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Cobblers´ Gate

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Cobblers´ Gate


Basic Information

Location Monforte, Spain
Country Spain
City Monforte
Address Monforte, Spain

General Information

Open to visitors no
Need appointment no
Handicap accessibility no
Geographical Coordinates 42.5222,-7.5118


Pescaderías street runs past the wall-walks of the wall and later it connects with Zapatería street where in the 15th century Jewish families like that of Moses the Jew and Esther the Jew lived. Zapatería Street was known from the second half of the 19th century until a few years ago as Cárcere Vella street (old prison), referring to the prison of the judicial district of Monforte which was located here as from the second half of the 19th century until the second decade of the 20th century; later, the prison outbuildings were reconverted into the offices of the Designation of Origin of Ribera Sacra. In the same tower building the start of an arch can be seen, belonging to the original Zapatería gate which is mentioned in documents from the 13th to the 14th centuries. The oldest references of the presence of Jews in the Monforte town may date back to the 10th century when in a document from 915 a certain «Jewish Ismael» is mentioned, a probable reference to a Hebrew, though it was in the 15th century that this collective has its greatest proportion of society as a whole. The popular dislike meant that at a certain time all the residents of Monforte were classed as long-tailed, by extension of the members of their aljama or that even today a memory is conserved of that which, particularly the residents of the neighbouring population of Sarria used to sing to those from Monforte:

Monforte de Lemos. Monforte dos demos. 500 veciños: 300 ladrós e o resto xudeos.

Although the majority of Jews in Monforte were craftsmen and traders, particularly highlighting all the silk and cloth merchants, others held important posts in the administration of the Lords´ houses, so the Counts of the Lemos, such as don Samuel, the tax collector and his brother don Guillermo, a tax collector, both in the service of don Pedro Fernández de Castro, the Warlike, a Lord of Monforte in 1334. 15th century documents reveal the major contribution made by the Monforte aljama to the taxes of the Crown of Castile.

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