Jewish Heritage in Spain and Portugal

M├ęrida (S, SP)

M├ęridaThis town was founded by the Romans in 25 B.C.E. It became the capital of their province of Lusitania, and one of the most important cities in the Empire. No wonder that Merida is best known for its Roman ruins! The National Museum of Roman Art is the biggest of its kind in Spain, and the Roman amphitheatre, excavated in 1910, has amazing acoustics and has been the venue for Classical Theatre Festivals since 1933.

Merida is the northernmost place where Jews settled during Roman times, after the destruction of the Second Temple in Jerusalem (70 C.E.). The city was home to one of the first Jewish communities in Sepharad.

Merida was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1993.