Barcelona is a city rich in Jewish history that dates back to over 1700 years ago. When exactly the first Jews arrived to Spain is an ongoing discussion among historians. There are some legends that even speak of 2 sons of the Queen of Sheba (King Solomons wife) having been the first Jews to come to Spain
It is widely believed that the first Jewish presence was around the 3rd Century (BCE). In the year 70 CE the Second Temple (in Jerusalem) was destroyed causing a large scale Diaspora. Few people are aware, but about 1 in every 10 people in the Roman Empire at that time was Jewish. Initially, Jews left to existing Jewish communities in places like Turkey and Egypt. But eventually they spread to more remote cities like Barcelona, then perceived as almost the end of the world.
Over the centuries, the Jewish population in Barcelona grew steadily in numbers as well as in their political and religious significance. They lived in relative peace until 1391 when there was a brutal attack on the Jewish community, resulting in a dramatic end to the presence of Jews in Barcelona that would not see a reversal until the 20th Century.
During our tour we will bring back to life the story of the Jews here in Barcelona and show just how important Jewish people were to the citys development and history.
We start the tour in the old center of the Jewish quarter, which is also the oldest part of Barcelona still in use. You will get to see the house of Rabbi Shlomo ben Aderet as well as the Ancient Synagogue of Barcelona, the oldest synagogue in Europe! Then we will pass where the old gates and the wall of the Jewish quarter once were. Continuing, we will show you Synagogue Poca that has been converted into a church. Then we’ll visit the Plaza del Rey, where Christopher Columbus came to announce the news of the continent he found. You’ll be seeing stones with Hebrew inscriptions in surprising locations together with the locations of where 3 other synagogues once stood. You’ll observe the famous dedication to Samuel Hasefardi and finish with a visit in the medieval mikve, which was only recently rediscovered
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We specialize in providing visitors a rich and personalized experience through guided private walking tours of some of the most historically and culturally rich cities in Europe. With its incredible diversity, Barcelona, more than almost any other city, is a place that is best seen not from a bus but on foot. Come with us on one of our Barcelona walking tours and explore the beauty of the city!