Jewish Heritage in Spain and Portugal

Valencia (E)

ValenciaValencia has figured prominently throughout Spanish history. Founded in the 2nd century B.C.E. by the Romans, the city was conquered by the Muslims (8th century C.E.) and finally reconquered by the Christians in the 13th century.  Throughout the centuries, its importance as a center of commerce and trade with other Mediterranean ports grew, and during the Spanish Civil War (1936-39), with Madrid under siege, the capital of the country was moved there. 

The third largest city in Spain, Valencia is home to over 50 museums and art galleries, as well as the monumental City of Arts and Sciences, which includes an interactive science museum, opera house and the largest aquarium in Europe.

La Valencia Judía


The city of Valencia had the largest and most important community of the medieval kingdom of Valencia. Jews then engaged in crafts such as tanning and shoemaking and often bore the name of their craft. They also engaged in the marketing of agricultural products, a major occupation in Valencia, and maintained commercial ties with other Jewish merchants in Spain.

Toward the close of the 13th century, as a result of the activities of Jewish merchants, Valencia became an important center of maritime trade. They purchased raw materials, wool, wool products, and grain, and exported them through Valencia to other ports of the Mediterranean.

Valencia was the port of embarkation for Jews who left for the Orient after the expulsion from Spain in 1492.

The Jewish quarter of Valencia was one of the largest in the Iberian Peninsula, but nothing of it has survived, although documents have shown us where it was located.


Jewish Valencia