Jewish Heritage in Spain and Portugal

Toledo (E, S, W, SP)

City Profile Toledo, Spain“The Jerusalem of Spain”. The size and the splendor of Jewish Toledo--the biggest Jewish community in Christian Spain--gave it this name.

Jews probably established themselves there at some time during the 4th to 6th centuries. However, Jewish presence in Toledo was inconsiderable at this time, and the first sources referring to the Jewish quarter of Toledo are from the 12th century. The community of Toledo grew to be one of the largest on the Iberian Peninsula, and at the height of its prosperity in the 12th-14th centuries the Jews probably formed up to one third of the city's population.

A major European center of cultural, social and political activity during the 12th-13th centuries, Toledo was home to the renowned School of Translators. Their translations of Greek, Hebrew and Arabic texts into Latin made it possible for the rest of Europe to learn of cultural and scientific advances made by the Jews and Muslims, and also to rediscover the teachings of the classical Greeks.


Jewish Toledo: