Welcome to World Jewish Heritage
Rediscover your heritage like never before
|Location Tortosa, Spain|
|Address Tortosa, Spain|
|Open to visitors no|
|Need appointment no|
|Handicap accessibility no|
|Geographical Coordinates 40.8173,0.52554|
In Moslem Turtuxa no reference was made to a Jewish quarter nor an aljama or even a call. The Jews had lived in areas adjoining the port not out of obligation but rather for the sake of comfort and convenience. Now the base for an actual Jewish district as being laid, a situation which, if initially favourable to their interests, was proven to be to their detriment when, owing to pressures unrelated with life in Tortosa, Jews from other cities and regions in Spain sought settlement in Tortosa call in view of the advance of the Almoravides, meaning that its original limits were continuously surpassed. In the early 13th century Pedro I allowed its expansion in the direction of Bassa del Castell, providing a temporary solution to the need for space.
<pThe New Jewish Quarter was a concession made to the Jews by the Temple in the first third of the 13th century by way of a franchise charter granted by Ramón de Montcada and the Friars of the Temple to twenty five Jewish families. It was necessary to organise a New Jewish quarter: Vilanova, in the Remolins district. Now the Jewish community would acquire a nature as such and would be under the command of an adelantat, a figure who would represent the Jews politically and administratively. This representative figure endowed with executive powers provided help as regards the management of trials or specific dayanim which there may in the Jews´ cases according to Rabbinic law; it would also have treasurers, tax officials, almoners and a notary, all around the council of elders. The synagogue, possibly located at Jerusalem street alongside Benifallet and Jaume Tió streets, was the centre of community life The Jewish status as serfs of the King or serui regis, made them, at least administratively, an intermediate political-social figure between the free citizen and the serf.</p>
The Main Street right on the heart of the Remolins district used to divide the Old Jewish quarter from the New one. Walking along Travesía Vandellós you will reach one of the only architectonic traces that remains from that distant time: a gateway providing access to the disappeared cemetery and entry to the new Jewish quarter amongst a maze of alleys, squares and zigzagging streets which, as a whole, ends in a curved or broken line with the exception of Vilanova street. The atmosphere recalls the proximity to the river whilst the ochre and yellow tones of the walls of their houses bring to the mind of the passer-by flashes and voices, vague vignettes of legends and stories as you come to La Figuereta or Platger square with their kerbs and wells.