Jewish Heritage in Spain and Portugal

Besal├║ (E)

City Profile Besal├║, SpainEstablished during the 9th Century, the Jewish community in this small town was one of the oldest in Catalonia. Until the 15th Century, Jews living here were protected by the kings, and became prominent in medicine and commerce. Besalú was not affected by the pogroms of 1391, but after the Pope Benet XIII’s bull of 1415 forced the Jews to live separately in their own neighborhoods, many began to leave Besalú and others converted. In 1964 the mikve (ritual bath) was discovered on the site of the archeological remains of the 13th-Century synagogue in the old Jewish quarter. Because of the medieval character of the entire town, Besalú was declared a National Historical-Artistic Site in 1966.


Jewish Besalú: