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Jewish cemetery of El Palenque

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Jewish cemetery of El Palenque


Basic Information

Location Tudela, Spain
Country Spain
City Tudela
Address Tudela, Spain

General Information

Open to visitors no
Need appointment no
Handicap accessibility no
Geographical Coordinates 42.0700,-1.6098


Nothing is known about the necropolis pertaining to the Vétula Jewish quarter, prior to the 12th century, but the theory has been put forward that it may have been located under the new part of the city, on the other side of the River Queiles. The necropolis of the New Jewish quarter, on the other hand, is said to have been situated at El Palenque dating from the 12th to the 15th centuries.

In 1984 three tombs were excavated in an emergency intervention which estimated that the successive works in the area had destroyed between 60% and 80% of the necropolis, with the rest having been left in dispersed areas with varying degrees of integrity.In 1998, on the occasion of the fifth centenary of the Expulsion of the Jews from the Kingdom of Navarre, there was a more extensive excavation which uncovered twenty seven burials in an intact surface measuring 30 square metres

The tombs at the necropolis, very close to each other, having made the most of the cemetery surface, are oriented in a West-East direction with the bodies lying in supine position with their arm parallel to their bodies. The burial was carried out with or without a wooden box which usually rested on the grave or, in some cases, on sandstone covered by slabs.

The burials uncovered at the necropolis do not have any trousseaus and are extremely austere. Although Jewish burials are not usually very lavish, some important findings have been made as is the case of the necropolis in Seville. This poverty is one of the reasons which has safeguarded the cemetery from the sacking which other sites have suffered.

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