Jewish Heritage in Spain and Portugal

Girona (E)

GironaFirst settled by the Iberians, Girona was not named until the Romans arrived in 218 BC. By the end of the 9th century, Jews had formed a semi-independent town within Girona becoming an important influence in the area’s development. It was here that a great many texts of the kabbala, the Jewish school of mysticism, were developed, later spreading to the rest of Spain. Under the protection of the Spanish kings for centuries, the Jews prospered until an attack on their community in 1391 began a wave of persecution that did not end until the expulsion in1492.

Much of Gerona’s call (Jewish neighborhood), one of the best preserved in Europe,  has recently been restored under the supervision of the Centre Bonastruc Ça Porta.  This center of Jewish learning, on the main street of the call, is located in a complex of original medieval buildings, including the last remaining synagogue.  It houses the Nahmánides center of Jewish studies and the Museum of the History of the Jews in Girona

Containing the most accurate information about medieval Jewish communities in Spain, particularly those in Catalonia, the museum’s exhibits provide a picture of daily life and Jewish traditions in the Girona quarter and the most influential calls in the rest of the region. The Hebrew lapidary (tombstone) collection is considered to be one of the finest

in the world.


Jewish Girona: