understanding of Jewish life as reflected in exhibits of clothing, musical instruments and tools.

The Importance of Toledo to Jewish heritage in Spain

Perhaps nowhere is the heritage reflected more prominently than at Synagogue El Transito erected in 1336. Two dynamic features are the prayer wall inscribed with the names of God in both Hebrew and Arabic and vaulted cedar arches reminiscent of the first Jewish temple built by King Solomon.